Hi. My name is Kathy, and I'm a sore loser.
They say the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting you have one, so consider this my confessional. My problem goes back as far as I can remember, farther even if the video evidence is to be believed. On my 5th birthday (a VERY long time ago), I was put in time-out when I had a hissy fit over losing at musical chairs. I don't really remember the dinosaur ages, but Mom loved to tell the story, and there is the matter of the 8mm video evidence my brother converted to DVD a few years back.
When I was in high school and we lost to our cross-town rival, which incidentally was my dad's alma mater, he would torment me until I cried or said something ugly that got me in trouble. That's how I like to characterize it anyway. The truth is he simply smiled and said "Go Red Devils" or something equally innocuous, and I went off the deep end.
I'm the mom in the stands at youth or school sports that has to bite her tongue to keep from saying something decidedly unsportsman-like when the game is close. I actually do a pretty good job of keeping my mouth shut because I'm trying to set a good example for my kids and being a teacher means that every kid there knows me, but man oh man do I grind my teeth. My eldest son played in the parks and rec league championship baseball game a couple of years ago and lost a heart breaker in the last inning. I'm positive he got over it faster than I did.
All of which brings me to today. I blogged a couple of months ago about the competition our principal set up to promote team-building. I poked fun at my friend Linda's cutthroat nature and glossed over my own. Our team led almost all year in the points standing. Some poor timing involving a bottle of Sam Adams in the chili cook-off accounted for the only brief period we were down. We even led after Red team totally cheated in the Halloween display competition by bribing the judges (FMD students) with candy.
Can you see where this is going?
Like a Derby horse that runs out of gas in the stretch, we lost the final competition (a Jeopardy-style quiz) today. It was a stunning defeat. I spelled "chihuahua" wrong. Me...the writer...the English teacher. I goaded my team into making higher wagers on each question than we should have. I don't even want to discuss the Indiana-Illinois debacle in the "50 states" category. Suffice it to say that wrong answer was my fault too. And when it was over...I was truly and completely pissed. I did not drop the F-bomb as another member of my group did...lol...but it took me a bit to get over it. Really. And it wasn't even about the prize (a half a day off). It was about winning. My need to win is apparently pathological. Time with my family has calmed me down, given me perspective, and I'm trying to engage in a little self-improvement. So...
My name is Kathy, and I'm a sore loser, but I'm trying really hard to get over it.