It took some cojones to walk into the New York Fencers Club for the first time yesterday, even if I do say so myself. First of all, I had terrible clothes. I know, guys aren’t supposed to care about that stuff, but I suspect that’s crap. Also, I live in New York, for chrissakes. So I was not happy about taking the subway in a stupid pair of cotton kung fu pants that are gathered at the ankles, with a really stupid pair of Nike Air Tailwinds that I bought because I succumbed to the clerk’s reverse snobbery at the running shoe store about how I should get these shoes for the cushioning even though they look really dumb.
So I walk in, feeling stupid, and the place is full of wiry sixteen-year-olds, and suddenly I realize how long it’s been since I was really and truly out of my comfort zone. I’ve been taking kung fu for about six weeks now, but I did a lot of martial arts in college, and I know the cliques pretty well, so that wasn’t too scary. I’ve been doing some ballroom dancing with Kate, too, which can get pretty comical, but I’m used to that too, I guess. So suddenly, I’m dealing with a Genuine Introvert Moment.
I lived, of course, though I did not triumph: I finally talked to one of the Ukranian coaches, who told me that they couldn’t find a teacher for the Sunday Adult Beginner class, so there were no Sunday classes. I pointed out, huffily, that their website advertises the Sunday class, and they should take the ad down, but everyone just looked at me blankly. So I hauled down my colors and beat a retreat, Air Tailwinds squeaking on the linoleum floor.
Tonight, I check out the Martinez Academy of Arms, despite the direct and impassioned pleas I have received to the contrary:
- From Tiffany Potter-Chiles: “At the
MARTINEZ ACADEMY OF ARMS, Andy Baiman’s hair alone
would leave me laughing so hard I’d trip and end up with an epe�
up my nose.”
- From Kate: “OH MY GOD! Cyborgs– please!! Go NOWHERE NEAR the Freaky Freaks!!!!! I am warning you!”