The (Millennial) Nutcracker

jessica jones still
Jessica Jones

I quit dance class at the ripe age of three after my first recital.

I was dressed as a bumble bee, and my mom had put mascara on me, which at three is the hardest thing to sit still for, and it was hot and stuffy backstage, which meant it was a breeding ground for germs, and one of the girls must have had the chickenpox, because sure enough, after that recital, which my parents recorded and may still have a VHS of, I got the chicken pox.

It. Was. Bad. I had spots ALL OVER MY BODY. You may be saying, “Well, duh, that’s what the chicken pox are”, but I literally would have to sit with a single serving cup of Italian ice in my crotch, because THEY WERE THERE TOO.

I’m not sure if that’s a real memory, or if I just heard that story so many times that I think I remember it. What I do remember, and the real reason I vehemently demanded to never return to ballet or tap class again, was the outfit they wanted me to wear for the next recital.

It reminded me of that girl on the cover of all the magazines at the grocery store, who I later learned was named JonBenét Ramsey, and even though I was too young to understand what had happened to her, I was definitely old enough to know which celebrities I wanted to look like and which ones I didn’t, which is why I made my parents sign me up for karate class instead, so I could emulate my idol, Kimberly, the Pink Power ranger.

Even though dance wasn’t my calling, my favorite grade school field trip was going to see The Nutcracker every year, and it’s still hands down my favorite Christmas music of all time. I don’t have the storage space to keep a Christmas tree or other decorations in my apartment, so I’ve overcompensated for my lack of Christmas spirit by listening to The Nutcracker soundtrack on repeat ALL WEEK LONG.

And I think it got to me, because I had the ~*~craziest~*~ dream the other night. I was passed out on my couch watching The Santa Clause, when all of sudden the hot pink cactus I bought (because I thought it was a good metaphor for my personality) started growing, and growing, and growing.

All of a sudden white male Republicans started crawling out of the cactus and tried to take away my birth control, and I was like “No, please don’t, that regulates my hormones, and you’ve clearly never dealt with PMS or cramps, otherwise you’d leave my body aloneeee.” Luckily a stranger with an eye-patch came to my rescue, and scared them all away.

She looked strangely familiar, and then I realized it was the whistling nurse from Kill Bill. At that point I had so many questions like, “Is this a weird new version of The Nutcracker because I was not a huge fan of the one I saw last year where they made everything Chicago themed. I mean I love Chicago, but like, don’t change a good story, you know? Also I quit ballet when I was three and the only dance I really know is the Macarena, but I am a good slow dancer, sooo…”

She was not entertained by my rambling and told me to shut up, then proceeded to explain that I wasn’t “in” The Nutcracker, that I was the Nutcracker, and pointed to my feet. I looked down and realized that I was wearing Charlize Theron’s Stuart Weitzman boots from Atomic Blonde

She explained to me that one night, every year, the Nutcracker has to travel the globe, much like Santa Claus, but instead of delivering gifts to children, she was responsible for delivering feminism to misogynists and harassers, using her magic boots to kick them square in the genitals.

“You want me to literally crack their nuts?” I asked, “That is a terrible pun. Am I dreaming? Did I mix wine and Benadryl again?”

“Of course you did,” she told me, “But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a job to do.”

I agreed, on the one condition that I didn’t have to wear a stupid costume along with the magic boots. I would just wear my normal clothes, like the only superhero I can actually tolerate, Jessica Jones

Like Jessica, I started out with a personal vendetta, and paid a visit to the guy who bullied me and my best friend in high school, then tried coming onto me when I was in college. Somehow, even though I haven’t worked out in a year, all my four-year-old karate training came right back, and my leg snapped out in a powerful roundhouse kick. When he was bent over crying, I handed him a single serving Italian ice cup for the pain, and continued on my mission.

I stopped at Harvey Weinstein’s, Matt Lauer’s, Louis C.K.’s, and many other houses. Al Franken. Roy Moore. Kevin Spacey. Mario Batali. Charlie Rose. Morgan Spurlock. Both Afflecks. Bill Cosby. They were all dressed in grey for some reason, and went flying through the air, arms flailing, like Putty Patrolers. Like Santa, I had a list, and it was very, very long. I checked it twice. I checked it three times. My legs flew, testicles ruptured, Italian ice was left behind as a warning against future offenses.

Saving the best for last, I made my way to the White House. Trump’s toupee had become disheveled, twisting into two Rita Repulsa-like horns on each side of his head. He cried, he begged, but I showed no mercy. When my job was done, I ate the last cup of Italian ice in front of him out of spite. It was delicious.

Then I clicked my heels together, repeating the phrase The Future Is Female until I finally awoke from this incredibly empowering dream, next to an empty wine glass and a box of Benadryl, feeling refreshed and revitalized, but suddenly overcome with the desire to treat myself to a new pair of boots… TC mark

Nicole Stawiarski

I am always late. To everything.

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Image Credit: Jessica Jones