Frozen Determination

January 24, 2011
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At a young age, I learned that girls like to dress up and play with dolls while boys like to wrestle and watch sports. My family never outright told my brother or me what we should play because of our gender, but I assumed that because I was a girl, I should like the color pink, play with Barbie’s, and play house with my friends.

Every Sunday I would hear the crinkling and crunching of potato chips while my dad turned on the weekly football games. I would hear the cheering and cursing of the fans through the television screen, but would continue dressing up my Polly Pockets, not paying much attention to the game. My dad would ask me if I wanted to learn the rules: what a touchdown was, where the yard line ended, when a yellow flag waved. I simply did not care to watch a bunch of full grown, dirty, sweaty giants pile on top of each other. It never crossed my mind whether the backward pass from the 50-yard line ever reached the quarterback or whether the field goal was accurate and a point was earned. Bigger concerns loomed over me, like whether I should paint my nails pink or purple or if I should dress up Barbie in her evening gown or in her casual suit.

It’s not as if I didn’t have spirit for the Eagles. In elementary school, every once in a while we would support the Philadelphia Eagles by wearing jerseys and painting our faces green. I enjoyed the spirit that our school flaunted, and dressing up as an Eagles fan was a perfect way to portray our commitment for our team. Even though I never really
cared if the Eagles won the game or not, I liked to take a part in the excitement that brought the city of Philadelphia together before a big game.

One Sunday evening, my dad received a call from his brother. My uncle had called my father to tell him he had just received two Eagles tickets for the game and he wanted to take my brother. Once I heard this exciting news, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder why my uncle had automatically decided to ask my brother. Sure, I didn’t know what a touchdown was, but why would he assume I wouldn’t want to go? Is it because I am a girl? Is it because I am too young? So being a curious seven-year-old girl, I simply asked my dad the question: Why can’t I go? His response: “Your brother is the one who likes football and knows what’s going on.” That was a good enough answer for me. Then I heard those dreadful words come right out of my dad’s mouth: “And plus, you will be too cold and it’s not something you could handle.”

Not something I could handle? Is it because I’m a wimpy, little girl and I should stay home and play with my little girl toys? I can’t handle a frigid football game? Oh yes I can, I thought. I can handle anything a boy could handle. And just then I realized: it’s up to me to prove them wrong so the next game they don’t make this mistake again. I had to show them that this girl could handle a football game at night in nearly freezing temperatures.

So I got to work. I needed to put on all of my warmest clothes and get suited up for an arctic game. I loaded on layer after layer of long underwear, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, a winter jacket, snow pants, a scarf, gloves, and a hat. I was so puffed up that if you put a string on me, you could have floated me like a balloon. I grabbed a warm
blanket and a book to read so I could distract myself from the freezing temperatures. I was ready to unleash my plan.
As I opened the front door, I heard my dad ask me, “ Where are you going?” I told him that I was going to prove to him once and for all that I could handle watching a football game outside, and that my uncle should have asked me if I wanted to go to the game. My dad shook his head and laughed, and thought that I wouldn’t last five minutes on the porch in 20-degree weather. As I took my seat, I was determined not to let the cold get the best of me. I realized that just like a football player after being tackled , if you get knocked down, you better get back up if you want to stay in the game.

A half hour goes by, then an hour, and before I know it, two hours have passed. My dad came out every once in a while to ask me if I was ready to come inside. Each time I would tell him that I was not cold at all, and would come inside when the game is over. I continued to read my book, and even though my fingers were going numb, I knew that in order to win this game, I must be persistent.

Two and a half hours later, my father came out with a mug of hot chocolate. He told me how proud he was of me, and how I proved to him that I could handle the cold weather and sit through an Eagles game. He then proceeded to tell me that he didn’t believe I would last outside for that long and how strong willed I had turned out to be. More important than proving it to my dad, I proved to myself that who I am won’t necessarily determine who I will become.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

English Teacher said...
Jan. 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm
This essay was really good! Great use of imagery! 
Brandi_Blair said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 11:24 pm
This was sooooo good! I love how it reminds me of myself cause im also VERY stubborn! :]
Rebecca C. replied...
Jan. 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm
Thank you :)!
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