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Lessons from Ma’am | Home of the ShyFilker
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Lessons from Ma’am

I have a little story for you… a story about a young woman who was shy, and thought she was worthless and incapable and unattractive….

That person was me.

I came from a small town in Southern Utah, and when I went away to college my maternal grandmother looked at me and said “You’ll be back in six months”. I said to myself “like hell!”  But it takes more than words – especially words in your head – to make your dreams a reality.

So I went to college and started to study art. I loved art! I also chose to enter marriage with a man who really didn’t love me. I made many non-courageous decisions; I left art and went for a degree that I thought I could finish, so that I could at least prove my grandmother wrong.

During college, I found my fun in board and role-playing games, and became the president of the University’s gaming club. This led to my being invited to a meeting where the local sci/fi and fantasy fans decided to start up a convention.  It went so swimmingly that we kept throwing the convention, year after year (don’t worry… the start of the story will soon come into play).

We developed some traditions for the convention over the years, one of which was a mascot contest at the Friday-night ice cream social; the winner of which would reign for the rest of the year. The winners were chosen by penny auction. The pennies were weighed, the winner was enthroned, and the last year’s mascot symbolically slain in any of a number of comical and/or entertaining ways.

This brings us to the year of the “Captain” contest.  I wanted to compete, and through the wiles of friends, the thrift store and AA Callister’s tack and western wear shop, was transformed into the dominatrix who would come to be known as Capt. Ma’am, for the night.

Now, here’s the funny thing… I didn’t even know what a dominatrix was!

Nevertheless, I wore my loaned thigh-high vinyl boots, my militaryish dress cap and my little top and bottom, laden with chains, all covered up in a voluminous black cloak until the big reveal. And boy, did it reveal! No one could believe I was doing it. I couldn’t believe I was doing it! But I put on a tough, strong attitude and strutted down that aisle displaying all the power and authority I could muster – and it worked! Everybody was wowed. Everybody threw their pennies in my box –including the other contestants! I refused to be shy, refused to be intimidated, refused to act worthless and unworthy and everybody believed.

Now, you might say, “what’s the point in all this?”

I would say that the germ of a very important idea took root that night – No, I didn’t go out and start my own dominatrix business as a sideline (I’m actually hopelessly vanilla in my preferences) – but I did learn something about assertive behavior. I learned that people respond to the person that you project, and that you don’t have to really believe everything you project in order to pull it off. I didn’t pick it up and run with it right away, but I find myself thinking about it sometimes. I can be hopelessly passive about things and I find myself asking myself sometimes “Would Capt. Ma’am let that handy man I hired get away with the fence posts being an uneven height? I don’t think so! You paid for the work, and you deserve to get what you paid for!”

And that’s what this blog is about (and any other things that may occur to me). It’s about my musings on a long journey, yet to be completed, pursuing life as if it were something achievable and something that I deserved… not slinking around the edges and hoping to be tolerated enough to let live.

It’s not over yet – but is it ever?

Not for Capt. Ma’am, and through her eyes the world is a very different place

We’ll see about posting some photos of slender/young me, all decked out in uniform as Capt. Ma’am, somewhere down the line.

 

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