Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Biggest Loser

I am good at things. A lot of things. Like typing. And knowing just when to switch back to a TV program that I flipped from during a commercial break. And laundry. I’m sure there are other things I’m good at but I cannot think of them right now because I am awash in the humiliation I suffered tonight doing things I am very, very, very bad at. (I’m so humiliated I don’t even care I ended that sentence with a preposition.)

Molly, Jeff, Sean and I went out for dinner. That went well, especially since I got to taste the best salad ever. The night was still young and we were not ready to head back to our children just yet. Jeff thought it would be fun to go to a bar and shoot pool.

Those who know me well already see red flags. Number one, I don’t do bars. Not even in college. One of my best college buddies took me to a bar the week of graduation because he thought it’d be flat wrong for me to go through four years of higher education and never set foot inside a bar. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not opposed to bars for anyone but me. They’re smoky and I don’t drink so I’ve never seen the point in frequenting such establishments.

Number two, I don’t play pool. Can anyone who’s known me say they’ve ever seen me play pool? Chucking the bumper pool balls across the tabletop at my great uncle’s house in Massachusetts with my sister does not count.

But I am a good sport and I really like Molly and Jeff and I’m usually up for an adventure so off to the bar we went.

Guess what? I suck at pool. Not just a little; a whole dadgum lot. It took us over an hour to play one game. I think the couple at the table next to us played three games in the same hour. My experience was made worse by Jeff talking about geometry and how I had to visualize where the ball would go based on where I hit it… hello! I cannot visualize the right sized Tupperware for leftovers; how in the world am I supposed to visualize where the ball’s going to go, much less hit it in the right spot to make my visualization a reality?

The saving grace to the whole event: great music. They piped in 70’s and 80’s music and we even heard Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me; I love that song. (Of course I had no idea what the song was about until I was married.)

The entire hour was an exercise in controlling my tongue, which I did well for the most part. Oh, it was awful. I do not like to lose and I do not like to feel incompetent. Thankfully the fun of hanging out with our friends outweighed the humiliation of being the worst pool player known to mankind.

When Jeff mercifully won the game we headed back to their house where Jeff suggested I try darts. How hard can that be? I was sure I could do that.

Hey, guess what? I suck at darts, too. I couldn’t get the dart to stick to the board. I threw them everywhere but the middle; one throw saw the dart thingy go up over the dart board and land in the drywall. Good times.

Jeff won that game, too.

It was late by then so we got Michael, Amy and Rebecca, who had stayed at Molly’s house to baby-sit the girls, moving towards the door. At this point Molly tried to hand some cash to Amy to pay her for babysitting. We had already discussed this was a non-paying event since Sean and I went along, too. Molly started arguing that she wanted to pay but I put my foot down. “I lost at pool and I lost at darts but I will not lose on this.”

At least I can say I won something tonight.