Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Abandoning all hope of becoming a girl

In my daughter's class there exist two polar opposites of femme 7-year olds.

We'll call them FloJo and KateMoss.

FloJo is tall (tallest in her grade), athletic (fastest runner as well), and a pediatrician's picture of a perfectly fit, trim, and healthy 7-year old.

KateMoss is slight (smallest in her grade), asthmatic, uber-thin, wears glasses, and seems to occasionally have a hard time fitting her own skin.

For the recent Super Kid's Day, FloJo and KateMoss were of course, paired up as competing partners.

How it works is, each kid carries a card listing all of the available events, along with two columns of numbers - 1's and 2's. The kids go out in pairs and complete as many of the events as they can in the alloted time. Winners score a 1, losers score a 2. The pair partner with more 1's than 2's at the end of the day, gets a blue ribbon.

Fair as fair can be, assuming each kid is paired up with a partner of equal skills, stamina, and physical prowess.

In the case of FloJo and KateMoss, a blowout was expected, with the latter being lucky to even finish all of the events.

But as I manned my station atop the rise of the starting line to the 200-yard run, spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport...the thrill of victory... (you get the picture), I was stymied by what I witnessed occurring between FloJo and KateMoss.

FloJo was letting KateMoss win at everything...by just a fraction of the smallest hair of a margin of a victory. In the running events, FloJo would start with a slight stumble, speed up when she fell too far behind, and finish in a flurry to make for a convincing near loss, all the while monitoring her slower partners progress.

Time and again I watched FloJo lose on purpose. Always followed by a congratulatory hug for her happily celebratory partner. If KateMoss was aware of the scam from which she was benefiting (remember, these are only 7-year olds), it wasn't detectable from where I stood.

Later that day, C told me that FloJo had lost all but 1 event to KateMoss. All but 1!

That night, I described to my wife what I perceived to be a flourishing display of friendship and compassionate sportsmanship exhibited by the most impressive FloJo.

At least, that's what my take of it was. Wifey took it from a different perspective -- that of a woman/use-ta-be girl. With a smug smile, she stated, "you don't know girls."

Which I took to mean that perhaps there were alternate ulterior motives behind the thrill of lacking competition I had witnessed. Wifey thought it was sad to think that perhaps FloJo didn't have the self-esteem to allow herself to win for fear her "friend" won't want to remain as such if she were to beat her at something.

I understood her interpretation, but it doesn't mean I truly "understood" it.

Which can be said of most matters concerning male/female relationships, I imagine.

Venus and Mars, man. Venus and freakin' Mars.


Patience said...

No matter the motive, Flo-Jo valued friendship and a friend's feelings KM more than winning over KM. I love Flo-Jo for doing that! I love KM for simply getting out and doing something!

Anonymous said...

This was in our local paper on Saturday...

A bicycle devotee was riding on a highway along a California beach, when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said: "Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."

The biker thought a moment and said: "Lord, please build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride my bike all the way there and back."

The Lord said: "Your request is materialistic. Just think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required would reach the bottom of the ocean. The materials required would nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for such a worldly thing. What's your second wish?"

The biker thought for a moment and finally said: "Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, what she means when she cries and says nothing is wrong. Tell me how I can understand a woman and make her truly happy."

The Lord thought a moment and said: "You want two lanes or four on that bridge to Hawaii?"