I’m not a person who starts fights. Nearly every fight I’ve been in has been as a direct result of defending my (idiot) friends. I don’t get aggressive when I drink, and I almost always find a way to diffuse a tense situation before it becomes physical. I have started exactly one fight in my life, and if I could go back in time, I would 100 percent do it again.
I was down in Santa Barbara to ring in the new year in the only fashion 20-year-old me knew how: getting absolutely annihilated at a beach house party. I travelled down there with my then-girlfriend and several handles of Captain Morgan, and as soon as we pulled up to the house, I knew we were in for a great night. Eight of her high school friends lived in a mansion of a house in Isla Vista (the college town for UC Santa Barbara), and it was popping off. They had a DJ set up on the upstairs balcony, and what I originally thought was a smoke machine turned out to just be kids smoking the most amount of weed I’ve ever seen in one place.
Right away, we began taking shots with her and her friends, and I was introduced to this kid who I’ll call Aussie (because he was from Australia and I have zero recollection of his actual name). I introduced myself to Aussie, and introduced my girlfriend to him with these exact words, “and this is my girlfriend Krista.” He seemed nice enough during our brief conversation, although I couldn’t understand a word he said with his accent and we continued on our separate paths to getting shitfaced.
Fast-forward about four hours. The ball had dropped, my girlfriend and I had been caught having sex in the bathroom, and we had both consumed enough alcohol to kill a full-sized gorilla (RIP, Harambe), so it was a pretty standard party for us. Next thing I know, I’m walking out of the bathroom and I see Aussie has my girlfriend pinned up against a couch and he’s aggressively trying to get his tongue in her mouth. It was dark in the room, so I walked closer and stood, stunned, about three feet away from them for a couple seconds just to be sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. They weren’t. I grabbed Aussie by the throat, stood him up, and hit him square in the mouth. He went down, girls started screaming, and I was promptly jumped by five of his cokehead buddies. Did I win the fight against them? Fuck no. Did I feel great about my choice? Fuck yes.
Some people may disagree and say I should have just told him to leave, or tried to talk to him about what had happened and why it wasn’t cool. I call bullshit. I had all the information I needed. This guy forcefully kissed a girl (strike one), who he knew had a boyfriend (strike two), at a party where her boyfriend was in attendance (strike three). He made his bed, and I made him fucking lie in it. There was no explanation or conversation we could have had that would change the facts or make him any less deserving of getting popped in the mouth.
There comes a time in people’s lives where the words run out and all you can do is throw a punch. I’m not advocating violence for no reason. 90 percent of fights I’ve witnessed or heard about could have, and probably should have, been avoided. People fight because someone bumped into them, or looked at them wrong, or to take out anger over something else. It happens, and it’s usually stupid. But sometimes you get to a point where the only course of action is to hit somebody. Maybe it’s in defense of a girl. Maybe it’s because you see someone getting bullied. May be it’s because someone pushed your buttons one too many times. There are certain occasions when people need to be taught a lesson, and what better way to learn you were in the wrong by getting hit in the face? Everyone knows that entitled brat who is always pushing people on edge and disregarding social convention or people’s feelings. I’m willing to bet that guy you’re picturing right now has never been in a fight. Knowing that your actions could result in a direct consequence of physical pain really puts things into perspective for people. It makes them think a little harder about what they’re doing and whom they’re doing it to.
When you find yourself in a situation like I did, where you know there are no more words to be had and someone has to pay for their actions, I say throw the punch. Yes, I had some bruises and cuts that weren’t enjoyable the next day after Aussie’s crew came at me, but I felt good about my choice. My girlfriend was happy I stood up for her even in the face of uneven odds, and when that kid wants to do something disrespectful again, I bet he runs his tongue over his (hopefully loose) teeth and thinks for an extra second. More importantly than that, however, I was proud that I had done what I thought was right, even though it wasn’t the most comfortable option. At the end of the day, you have to be the person you can face in the mirror, and I sure as hell would rather see my face with a couple black eyes on it than not be able to look at myself at all. .
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