My bff has been sick and I just wrote on her facebook wall that I hope she feels better soon. That she’s one tough cookie. I promptly erased that part and sat, perplexed as how that phrase came to mind. It scared me, because my mom used to use those very words all the time.
“Oh, Vickie, quit crying. Look at your sister. She wrecked her bike yesterday and she never cried. She’s one tough cookie.”
And when I tried to be “one tough cookie,” I got yelled at for that. I was screwed no matter what.
“Oh, Vickie, you think you’re one tough cookie, don’t you? Well, go get the belt and we will see how tough you really are.” (After pushing my sister when I thought no one was looking.)
I decided very early on that I wanted to be a tough cookie. And it got me thinking this morning, who would I give an “One Tough Cookie” award to. A person who is a hard as nails, hard ass, old boot, tough customer, hard-boiled, gutsy, hard-nosed..nose to the grind. fire-eating, shit shielder. Here’s just a quick look. I sort of think that a tough cookie should be saved for a woman. I don’t know why, but saying a guy is a tough cookie makes him sound like a chewy chocolate chip. So, I’m only going to put one guy on the list. The rest will be women.
1. That guy who cut his own arm off- Aron Ralston. I mean, seriously, this guy is phenomenal. He was the hiker who got his arm stuck between a rock and was stuck there for five days before he sawed his own arm off. Just read the Wiki on him and you will understand. I would have just decided to call it another day. There is a movie out about his ordeal, 127 Hours, starring actor James Franco. I guess some audience members actually fainted when the amputation part was shown. I can’t even imagine. He is one tough cookie.
2. Elizabeth Taylor-Elizabeth just celebrated her 79th birthday. She is still kicking it. For being under a microscope for many years, she is doing just fine. I know she didn’t win a Nobel Prize like Marie Curie and she didn’t run for President, but she is Elizabeth Taylor for God’s sake. She was married about 30 times. (I exaggerate, but only slightly) Anyone who would marry more than two times is either crazy or one tough cookie. She also was in command of the largest diamond on the planet. I wonder if she likes Beyonce’s stupid (yes, stupid as they come) song. “If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.” I bet Elizabeth Taylor never had to sing for a damn ring. She didn’t need a man. She just wanted one. Big difference. I just love her. She never took anyone’s shit. She was in one of my favorite movies, “A Place in the Sun”, with Montgomery Clift and Shelley Winters. I just recently found the book, An American Tragedy, that I will get to when I get around to it. Anywho, I’m sure there is a fan club for Elizabeth Taylor. Consider me a member.
3. Elizabeth Edwards- Another Elizabeth. This Elizabeth sadly lost very public battle with breast cancer. She and John had a fantastic marriage. Or so she thought. She stood by him during his rise in US politics. She weathered the death of her son, Wade, and then gave birth to two children. This would have worn me out at this age. This could have been written as a great love story. But, it didn’t end that way. John decided to have an affair and father another child right in the middle of the fight of her life. I mean, stupid man, she had breast cancer. What the hell were you thinking? He decided to run for President despite Elizabeth getting a terminal sentence. She could have stayed home and spent this time with her children. Oh, how we wish she had. He was not worthy of her love and devotion. I actually cried when I read of her passing. She was indeed, one tough cookie.
4. Amelia Earhart- Amelia was flying freaking planes when most women were in the kitchen, making dinner for their men. We just read a story about her in my fourth grade classroom. And, I may add, most women did not drive cars at that time. This was a bold, adventurous woman. Women just didn’t do things like that. They wore dresses and baked. Amelia flew across the Atlantic and was then lost over the Pacific. Some historians believe that she was marooned on a deserted island after her plane ran out of fuel. If that happened, she is even more of a tough cookie. She flew a plane over the Pacific, crashed, made it to shore and then lived on a deserted island. That’s a concrete cookie.
5. Rhoda Penmark-Ok, she is a fictional character from The Bad Seed. And a murderer. But, you have to admire her spunk. I watched this movie when I was little and it really made me realize that I could be a tough cookie without killing someone over a penmanship medal. She was like Eddie Haskell, but a murderer. She was so sweet to people, but could turn on a dime to someone else. I liked that. So, I could push my sister down and hit my brother when no one was looking and then be a sweet little girl to my parents. This is not such a bad idea. They would go running and tell them that I hit them for no reason, and I would say, “Mommy, Daddy, why would I do that? I love them. And I love you too…Mommy…..Daddy…..” But, this only works for so long. And then you get the belt. But, this again, was my mom’s fault. She should have never let me watch that movie over and over and over again. I even named some pets after characters in that movie. Rhoda Penmark was one tough cookie.
6. Harriet Tubman-If you ever have the time, you should read up about Harriet Tubman. I’m going to make it a point to read more about her. She should have a holiday named after her. Or maybe share the day with Martin Luther King. Maybe King/Tubman Day. NOOO. She deserves her own day. She was one tough cookie. Harriet was a slave who was repeatedly beaten, so badly at one time that she fractured her skull. She tried to escape and was finally able to. Then she helped hundreds of slaves escape via the Underground Railroad. She was a wanted woman. A reward of $40,000 was issued for her arrest. That was a lot of money back then. She was never caught. Because she was one tough cookie. She also helped John Brown by recruiting men to help with the raid on Harper’s Ferry. She was a union spy.And a cook and a spy during the Civil War. She took slaves as far as Canada just to make sure they would be freed. She was an awesome human being.
7. Helen Keller- Ok, really. If I would be blind AND deaf, I think I would be just sitting around, making noises that I couldn’t hear. I would really feel sorry for myself. Can you imagine? Helen Keller was one tough cookie. Annie Sullivan helped a lot, of course, but Helen just kept going. She even graduated from college. That’s crazy. She even had both of her eyes replaced with glass replicas. Again, I would be whining. Despite adversity, she pushed on. Some women have to drive back home if they break a nail. “Damnit. I can’t go. I broke a nail.” Well, try being deaf and blind. Helen never went home.
8. Sacagawea- Ok, this poor girl’s life is unbelievable. It’s a good thing a coin was minted just for her. She deserved it. And maybe a stamp or holiday too. Sacagawea was the ten year old daughter of a Shoshone chief when she was kidnapped by another Indian tribe. She was then sold to a French Canadian trapper and he married her when she was fourteen. Then, her husband is hired by Lewis and Clark to help with interpreting as they traveled and explored throughout the northwest. Sacagawea came too. After she gave birth to her son. She strapped the baby on her back and away they went. Seriously? That’s one tough cookie. I wonder if she ever loved her husband? He should have been arrested for statutory rape. Poor Sacagawea. And she had to travel with a bunch of men. And a baby on her back. Wow.
I am sure I am missing many people who should be on this list. But, these are just a few that come to mind. After doing this, I realized that I am not a tough cookie. I whine too much about dragging my garbage can out to the curb every Wednesday night. I only have 14 students in my fourth grade class, but you’d think by the way I act that chaos ensues the minute I walk into the door each morning. I complain because I have to exercise, but yet I let myself gain weight because I was too lazy to go for walks. Oh, I’m not beating myself up. I enjoy making fun of myself. I am toughening up though. I think I did well when I divorced after 25 years of marriage, moved out of my house that I loved into a very small apartment, and began teaching full time after being a stay at home mom all. I did all that during the same time period. And I did it without ever crying once.
Because I am a happy cookie….