Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I've never handled it very well, frustration. As a child I was not a major Thrower of Tantrums, but I had a temper that usually emerged when I couldn't do something as well as I wanted to. Like run fast. My older brother (by three years) delighted in beating MiniMe on the sidewalk near our place in Enid, Oklahoma. (I didn't handle those defeats gracefully--and I am certain they were the cause of my boyhood stuttering!)
And--as I've written before--my first experience with women's equality (okay, superiority) came in front of University Place Christian Church in Enid where young Shirley Williamson, an elementary school classmate, beat me easily in a race down the long sidewalk that formed a hypotenuse in front of the church. Knowing the Me of Then, I probably felt a surge of guilt related to religious failings that God had seen fit to punish via a humiliating footrace. With a girl!
One thing that organized sports did for me (besides fill me with unfulfilled illusions) was help me learn to control my temper. I was not the kid who threw his bat when he struck out (not that I ever did strike out!), who cried in despair when he missed a free throw (not that I ...). Etc.
In individual sports however ... well, that was different. In high school, after hitting a terrible approach shot to the green on a course (now gone) in Ravenna, Ohio--Chestnut Hills, a nine-holer--I whipped my wedge toward the green, where it dutifully went, where it landed with authority, where it dug a very impressive divot. Which I quickly "repaired" to the best of my ability. That was not good.
And in college tennis practices and matches I would hit my leg with my racket after a bad shot (something that my leg knew occurred with alarming regularity). I'd sometimes throw my racket into the fence. Or hit the bad ball (which, of course, had done only that which the physics of my swing had dictated) up onto the roof of the college library right behind the courts. That'll show that disobedient ball!
Is immature the first word that leaps to your mind? Or something even more damning?
But now ... I'm more ... mature, right?
The last few days I've been looking all over our house for a book I need for a review I'm working on, an earlier book by the writer whose new one I'm reading.
I looked where I knew it was. (It wasn't there.) I looked where it might have been. (It wasn't there.) I looked where it couldn't possibly be. (It wasn't there.)
I checked our local library, just in case I couldn't find my copy. (They don't have it.)
I looked again where I knew it was. (It wasn't there.) I looked again where it might have been. (It wasn't there.)
I arranged with the Hiram College Library to hold it for me; I'd go over and get it after supper.
I looked again where I knew it was.
And there it was, right where my stupid eyes had failed to notice it before.
Quick note to Hiram Library: Sorry.
Quite note to self: You really didn't learn a thing from Shirley Williamson, did you?