Thursday, August 8, 2013

How This Non-Athletic Non-Sports Oriented Gal Won (And How The Athlete Lost)

Eddie's family hosted their reunion in a newly-built park post Sandy flood in Jersey.  The park has a small children's playground.  Because we are children, we played in the playground.  I asked him to put me up on the monkey bars.  He did.  I hung there, unable to move, so he grabbed me so I could get back down.  The playground can be a dangerous place, you know:

 I opted to go on the swings instead.

And then came the game play.

Despite my inability to do much on the monkey bars, I took a crack at Baggo, a bean bag toss game. Eddie and his cousin versus me and his cousin's friend. Guys versus girls. It was a very heated match, especially because I could not for the life of me keep track of the points. His other cousin, the owner and apparent master of the game, explained all the rules and then kept track of the points. When he asked the rest of the family who had winners because the game would take only another five minutes, I thought he was nuts because the score was rising at the rate of maybe a point per every fifteen minutes. After five minutes, he did admit that the game was taking much longer than it usually does. So while it was a very heated match, that was mostly because we were over-exerting ourselves and not earning any points while doing so.

The object is to throw a bean bag through a hole. Get it in the hole to get more points. Get it on the rampy thing that the hole is cut out of to get less points. Your points cancel out the other team's points. All I know is that I was throwing lefty when I usually play sports righty, but that's what naturally happened, and my aim was off. My aim is always off, which is how I knew I was using the correct hand. I tried throwing righty once and it was really off, so lefty it was. My partner was carrying our team. We were in the lead, but then Eddie found his sweet spot and they caught up. The game came to three away after about twenty minutes of several rounds in which no one scored any points. Then, somehow, I tossed my bean bag into the hole. Like right into it. Swoosh. I jumped up and down with my hands over my head. Eddie stood stunned in disbelief as in, You didn't get any points the whole game and now you hit it in the hole. Yes, yes I did. Also, I did get maybe two other points during the game.

I've never known what it's like to play two games in a row because I always lose. It's a rule. I'm okay with that. I get to go sit down when the game is over. This time? Well, we had winners. We won. We were the winning team. Unprecedented!

Eddie, a bit in shock and somewhat dismayed, roamed around the game area, figuring out what to do with himself. This is pretty much the first time he's lost any sporting-related game in the history of sports. Because he's an athlete and he doesn't lose.

My team went on to play Eddie's other cousin and his wife. They own the game. We gave a respectable effort. The game did not last as long as the grueling first game had. Perhaps we were tuckered out from it. Or, really, we just weren't as good, and we lost.

However, the main takeaway we learn from this tale is:

I WON I WON I WON I WON and Eddie lost.

Seeing that I was now top athlete extraordinaire, we moved onto Bocce. Another game that I don't quite know all the rules for. I did remember that when the big ball touches the little ball, it's a bocce because it's as if the ball is kissing the other ball and that's what bocce means. I'm so bilingual.

So Eddie and I were on the same team up against his cousin's two girls, who are like 17 and 14. Probably not their exact ages but around there, much younger than us. They are also all about a foot taller than I am, but that's not surprising now is it. I was not so bad at this game. I was playing right-handed because I'm weird. Eddie took some time to warm up and had his ball hitting mid-court, nowhere near the pallino. Then we got into the groove of getting closer but the girls? Well, they clearly are ringers and must play every day early in the morning with the old Italian men in the neighborhood. The final score was something like 19 to 2. I'm not really sure how high their score was, but I am sure that we got two points. 2. Dos. Due. Deux. In any language, that translates to sucky score.

Some highlights:

After our crushing score, Eddie, having to now cope with two defeats (you see, I'm used to losing, so I quickly reverted back into my automatic joy of getting to sit and watch mode), took over the scoring and the measuring.

Using the professional tree branch
The most precise measurer on the planet, my husband

I assisted in his efforts every time his measuring skills were needed by calling out, Stick! Get the stick!

The girls won every game. The last game was cut short because we were getting all together for a group photo. However, they were well on their way to winning that game with an already ten or eleven point lead. Ringers, I tell ya.

We did other non-sporty things. We ate.

We celebrated birthdays.

We saw a deer.

We didn't move the tables.

It was a great day really. I left exhausted. I mean, winning takes a lot out of a gal.

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