Monday, February 25, 2013


This is how I remember it.

I once played basketball.  I can't remember exactly when I quit, but I think it was around the 7th grade. I am 5'9" tall.  And my memory tells me that I've been this tall since birth. Towering over every kid in grade school and middle school.

I have never learned to walk in heels, because heels made me taller, and being taller (in my mind) made me less of a girl. I look like a newborn colt when I try to walk in heels. Plus, those fucking things are painful. I have never been strong enough to make it through the torture of those damn pretty shoes. I've missed out on that whole part of fashion, because I felt was freakishly tall (I am aware now that I wasn't) I felt like a dude, a freak, a lug, a slouch. And I wasn't! Or maybe I was.

Now I wish I was 6' tall and rail thin.  Well... at least thin. No, no, I am happy just the way I am...

Anyhow, of course, being tall meant that I should play basketball.  But I never had an ounce of self confidence to try being good.  I was on a team.  I even went to Jim Dutcher's basketball camp two years in a row. (We smoked cigarettes in our dorms)  I hated every single second of it.  Because I sucked.  I would have probably been a great athlete, if I would have believed that I could handle the ball when it came to me.  I never went after it after the tip-off, becuase I was afraid I would fuck it up.  And when I finally did get the ball, I usually spazed out and fucked it up.

One game I remember well, I was of course, the center.  I was always the center.  Anyhow, I got the rebound and no one was around me.  I grabbed the ball, turned, and dribbled beautifully all the way down the court.  There wasn't a person close to me.  I got all of the way down the court.  People were cheering and screaming at me.  What I didn't realize was they were screaming, "NOOOO!  Stop! Turn around!"

I got to the basket, the WRONG basket, did a perfect lay-up and scored on my own team.

I do not remember if we lost or won that game.  I do remember our team doing pretty well that year. Which had nothing to do with me, because I was on the bench most of the time, which was where I was the happiest. But that was what I remember most about my athletic career.

I played softball too. Always struck out and always left field (or which ever one is where they stick the kids that suck.) But again, I had no belief in myself that I could do it right, so I really only tried to get those moments over with. And I remember hating the gnats, and the heat.

So when I give speeches to my kids about trying hard, being a part of the team, the importance of practice, do your best, and so on and so on, I usually get a response like this:

"What do YOU know about playing sports? You scored on your own TEAM!!"

My kids love that story.  And they love to make fun of me because of it. That's cool.

When my kids are good at something, (or not), I push them a little harder. Because I never felt good at anything like that when I was young. My daughter played soccer three seasons longer than she wanted to, because I wanted her to. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't want to play something she was so good at. I finally had to let her quit.

Somewhere, growing up, I've become more competitive. I've been known to get pretty serious (I once stabbed a man with a pen) during a game of Taboo. I can be a very sore loser. Which might be another reason why I didn't try hard when I was younger. If I couldn't do it perfectly, I wasn't going to try.

Anyhow, that's my basketball story. I tried to find a picture of our team, but I can't get to the box that I think it's in. It was in the early 80's, so use your imagination, and have a great day!


  1. Seriously stabbed a man with pen over Taboo!! Oh my gosh, That cracks me up. Remind me to never play a game of scrabble or anything else if we ever get to meet in person. LOL.
    Betsey, i have many of the same stories in reverse.I was a shrimp while in school. Like one of the shortest girls on team. I equally sucked at softball, volleyball and well basketball was down right joke! I finally found me way in drillteam and that helped alot with self esteem. You're right to always encourage your children.

    1. Well, the pen stabbing was not done with a sober mind, so you would be safe now with me!! It was poor Bob that got it in the hand.

      It's funny what we think about ourselves growing up.

  2. I guess this is as good a time as any to comment. Been reading your blog for about a mos and I find I have so much in common (except the whole autisim thing, I'm high functioning and don't make friends easily) with you. I tried meth (that was hard to type out, u give me courage and I only tried it twice, it was suggested to me that it would help me stay up and boy did it!) And ended up in a fight with a hammer (the girl and I both got hurt) because I was upset that I used the electric bill money to take my new neighbors dog to the vet because she didn't give it shots and parvo was too far gone and they put him\her can't remember, to sleep! And what got me going is I saw them come home with a van full of crap from wal mart. That stuff made me angry. I went right up to the door and did a bit of yelling and the girl came after me and I grabbed their hammer and tried to run but she grabbed it from me and hit me in the BACK of the head so I took it from her and wacked her with it and then I was so shocked I did that I smashed the window on the van. I got in trouble (of course) for that. Only time I ever had probation. Erg. It did teach me to stay away from meth though. Hard lesson learned. Thanks for being on the internet. Your a breath of fresh air.