Real heroes don’t wear their underpants on the outside

When I was a little girl I wanted to take ice skating lessons. My mom would bring us to skate at the ice rink in Dix Hills and I’d watch the older girls skate backwards, do jumps, and spins. But this wasn’t the primary reason I wanted to learn to skate. It wasn’t for something noble either – like staying healthy, getting in shape, or learning to be more graceful.

Nah, it was one thing and one thing only that made me think it would be super cool to go flying across the ice, hair whipping in the wind…SPARKLES! Have you seen a figure skater’s outfit? Not only is the entire thing shiny, but it sparkles like crazy too.

I never got my lessons. It’s okay, I woulda broken my head anyway.  My mom knew ice + a-jumping-Holly wasn’t such a great combination.  But, it didn’t keep me from buying some figure skater clothes with my own money. I saved up and the only thing I could afford were the tights. So I got those. Let me tell you – they were SUPER SHINY and a PITA to put on, but I loved them. They were as close as I was gonna get to super sparklie shiny Holly. So I’d put on the tights under shorts or a skort and go to the ice rink. My mom would tell me that I would freeze. At first I thought she was right. I was gonna be freezeing, but those tights were friggin hot. Over time, I learned that they were like wearing snow pants – they were insulated super tights.

Flash-forward to yesterday. My 7-year-old son has the weirdest expression on his face and asks me why is Superman wearing underpants over his tights. Well, that’s a really good question.

I told him it’s because people used to wear their underpants on the outside in the olden days. And his super suit is shiny like skater clothes, b/c he goes to his Ice Palace a lot and its really cold there. The super shiny fabric keeps the cold away.

My husband was laughing like crazy at my girl-i-fication of an icon, but when you think about it, Superman circa 1980’s (Christopher Reeves) costume was the ultimate skater garb!

Christopher Reeves was an awesome Superman.  I think he was just awesome in general.  He continued to inspire people until the end of his life, and still does today.  That’s the kinda hero that I LOVE to see.  Someone who’s real, has limitations and doesn’t let that stop them.

As a writer, I try to make characters like that in my novels.  In Demon Kissed, the heronie Ivy Taylor is seventeen-years-old, and highly flawed.  I’ve heard some adults say that regular teenagers aren’t like her – their lives aren’t that hard.  Maybe some kids have it easy, but I think being a teenager is one of the screwiest times in a person’s entire life.  Not only are you not a child, but you aren’t an adult yet either.  People expect you to listen like a child – without question, but act like an adult (what adult doesn’t ask questions?).  The teens that have read Demon Kissed related to Ivy greatly and said she was just like a regular teenager.  That was exactly what I was going for, because it’s what kids need.

A hero isn’t someone who’s perfect.  A real hero is someone who is screwed-up and keeps going anyway.  It’s a person who knows what they have to do is beyond difficult – maybe even impossible – and they find the courage to do it anyway.  A real hero is the person who wears their underpants on the inside, skips the shiny tights, and expects their butt to crash into the ice once in a while…and when it does, they get up and keep going.

Demon Kissed by H.M. Ward


About HM Ward

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today bestselling author.
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One Response to Real heroes don’t wear their underpants on the outside

  1. Amen! I think you hit the nail on the head with that one! 🙂

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