I am competitive. This isn't a new insight ... but I think I'd fooled myself into thinking that motherhood had mellowed me somewhat, making me immune to the seductive allure of being the best. Because how can I be the best when I'm wearing a cotton-poly t-shirt crusted in hummus? And motherhood isn't a competition blah blah blah mommy wars blah blah breastfeeding blah blah gifted child blah blah organic.
But do you know what is a competition? WARD VOLLEYBALL. And I'm not that great at it. I played a little in middle school, and my family always had a net up in the backyard in summer, but I'm untrained in the ninja arts of spiking, setting, and blocking. I'm a good bumper and I serve really well, but tactically I'm about as useful as a jar of peanut butter on the court. Despite my lack of legitimate skills, I still want to win. I'd like to think I'm scrappy and athletic. I don't want the weak sauce girls on my team. I grimace when someone swats at the ball with both hands like a deranged river otter. I mourn the neglectful parents who failed to provide an opportunity for their now-grown daughters to develop gross motor skills.
|This may come as a surprise to you, but I cannot, in fact, play volleyball.|
I started to wonder about the purpose of Relief Society volleyball. If it's about sisterhood and fellowshipping, then the game just got a lot less fun. But if it's about providing an outlet for all our latent stay at home mother rage, then sign me up.
(Sidenote: I hate when kids try to join adult volleyball games at parties/picnics/the like. It ruins the game. They can't serve, they can't bump, and they cry when the Amazon on the other team spikes the ball into their jello-covered face. I'm all for letting the kids squirrel around with the ball and net while everybody else is eating their burgers and potato salad, but come game time, they better be gone. Parents, take note, and get your spawn off the court.)
The stake tournament is in a week in a half. Word is that our rival, the Sugar Land ward, practices year-round and stacks one of their teams.
I was waiting to rotate in last night when the girl in charge of setting up our ward's team beckoned me over. Let's call her June, for confidentiality's sake.
"I've got a question ..." She takes a seat on an empty chair dolly.
"Yeah?" I say.
She looks around clandestinely. "Sit down. Let's powwow."
"Ok." I'm excited to be invited to the inner circle ...
"So there's this thing with the Sugar Land ward ... they stack their teams."
"They put all their best players on one team?" I wonder. We have enough girls signed up to make two teams ... I'm watching the cogs turning in June's mind.
"Yeah! So I'm wondering if we should do the same ... but I don't know how we could do it ...."
I think of the potential for hurt feelings. "That could be tricky ..." I'm sure some of the girls on our team think they're better than they are and wouldn't like getting stuck on the crap team. What if I'm one of them?!?!
|I cannot do this.|
Fast forward an hour later into practice. We're scrimmaging the girls from the singles ward and we're floundering. My petty consolation feeling is that at least we have husbands --ha! Then I notice they're all svelte and childless and full of giggly energy because their Thursday night consists of flirting at institute while mine involved making crappy soup and wrangling my toddler into bed. So whatever, we're even. But our teams aren't ...
I catch June's eye. "Yeah, I definitely think we should have an A team and a B team."
June nods. "That's what I was thinking."
Then I wonder again if I'd be "A" or "B" material. Probably A- ... at least I hope so. Because being on the B team would most assuredly mean quick and embarrassing defeat at the stake tourney. And if that happened to me I'd be ticked because the stake center is over a 30-min drive away, and I don't want to road trip to Loserville.
Should we stack one of our teams to have a chance against Sugar Land? Or should we just "play for fun"? Katie, what do you think?