Me and Authority…

in-sub-or-di-nate 

|ˌinsəˈbôrdn-it| adjective

defiant of authority;

disobedient to orders:

an insubordinate attitude.

Being inherently insubordinate means I take risks at the strangest moments…

One of my earliest memories is when I was in Kindergarten at snack time. My friend was totally disgusted by the more than slightly bruised bananas being passed out to us. She actually shrieked at the dark brown mushy spot revealed as she peeled.

I tried to calm her down with the facts… “It’s ok, it’s extra sugary on that part!”

But then the teacher’s aide came over and asked my friend what was wrong, why had she yelped like that? The little girl said she didn’t like the rotten bananas… her mom told her to never eat rotten food.

The teacher’s aide said, and I will never forget this, “Oh no it’s fine! That’s the part I give to my baby!” and I just looked at her, like ‘”the fuck?”

What the hell kind of explanation was that? In my little Kindergartner mind I thought to myself, “How does that help?  All that means is that you could be a dumb ass who doesn’t know any better than to give your baby rotten bananas.”

It didn’t matter to me that I agreed with her, and that I knew there was no harm in eating a slightly discolored banana. Nope, that wasn’t it at all.

It was the fact that this adult assumed the little girl would change her mind based upon the teacher’s authority. The girl’s mom had said it was wrong, why would she choose to believe a teacher over her own mother? I wanted the teacher to explain what the brown spots were, how it wasn’t mold growing on the banana, to educate her with facts and then the girl could make her own decision.

And if that meant still not wanting to eat the spotted fucking banana, then that is totally ok too. My friend just nodded, and nibbled on a non-spotted bit of banana. With the teacher’s aide still smiling down on us, I asked my friend, “You feel sorry for that baby, don’t you?” Her eyes got big as she looked from me to the teacher back to me. The teacher stopped smiling, scowled down at me, then walked away.

That memory rubbed me the wrong way for years. As a kid, every time I came into a situation where someone tried to convince me of something based upon their position of power rather than an intelligent understanding where I got to choose for myself, I heard that teacher’s aide’s syrupy sweet voice. It became an instinct.

Me and Authority…