L ast week I wrote a column about my New Year's Streaking Stunt for 2012 (yeah, I'm running late AND nekkid) and how said stunt would be both crazy-awesome and teach me an important lesson about imperfect perfection. I would embrace my body while becoming super freaking enlightened wearing only Felix the Cat socks and a pair of beater running shoes.
'Cause that's how I DO.
But lest the path to enlightenment be too easy, I was served a last-minute cosmic bitchslap.
About an hour after I turned the column in to the editor, I saw the rough-cut of a short film I'd participated in.
I hate having my photo taken (it steals my soul), and being on film is about a zillion times worse. But it was for something I care about and so I stopped being a baby (sort of) and talked on film.
When it was all over and the Godzilla costume had been packed away, I felt a little proud. That pride turned into overconfidence, which soon curdled into arrogant hotdogging --which is when I wrote a column about how I was going to streak. About how we should be kinder about the way we look. About how bullshit it is to worry about the surface of things, man, and just dig down to what matters.
We're all God's creatures, all perfect in our own way. Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
And then I turned the column in and an hour later, saw myself on camera and hated my body all over again. Mostly the fat part people call my face.
What an asshat I can be.
As my wise auntie would say, "Oh, Jeanine, this is fertile ground for learning." She's right, it is fertile ground for learning. It's also fertile ground for hiding under the covers all weekend.
"But no!" I told myself, "I will not be bested by a stupid short film. They probably shot it in the wrong aspect ratio. No. I will persevere. I will run around with no pants on because -- if nothing else -- I owe it to my readers."
That's right, Dear Reader. I ran for you.
And I'm glad I did it when I did, because afterwards, I was informed by many, many people that it was a terrible idea.
Those people then listed all the different, horrifying things that could have occurred during, or after, the run. (Sliding "butter-side" down through gravel. Sitting in the back of a squad car -- a warm vinyl seat is a sticky seat.)
My streaking days may be over now, but I did it.
I did it after getting home from a night with friends. I stripped down to my tennis shoes, popped on a robe and ran back down the stairs. As I ditched the robe in the bushes by the dumpsters I reminded myself, "Fritzy, you must be fleet of foot; this is not the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now run!"
And run I did. I ran about half a block alongside a building before seeing headlights coming my way, so I turned MY headlights towards the car and shouted, "Whoooo! We're going streaking! Everyone's doing it!"
Just kidding. I didn't do that. I panicked, immediately switched directions, sprinted back into my robe and back up the stairs to my house.
But whatever, I did it.
And what did I learn, you might ask? What new knowledge do I have to impart about bodies and kindness and imperfect perfection?
Very little, Dear Reader, very little.
But I'm glad I streaked. I intend to do it often when I'm in the old folks' home and can blame it on missing my medication.