Friday, December 5, 2014

Frowning Popes

I'm going to take a little break here from the pity party I've been throwing myself to regale you with a tale of an epic battle for women's rights. 

A few months ago, K joined a pool league at the local Knights of Columbus. Our neighbor is running it, and we thought it would be a fun Thursday night activity with cheap beer. The place looks like my childhood home's finished basement, carpeted poles and all. Also, there are lots of pictures of popes on the walls.

I am one of two women who show up to this sausage fest; the other is a wife of one of the other players. We give each other the quintessential vagina nod when we see each other. Hey, you have one, TOO! 

Last Thursday, K's team was short two players. They all take this league pretty seriously, so they were pissed that they were going to have to forfeit. Naturally, I raised my hand and offered to sub. 

Suddenly, the room started moving in slow motion as each man's eyes lit up with fear. They glanced at me in horror, then back to each other. Arms were crossed, feet shuffled. I slowly lowered my hand and glanced around the room. Did someone just walk in with a gun? 

One man spoke up: "oh, I don't know. This is a MEN'S league. We don't allow women to play."

Good thing I'd had a few beers and no fucks left to give. I put my hair up in a ponytail and turned to the guy to my right, a jolly guy who would be my first opponent. "Did you know we can even VOTE now, too?" He laughed nervously, then turned away. I could not believe what was transpiring. Was the alternative of forfeitting the game really a better option than letting a GIRL play? 

Finally, a progressive jokester and my new personal confidant, Jeff, spoke up with a courtesy laugh at my bold joke: "Listen to that! Can you hear the roof shaking?" We shared a giggle, and I turned to him with grateful eyes, thankful to have someone else recognize the ridiculousness of this situation. 

Grudgingly, I was allowed to play. The room stopped and stared as I got up from the bar to start my first game. Some people were curious, some were downright angry. The popes frowned in fury. 

In the end, I lost two games, but won the last--I have never been prouder. 

As an interesting afternote: the legitimacy of this game is still being debated by the elders. This is not a joke. They are in the process of determining whether or not to count my game... because I have a vagina. STUNNING. I bravely returned last night mostly out of curiousity. (Plus, the cheap beers.) It really is amazing who cares and who doesn't. And to be fair, there are a handful of the guys who totally back me and think it's funny, too. I like to think of them as the Frederick Douglasses to my Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

On the walk home, I turned to K. 
"Ow!" I said, rubbing my head. 
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"I think I hurt my head when I jumped through that glass ceiling."