Middle Aged Treehouse

I'm only mature in years.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Winning isn't everything, but it sure is fun

I am so mad at our local paper. They have made me a loser. A loser!

I was a loser in the Star Telegram's "Beaster Bonnet" contest. Readers were asked to send in cute photos of their pets wearing homemade Easter hats. Well, all rightey. I was certain that my design/photo skills combined with my extra adorable dogs would make me a shoo-in for selection. In fact, it probably shouldn't be fair that I even enter, being a professional art person and all.

But of course I would enter.

Saturday afternoon found me picking through acres and acres of chenille chicks and silk flowers at the local Hobby Lobby. After spending about 25 bucks and an hour of hot-gluing half the gross national product of China to my custom built dog-sized caps I was ready to shoot. Allie was more than willing to model, and even though Charlie looked like he was humiliated beyond belief, he didn't move when I crowned him with his silly hat.

Using the trusty Nikon digital SLR I got for Christmas, I snapped a few dozen images, winnowed them down to four, PhotoShopped, cropped and sized until I had what I thought was the perfect folio of cuteness and cleverness. I proudly emailed my entries a full three days before the deadline, and then shared them electronically with friends and coworkers so that when Easter morning arrived, they would all open their papers and exclaim, "Look! That's Tracy's dog!" or, "Oh my gosh, aren't both of these Tracy's dogs? I don't know which is cuter! And just look at those hats!"

Why did this matter to me? There wasn't even a prize offered. Why would a 47-year-old person with a busy, full life get up at sunrise on Easter morning and run out to fetch the newspaper as though it were a basket of cash left by the Big Bunny himself?

Hey, I thought as I flipped the colored pages, which contained several dozen photos of animals in hats. Where are my photos? Where are my precious pets in clever hats? What could have happened? Okay, some of these are cute. For amateurs. This one's not that great. Yuck, too much flash on this one. Oh, jeez, the dog is so black, there's no detail. Hmmm. Mine. Aren't. In. Here. Damn. I dejectedly went back to bad, scowling at the now-useless canine chapeau on the dresser.

Later, over coffee, Dave laughed warmly over the cover winner, a bug-eyed chihuahua in a mini Minnie Pearl number. "Awww! Did you see this? he asked.

"Yeah, I saw it," I growled, downing my coffee in one violent gulp like a frat boy with 50-cent beer. "A chihuahua is such a cheap laugh."

Dave either pretended not to know I was surly or wasn't concerned.

"Hey, Kate! my traitor husband yelled cheerily to our sleepy daughter. "You gotta see some of these pictures!"He was chortling. Chortling!

How could he flaunt his enjoyment so brazenly? How could my own spouse be so cavalier about my defeat?

My darling hubby and I have a great many things in common, but not this: I married the nicest, most laid back guy on the planet. Dave has the rare ability to play a game just for the enjoyment and fellowship. He doesn't enter contests from magazines, newspapers or the radio. He has no need to one-up anyone, or prove himself to anyone else. He has no need to be famous or call any attention to himself.

I, on the other hand, love to enter and love to win. The phrase, "Many will enter, few will win," isn't daunting to me at all. I'm in.

I readily admit that I'm competitive. Which sadly extends to that toxic byproduct of competiveness, being a Bad Sport. There, I said it.

But I'm working on it. I really am. When I have more time I'll post the story of why Dave and I have never been invited back to play Trivial Pursuit at a certain couple's home.

But for right now, I'd like to get some mileage out of my recent competitive efforts. I'm just looking for a bit of love. So please humor me when I post my LOSING photos!


Blogger TCU grad student said...

And the winner of best photo negtive of a weiner dog in a funny hat ... Tracy Bristol!

8:37 AM  

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