My husband and I were playing two-handed bridge tonight, and I made a move that I thought would take a trick and surprise him. But turns out he was able to beat my play with a king I didn't realize he had.
"Shoulda counted better," he crowed.
On the next trick, I got him with an unexpected trump.
"Now who shoulda counted better!" I declared in triumph, taking the trick with a measly 10.
It's fun to do a little trash talking with my husband over bridge. But as we continued to play (and he beat me, probably because I started thinking about the subject of this post rather than the game), it occurred to me that I have a very different attitude about trash talking in running.
I don't do it. I don't like it. If anyone tried to trash talk me about a race, I'd roll right over and say, "Yeah, you're right. You're going to kick my ass."
So what's the difference between running and bridge? Part of it is that my husband and I are, well, husband and wife, and we know each other well enough to know where the line of too much and just enough teasing lies. In fact, he's one of the very few people I have enough of a level of comfort with to allow him to tease me at all. I hate being teased, period. I know it makes me come across in some contexts as uptight and humorless, when I don't think I'm humorless at all and I'm only a bit uptight, but it's the way I've always been. It's not that I can't poke fun at myself. But I'd rather be the one doing the poking. I wonder if this is a flaw. Probably. Probably not being able to take teasing is just a step from not being able to take criticism, which is a bad quality.
The other part of it, though, is that while I know I'm not very good at bridge and would like to get better, I'm laid-back when practicing it and not really worried about how I appear. In running, I know I'm not very good at it and want to get better--but I care a great deal about how I appear. I don't want to promise what I can't deliver, even to those who are friends. And if someone were to tease me about my running ability, about beating me in a particular race, my fragile ego would take it to heart, even if my head knew it was meant in fun.
This could be a big part of why I never liked team sports. Some people find sports-related teasing fun, a big part of the whole experience. Alas, I believe this is a side of running culture I'll never be able to participate in.
Do you talk trash in running? How are you about teasing?