Monday, May 31, 2010


"If our measure passes then girls would be drafted the same as boys," she said, watching me for a reaction.

"What's a draft?" I said.

She ran a hand through her mullet. "It's when the government calls you to join the military and fight for your country."

"Like a war?" I said.

"Yes, like a war." She reached to answer the phone ringing on her desk.

My father had donated a portion of our living room to two women who were campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment. I had finally mustered up the courage to ask them what the heck they were doing in there and when I could turn on the T.V. I remember them as two stout middle-aged females, one with a distinctive short-in-front, long-in-back haircut that was a little ahead of its time in 1981.

She lay the handset back in the cradle and turned to me. "So would you vote for it?"

I wasn't sure what to say. I had seen "The Day After" recently and was haunted by the prospect of nuclear war. I looked out the window and imagined a mushroom-shaped cloud appearing above Neil Van Der Laan's house next door.

"You can tell me after school," she smiled.

I went off to my 6th grade class where Mr. Lindberg, the first person who I would allow to call me by my full name, was showing us Franco Zeferelli's "Romeo and Juliet." I cried silently in the dark. As soon as Mr. Lindberg brought the lights up I ran for the bathroom, hiding my snotty face. I was less afraid of war and of dying than I was of never being loved.

I went home and I told the Mullet: "I think girls are just as good as boys. If they're going to be drafted we should too. It's only fair."


  1. I loved that movie. I remember watching it at a very young age and wishing I could be as amazing as Olivia Hussey. I was so sad that I would never be that beautiful and tragic and adored...damn you, Zeferelli! Ruined young girls everywhere!

  2. Seriously! Thanks for sharing Courtenay, at least I'm not alone.

  3. OH NIN what A delightful photo of you as A lil girl...U A **** Lov NIN