I hardly consider myself a rebel.
In fact, I’m a pretty devout rule-follower, and it’s not because I’m this deeply moral, Pollyanna-type person, who actually enjoys things like Little House on the Prairie and musicals and scrapbooking (but I do).
The truth is, I follow the rules because I’m a scaredy-cat.
I am more scared of getting in trouble or getting called out than I am to wear hot pink panties under white leggings and a crop-top. I’m the quintessential people-pleaser, getting my life fuel from pats on the back and atta-girls.
Ugh, it’s ridiculously annoying, even to me.
A few weeks before my wedding - this was when I was in my mid-20’s - my mom had me spend the night with her on a Sunday so that we could do last-minute shopping on that Monday, because she’s deeply religious about never shopping on a weekend when shops are too crowded and she hates people. I’d been saving up all my vacation days for the wedding and honeymoon, so I hadn’t taken that Monday off.
It would have to be a sick day, but I was terrified to call in sick.
Sitting by the phone (they were attached to walls in those days), my stomach knotted and my palms sweated as I worried over what my lie would be.
My mom, in her most maternal tone said,
Oh, I’ve had a few naughty little moments of rebellion, and I’m not just talking about the times when I followed a couple of ibuprofen with a swig of wine just because I’m feeling frisky, or that time I stole a pack of Tampax Slender Regulars when I was a volunteer at the local hospital because I wanted desperately to be a tampon-wearer. (7th grade chatter from my more experienced peers said that only non-virgins could wear tampons, but there were conflicting reports, so I wanted to just try without my mom knowing. I didn’t want her to think I was a slut, in case the rumor was true.)
No, I’m talking about bigger, and far naughtier, rebellion.
You may have heard of ROT Rally.
In case you haven’t, it’s the Republic of Texas Biker Rally.
As in motorcycles, not unicycles or bicycles.
My husband had a motorcycle several years ago, and he and a group of friends rented a spot for their RV and stayed at the Rally for the entire four-night weekend, while I stayed home in air-conditioned comfort, working on my cuticles and sloughing dead skin off my feet.
The next year, he wanted me to come with him - at least for one night, he said.
The moment we arrived, I felt like we were in a sort of biker-gang border town. As soon as we passed the front gate, we entered into a haze of motorcycle exhaust, cigarette smoke, and the thick, unmistakable smell of liquor-soaked livers.
People, decked out in bikinis, were hanging off of golf carts laced with strings of beads, colorful boas, and giant, plastic penises retrofitted to shoot out liquids at the simple push of a button.
There were rows upon rows of pop-up cabanas adorned with twinkle lights, garlands fashioned from undergarments, and - in front of the high-end ones - stripper poles, experiencing the worst treatment of their lives.
Women walked around topless, wearing short-shorts printed with, “Spank Me,” and “Pirate Booty,” and “Baby Girl,” and some of the men were covered only by the velveteen Crown Royal bag holding their willies.
For a people-watcher like me, this was as good as it gets. I just couldn’t believe my eyes, seeing what people were wearing - and doing - right out in the wide open. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t.
So many tattoos. So much leather. So. many. nipples.
The whole thing is like a four-day parade, with people driving motorcycles and decorated golf carts around the little street that runs throughout the property, drinking as they drive (it’s private property), and people along the edges of the street shouting and whistling and catcalling.
There was a live band on one end of the property, so we could hear music playing, and it was intermittently drowned-out by the constant revving of engines and rock music blaring from giant speakers hooked up to car stereos.
Those of us along the “parade route” were dancing and singing and laughing and drinking.
As the night wore on and the blueberry vodka started working its magical powers, I heard myself yelling out to people passing by on the parade route, just like the others were doing.
I may have shouted for them to remove their clothing.
I may have shouted for them to show me their body parts.
I may have shown my own body parts in exchange for strings of beads.
It was as if I’d been set free from a lifetime of domestic holiness, tossing my PTA Volunteer badge out the car window, and tearing off my “I love my soccer player” t-shirt, teasing my conservative and understated bob into what I’d hoped would give me that “I-just-rolled-out-of-bed” sexy look, and slathering on thick, black eyeliner that would end up bleeding out into my crows feet as the night wore on.
I became a slutty, trashy biker chick in the blink of an eye.
I’m embarrassed to tell you this, and I was really embarrassed the next morning - ahem, afternoon - when I woke up and rehashed the night before.
If you’ve known me for any length of time at all, you would know that I don’t like crowds of people, loud noises, feeling out of control, fast movements, too many lights, weird smells, foamy stuff, or really anything that isn’t cozy or soothing.
I’m like an ultra-sensitive cat with PTSD and a hormone imbalance.
For me to set aside all my weird “idiosyncrasies” and get so completely out of my comfort zone made me feel young and alive.
If I push my embarrassment out of the way a bit, I smile at how fun it was to get out of responsible mommy-mode for a bit, to let loose and drink too much alcohol, to dance and laugh and shout like I was a teenager again - not that I ever acted like such a damn fool, even as a teenager.
Will I ever do it again? Dear God, no.
It took me a good year to Lysol my body enough to remove the film left by blueberry-flavored alcohol sweats and whatever foamy substance was used to make that fake sperm shooting out of those giant golf cart penises. ***Shudder***
In fact, just remembering it gives me the urge to dig out my Level II Hazmat suit and boil my hands...
Not afraid to make a fool out of herself for a laugh, Kristan Braziel’s blog, “Bring Mommy A Martini,” is a collection of hilarious observations and her kitschy approach at dealing with life’s messy moments. Born and raised in Texas, Kristan lives in Austin with her husband, their two sons, and three dogs.