True fans do "try this at home"
[dropcaps style=’2′]Coming from a stereotypically large Greek family, whose dominant sex was male amongst my cousins, I grew up with an appreciation for sport, sport entertainment and gory, action-packed movie scenes.[/dropcaps]
[image src=’http://fnx.network/fnxnetwork/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2258827948_5cc846039b_m.jpg’ width=’240′ height=’160′ title=’Source: Cuito Cuanavale’ align=’right’]My whole life I was surrounded by boys, all my cousins were boys, except two older female cousins who lived overseas and one older cousin who loved to braid my hair and gossip (if you haven’t realised, I’m a girl). Me and the boys used to sit around the TV and argue about who was better; The Hulk, The Rock, Stone Cold or Eddie Guerrero to name a few. This will then lead to (as no one had a trampoline) the pulling of mattresses together where sloppy suplexes, clotheslines, piledrivers, spears, walls of Jericho, and over dramatised Stunners ensued. All the new moves had to first be tried out by the eldest cousins on the ‘guinea pig’ cousins. I as a girl was always let off easy or made the ref…It paid to be my favourite cousin at these moments! I as a girl was always let off easy, except when it came to my brother whose favourite move was the ankle lock. I tapped out every time.
EVERY GOD DAMN TIME!
[image src=’http://fnx.network/fnxnetwork/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2965428280_e82a012c17_m.jpg’ width=’240′ height=’160′ title=’Source: Dena Flows’ align=’left’]After wrestling we generally grabbed a football or soccer ball and headed to the nearest park. It was the days when a Greek Sunday barbecue consisted of about 100 close family members (that’s just aunties, uncles and first cousins!) and 30 of us being kids. We were sent out to the park to fend for ourselves for the day without complaining about minor scratches and bruises like we see all too often nowadays. Being the only girl, mum always liked to dress me in skirts and dresses, but that didn’t stop me from tackling my cousins in footy (even if there was a rule of only touch not tackle on Christina). We’d play until an older cousin was sent to fetch us for dinner, which always led to the all-important and glorified ‘last goal wins’. Whichever team lost complained about it all the way home, while the winners rubbed it in their faces – This generally lead to some spears and stunners from the sore losers.
Letting our dinner digest we’d turn on a movie and ‘oooo’ and ‘aaaa’ at all the fight scenes from any Van Dam, Schwarzenegger or Willis action movie. Mischief then ensued and we were always seeking to do things that we probably shouldn’t. Like my cousin spearing my brother into the corner of a wall cutting open his arm – tears for my brother, laughter for my cousin. Or the time my cousin took the bike out of my shed and started pedalling his heart out down my hill, before I could tell him there’s no brakes, but BAM straight into a parked 4WD he went which led to a gash in his forearm all the way to the bone. My grandad being the first adult we saw, we tell him while he is turning the ‘souvlakia’ on the BBQ – his reply (in Greek) “Ahhh! Stop complaining, it’s nothing, just a little.” 8 internal stitches later his ‘nothing, little scratch’ was on its way too healing.
Even to this day, my male cousins and I have a close bond (even if it is unsaid) from all the antics that unfolded throughout our childhood that I’d prefer to sit around a table and play poker with them, then sit around a coffee table and gossip with the aunties.
I mean I love being a girl and dressing up, getting my hair done, make up, clothes, shoes, bags the list can go on for days. But nothing compares to the good old days of the rough and tumble with the boys, where at any moment (even when posing for photos) a cousin does a Suarez and bites another cousin so hard on the shoulder that their high pitched squeal sent the aunties running for an ice pack and the uncles questioning their nephews masculinity.
These are some of my memorable childhood memories, where I grew up free from gender bias not because mum wanted me to (she put me into dancing and netball – because “soccer isn’t for girls”), but because I was surrounded by male cousins and it was either play with the boys or listen to the aunties talk about wrinkles and facial hair removal.