Winning

I’ve never won anything, well, I did, once. My office was on E 41st Street in Manhattan, a few feet away from the NYC Library’s lions.

Several times a week I walked next door and got a great sandwich to go back and eat at the office. The line was long one day. I was about tenth in line when the owner said “Name That Tune.” It was what we would call the Can Can Dance.

Without even knowing or thinking about it I blurted out “Orpheus in the Underworld, by Offenbach.” The next day I came in, after the owner had proved me right, and got a free sandwich. It pays to have a classical education, sometimes. It only got me about $4.50. But I won.

Alas, winning isn’t everything and most of my life has come down to how I played the game. For years I was smarter than anyone in my class but I was a girl and supposed to hide it. I was shy so sat in the back of the class and didn’t raise my hand to answer questions. That didn’t work for me. The teacher always placed me up front and called upon me frequently. I had the answer and the teacher knew it.

In ninth grade we had our ping pong table out on the patio and a boy older than me took me on with great bravado. I swept the floor with him and when the bloodbath was concluded he said “You’re a girl. You were supposed to let me win.” What? That wasn’t in my playbook.

I did my 11th grade thesis on Title IX, named “Horses Sweat, Men Perspire, Women Glow” all about continued inequality in high school sports. I’ve been a quiet fighter most of my life. Coming into my own in my 30’s I became more conscious of what meant the most to me in both work and volunteering. It took another ten years to marry but it is a good match and we’ll celebrate twelve years of marriage this month. No kids, just a dog who’ll turn eleven years a week later. I said we needed to try out a dog before kids. He’s BAD. Spoils her rotten. I’m the disciplinarian and food wench. He’s the fun guy. Now all we need is to erase the 2,000 miles between us.

Yes, I’ve won more than I should have over the years and am thankful for family and friends and also my 80,000 readers over the years. Thank you! Dee

 

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