So a couple of weeks back, I had quite the encounter on the basketball court. I was heading back to the camp I ran this summer to finish cleaning up, when I ran into a little kid. Let’s just call him, Billy Bob.
After I removed the few remaining boxes from our main room, I saw Billy Bob playing ping pong with a friend. Billy Bob waved at me again and then said to his friend, “Timmy Tom”, “Hey, let’s play some ball.” I, being dressed in workout clothes–for that morning workout I never got to–and feeling pretty energetic said, “Hey, mind if I play?”
I’ll just pause for a moment here.
Thirty pounds ago, I would never have had the energy to have done this. But, now that I’m a bit lighter (and apparently crazier), I’m more willing to have fun like this. Plus, not to brag, but I was benched on my high school’s varsity basketball team years back. So, yeah.
Billy Bob was cool about it, because we hung out a lot over the summer. Yet, when I reached the gym door, he stopped me and said, “I’m not losing to a girl.”
I immediately laughed it off. One, because, well, it was funny. Two, because Billy Bob is the sweetest kid ever, but he’s always trash talking, so I never really took what he said seriously.
Smiling, I said, “Haha, funny.”
But he didn’t budge. “No, I’m serious. I ain’t losing to a girl.”
Now, I was a little less amused. Not annoyed yet, just unamused.
“You know it’s okay to lose a girl, right?”
“No, it’s not!”
I set my hand on my hips. “Why not?”
“Because….” He paused then, as if some deep, existential question was swirling in his mind, “Because, I ain’t losing to a girl.”
Being the child educator / quasi-feminist that I am, I tried to reason with Billy Bob for the next few minutes. I mentioned that it was 2013, not 1913. I mentioned that some girls were actually pretty athletic and that I actually had played some (really bad) basketball in the past. I also mentioned that I happened to be 27 years old, while he was 10. None of these arguments seemed to get through to him.
All he kept saying was, “I ain’t losing to no girl.”
So, yeah, I wouldn’t say I’m exactly PROUD of what I did next, but:
In my defense, let me go on record by saying that in every other situation, I would have let a little kid and his twelve year old friend beat me at a game of 21. Honestly, I work with children for a living, and have thrown many a game of tic-tac-toe, arm wrestling, etc. BUT, at this point it was a matter of pride for my entire sex. Plus, I was hoping I might be able to teach the kid a life lesson: On the off chance that this kid would never otherwise get beaten by a girl, I wanted him to experience it first hand.
It was actually kind of hilarious. 1) I hate to admit this, but it was a little fun to completely dominate someone on the basketball court like that, because as an adult, you know, it’s usually mean to do that to children. I must have blocked about twenty of his shots, for instance.
2) I was playing out of my mind. Let me remind you, I was never great at basketball, so I’m pretty sure I played the best mediocre game of ball in my life.
To top it all off, I won the game on a three pointer!
I probably could count on my hand the number of three pointers I’ve made in my life; and I’m fairly certain the last one was before the turn of the century.
The moral(s) of the story?
A) I’m not above handing a pre-teen a smack down in the name of feminism.
B) Thank god I was actually in relative shape, because I would have felt pretty horrible if I let those boys–children or not–beat me after all that “Girl’s suck” nonsense.
C) I have questionable ethics 😉
Well, I’m off to destroy more children’s dreams.