I’m currently halfway through the fantastic show The Queen’s Gambit, and it dredged up horrible childhood memories. Not really too horrible, but these days one can’t be too histrionic.
One of my cousins taught us chess when we were very little, and I thought I was great. In grade 3 I fought some 4th year high school chess players, and I would always win, so I thought ooooh I must really have something going on here, like a true legit talent. I would also defeat all the other contenders in my batch, so I would be fielded during intramurals against the representatives of the other batches. But Anya Taylor-Joy I was not in poise, skill, and prettiness, and I always lost during the actual competitions.
I realized that I was just trying to overcompensate for the lack of athletic abilities that would allow me to join all the other intrams games, not that I had any interest in volleyball or basketball. I once joined Scrabble, and during the final computation of scores I defeated Joshua by 1 point! I was ecstatic, imagining myself walking to the stage to get my gold medal.
But then, my classmate and friend Anne, who was doing the scorekeeping, immediately screamed “WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!” She proceeded to recompute the score. I, in fact, lost to Joshua by 1 point. Joshua stood up, pumped his fists in the air, and screamed “Yes! Yes! YESSS!” I shot Anne an “I will bitterly blog about this many decades later” look.
Joshua, in turn, had a similar experience a few years later. During a singing contest the emcee, our adviser, announced his name as the winner. He happily ran to the stage, gloating that he could play Scrabble AND sing! But as soon as he got to the stage our adviser said “I AM SO SORRY JOSHUA! CRISTINA IS ACTUALLY THE WINNER! NOT YOU! YOU DID NOT WIN! I AM SO SORRY! I’M NOT PERFECT! YOU DID NOT WIN, JOSHUA, JUST TO CLARIFY, CRISTINA IS THE WINNER! CRISTINA! NOT JOSHUA!”
Yes, we were mini-Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez’s way before she was Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez.