"Knees bent! Heelside edge! SLOW DOWN!" I screamed as she haphazardly allowed the fall-line to control the path of her board, rather than digging in with the edges, not abusing the slope like she should've.
"This is not going to be pretty", I thought as I made my way down the the bottom of the bunny hill, expecting the worst. And the worst was pretty bad.
She was crying, frustrated that snowboarding wasn't quite as easy as I made it look. I'd taught her everything I knew, but it just wasn't clicking as quickly as she would've liked. I can't say that I blame her. Any semblence of control would be present for all of a few feet, and then BAM!, toeside edge catches and I'd end up wiping the snow and frozen snot off her face while she screamed at me. Snowboarding is not fun when you spend more time on your chest than you do on your board, nor is it all that pleasant to ride while listening to a red-faced girl's verbal tirade. She had anger issues.
"Fuck you! You're a terrible teacher." she yelled right before deciding that she'd had enough, just two hours after we'd arrived. True to submissive boyfriend form, I tucked my junk between my legs and waddled to the car for the ride home. There was absolutely no way I could continue on the hill that day, even though I really didn't want to leave
I'm sure what she said was true, though--I was a terrible teacher. I had little-to-no patience for someone that had absolutely no patience. You'd think I would've learned my lesson, but that wasn't even the last time that I'd take on the difficult task of teaching a girlfriend to snowboard. Along with being a bad teacher, I am also not very bright. After the 2nd failure, I vowed to never bring up the subject of snowboarding around a girl ever again.
Saturday afternoon I was hanging out at the bar with a girl, on what can only be considered as close to a real "date" as I've been on in a long time. We were small talking, no big deal. Where'd you grow up? What's your family like? What do you do with you free time?
Oh no, I'm going to have to tell her about the amount of poker I play.
I'm always a little wary of telling girls about my dabblings in the poker world, because I usually get one of two reactions. Either they back away in fear, thinking that I'm going to go broke and ultimately have to suckle on their teet just to stay afloat. And then I double kill the deal by telling them I don't need to go broke to do that. Or, they've seen it on the Travel Channel, and even though they say it's interesting, they have no interest in learning the game. This girl was different, and her reaction wasn't quite what I'd expected.
"You should teach me to play poker!" she said before taking a sip from her Newcastle, eyes a-twinkling in a manner that can only be translated as "I'll sleep with you if you do."
The air-conditioning kicked in, the room grew cold, and I instinctively tucked my junk between my legs and said "Ok." not really sure of the implications of my answer.
First off, I don't feel that I'm qualified to teach anyone the game of poker, especially when I'm still learning the game myself. Sure, I can teach basics, but there comes a point when lessons need to get a little more in depth than what I'm able to offer. I suppose that's when it would be time to toss a few books her way and let her out on her own in the poker world. Second, would my ego be able to handle it if she became a better player than me? YES, YES IT WOULD! If you don't realize why, please refer back to the sentence about teet suckling. I'm willing to place pride on the night stand in the unlikely event I gain a sugar-momma. Sex for pretty things is my style.
Since that day, I've thought about this quite a bit. I have a number of girl friends--not girlfriends, mind you, but friends that are girls--and I've come to the conclusion that almost each and every one of them has the potential to be a much better player than I ever will. They have a advantage over me, an advantage that I'll never have over anyone else. That advantage is overwhelming deception.
I am a man-idiot. I only use the label "man" because it's used where women are concerned. That said, I've been known to act a fool all because a women requests it of me. I know I'm doing it, but I have absolutely no control over my actions. I am a man, and I am an idiot. Man-idiot.
Buy you some tampons? Sure, honey, would you like the light flow, heavy flow, or how about the variety pack this time? The variety pack it is. Of course I'll buy you a pint of double-fat chocolate ice cream. Anything for you.
And I didn't even get to have sex with this girl.
Now let's shift the scene of the crime to a poker table. Imagine a table with 8 men playing HE, aggressively battling mano a mano, machosimo hanging above the table thicker than the stink in the bathroom of a second-rate whorehouse. After a particularly crazy hand, the empty 5s is occupied by a non-descript woman. She's not Natalie Imbruglia, but she's not a trailer park skeeze, either. Just a normal, everyday woman, but a woman with a huge advantage, nontheless.
She sits down, she flirts, she feigns ineptitude, when in reality she knows exactly what she's doing. She's playing the "helpless female" role, because there's always a guy at the table that's willing--not to mention dumb--enough to help her out. I'm not saying that every woman employs this method, but I'm saying the option is there should they choose to prey on a man's heterosexual weaknesses. If I flirt at the table, I'm more than likely going to get a fist to the throat. I don't even have the option.
It's not all that far from table talk used to annoy someone. It's a ploy that I'm terrible at as well. But, I hardly think that Greg Raymer thought he had a sure "in" to Mike Matusow's huge plum smuggling underwear, all without even having to buy him a drink first.
Yes, I've decided to teach this girl how to play poker. I hope that we're both patient enough to get her to a point in her game that she's able to buy me pretty things. And if not that, a beer will suffice.