What can I say? I've enjoyed knocking balls around since I was a kid.
To play billiards well was a sign of an ill-spent youth. [Herbert Spencer]
It's not like I hung around in pool halls, though. We had an el cheapo table in our basement. Not the best place to learn, but it was more than enough to teach me the basics and get me hooked on the game. And when my parents dragged me to the bars with them, the owners let me play on the tables there, too. (Which often weren't much better than our home table.)
[Hmm, this shot looked a helluva lot better... and funnier... in my head than it does in reality. I was thinking along the lines of that iconic shot from The Graduate, where Dustin Hoffman is framed by Mrs. Robinson's legs... Oh well.] By the time I went away to college, I was a pretty good shot. Not great, but pretty darned good. When a couple of cocky jocks from our high school invited my roommate and me to the student union to show us how to shoot pool... what can I say? I couldn't resist.
This is a recent shot, but it shows exactly how I felt after beating those guys. I felt H-O-T! Like my pool cue was on FIRE.
Needless to say, those guys never asked us out again. I guess they'd never lost to girls before.
Smarticus says I once told him I'd never marry someone who couldn't beat me at pool, so he's always worked extra hard to whip my butt on the table. To tell the truth, I don't remember saying that, but in a way, I guess it makes sense. We all want to be challenged, right? Like, it isn't much fun playing Scrabble with someone who only makes three-letter words or bowling with someone who only rolls gutter balls. It's the same with pool. And although Smarticus and I are pretty evenly matched, my guy can still beat me. (On a regular basis!)
So the two of us still play regularly... and I was still feeling pretty good about myself. Like I still shot pretty darned good... for a girl.
Then I saw THIS:
And I mean...
WOOP! WOOP! WOOP! REALITY CHECK!!!
I am NOT all that.
Not even CLOSE.
But ya know what? That is perfectly okay, because I know exactly what I am. I still enjoy playing, and I love busting them balls. Winning gives me great pleasure, but as long as I shoot well, I'm okay with losing. In fact.... I am the
And I'm perfectly... okay... with that.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.