Parking in America and Shut Up About Belts, Lady

Parking in America

I

Passing a kiss and ride lot at a school, Good Man wonders, “Why is is always ‘kiss and ride?’ Why is it never ‘hug and ride?'”

II

Passing a Metro station, Good Man asks, “What is ‘park and ride?'”

“Remember how we parked the car at the Metro station and then took the train to the Arlington courthouse to get married? It’s like that. You park. And ride.”

“So…why not call it ‘parking lot?'”

III

In a parking lot with tons of empty spaces I see a woman park directly in front of the store, blocking access to the door and say, “Does she realize that’s not a parking space?”

Good Man responds, “Oh, America! Parking lot land!”

Go Away, Brown Belt

We got a new woman in class today. For all of my complaining about where the women have been, you’d think this would be good, right?

I actually didn’t work with her at all. I got to class and my stomach was in knots and really hurting. I told Special Forces and asked him if I could work in the second room (a smaller room which usually isn’t in use). I told him I’d warm up and work on poomse. He agreed.

I ran through the first four forms and damn, I do not deserve my belt. Messing up on the first four forms? Having to turn to the book of forms I keep in my bag? Ugh.

Special Forces came to check on me after about 40 mins. He ran through some forms with me, told me everyone forgets sometimes. I know that, but il jang? Forgetting that?

I did end up running through all of my forms at least twice. Once I got to yuk jang, I didn’t really have any memory problems. No, then I started to run into “and how do we do that here?”

Even though I was working mostly alone, it was a great workout, physically and mentally. Physically, I was taking my time, sticking the landings, really working on it. I wasn’t just slopping through them. Mentally, it was exhausting because good kimchi! I should remember il jang! But it was also mentally demanding because I was suddenly noticing things I hadn’t noticed before. In il jang almost every turn is toward the side where you’ve already punched (right punch? Next move will be a turn to the right).

And then…class ended.

Apparently we have a new student. I’ll call her Brown Belt Wannabe, because dammit, that’s what she is.

In the course of five minutes she complained that she had earned a brown belt at her other school, so why couldn’t she come in as a brown belt here? Never you mind that she couldn’t tell you what system her old school worked under. Never mind that she didn’t know the names of her forms in English or Korean, but they did them to music. All the time. She had been in the national championships! (Whose national championships? Well, why should she be expected to know that?) She had medals at home. And why didn’t we just test her so she could prove her level? But don’t actually let her be a brown belt, because then we’re going to expect decent work from her! She had worked hard for her brown belt and she wanted to wear it, because after one class everything was too easy and in two or three more classes she was going to be very bored because it was too easy.

Shit.

And I thought I had a hard time adjusting to a new studio. At least I did my complaining here and at home.

Poor Special Forces. Kwanjangnim is in Korea and he said, “Well, OK, when the school owner comes back, we can talk to him and—”

“Does anyone else come in at their old belt?”

Special Forces gestured toward me, “She did, but she got her black belt in So—”

“Then why can’t I?”

I left because I wanted to scream, It’s not about the belt, lady!