You Know You're a Derby Girl If...

by Clara Nipper

First published in USARS Magazine, 2011



1.       You save money for new tats and piercings and let the rent slide and keep driving that hand-crank jalopy and eating Ramen.

2.       You display the same symptoms of a booty call hookup when you look at new skates.

3.       You will drop trou anytime, anywhere to show off bruises.

4.       You work derby recruitment into every conversation, even those about mortgage refis or peace in the Mideast.

5.       When you travel, you make sure to visit the local rink.

6.       Your blood is 10% Dew.

7.       You start thinking of derby names for your unborn daughter.

8.       You start preferring skate pad stench to actual perfume.

9.       You glow with confidence and happiness that is like a riddle to outsiders.

10.   You can be hooked into doing things you would never do unless it helps the team: bake sales, car washes, trivia nights, bowling tourneys, parades, interviews, calendars, cold sales calls.

11.   When travelling to play another team, your first question is: what is the floor like?

12.   You fall in love with your derby sisters because they’re so awesome but without derby, you probably wouldn’t even like each other.

13.   You couldn’t care less about the economy, but are provoked into behaving like a ring-tailed bitch on a screaming frenzy about not wearing THAT as a uniform.

14.   You don’t mind handling and rubbing against other sweaty chicks.

15.   You feel cheated if you are not hobbling sore after practice.

16.   You give up germaphobia and without washing your hands or even removing your wrist guards, eat dripping and questionable bean burritos while on break during a badass boot camp.

17.   You think nothing of skating with pneumonia.

18.   Your accessories are mostly skullys, derby bags, fish nets and jam belts.

19.   Advil and Tiger Balm are on the grocery list every week.

20.   Almost all your cell phone contacts are derby-related.

21.   You think pantyhose don’t even start to get interesting until there are half a dozen runs in them.

22.   If you had to choose between your spouse and derby, you would have to think it over.

23.   You keep harassing your accountant to find a way to make derby expenses tax-deductible.

24.   You lose all modesty and will change your clothes at the rink in front of anyone.

25.   When the thing that terrifies you is the thing you want most deeply.

26.   You feel sorry for everyone who doesn’t play derby.

27.   You sometimes can’t believe your luck in getting to be a derby girl.