New Rules

March 11th, 2013

I’ve learned to play pool several times, and yet every time I face the table, I forget how to hold the cue, who is solid and who is stripe, or if the 8 ball is my friend or not. It’s frustrating because I desperately want to be a player. But that’s not the only game I’ve failed to learn. I don’t know how to flirt, for instance. Where was I the day that lesson was scheduled? Probably skipping school to get naked with my football player boyfriend before it was time for classes to be dismissed. Or how about Lesson 2: makeup? To this day, I don’t know how to apply foundation properly or understand why I should. Eye shadow? One of the great mysteries of the grownup world. ┬áLesson 3: playing the corporate game. I wish I had learned this early on, but my face reveals what I think of playing Bullshit Bingo. As they say in poker, I have too many obvious “tells.” And now that I’ve become involved in state politics by helping to create a nonprofit and PAC dedicated to getting more women elected to office in SC, I can barely keep a straight face when my co-founder and I are told to be “nice,” to be careful not to piss off the men in the legislature, to wait our turn. As we’ve been doing for decades. And being nice hasn’t put more women in office. So I try to bite my tongue when I’m counseled not to take things so personally. Not to weep inside about mountain-top removal in my beautiful Kentucky birthplace. Not to be frustrated when the NRA wins again. Not to rage against the machine when the senators who are supposed to represent me vote against the Violence Against Women Act. I’m learning to play the game, but I’ll never stop taking it personally. Because I have to believe that eventually the Magic 8 ball will say, “Signs point to yes” when it comes to making up our own rules.

Leave a Reply