Monday, October 19, 2015

The Heroine, Victorious

I voted today.

The sun came up this morning and it was the first morning for early voting in Houston. And so from my office on Brazos and Dallas, I walked the blocks all the way down to 1001 Preston and voted. Then I walked back.

It felt like some kind of victory.

My early voting cheat sheet. 
You know, my victories used to be real. Solid. Objectively impressive. If you’d seen them all written out, say, in a resume or hung up on a wall, you’d have said, “Wow, Katy. Wow!”

Like those writing awards I won or that spelling bee in the fifth grade. Or the time I defeated all of the other hobos in town for possession of an abandoned underground elevator shaft.

I went from being a junior high drop-out to getting three academic degrees. And it’s going to sound like I’m bragging but yeah, I am kind of bragging. Those were victories!

The thing is, I never appreciated those things. Not really. Not while they were happening. In my mind, I saw them as only the first chapters in what was surely going to be a glorious life chock full of never-ending stunning achievements. Praise and adulations would be heaped on my head. Ladies would come running and falling at my feet. I’d be respected by all the right people but still manage to keep my integrity over the long haul.

It’d be the perfect story for my biographers in the future when it was time to start writing about me.

But today I am old and my victories have changed. This weekend, I swapped out the door handle on my bedroom closet door. I did it all by myself.

Victory!

I went two nights in a row without having a drink and was so proud of it that I practiced announcing what I’d done like a morning news anchor. 

I washed three loads of clothes, got my desk out of Dana’s storage unit, and finished reading a book about the history of Doctor Who.

And for every one of these things, I felt a sense of success way out of proportion to anything I’d put on my resume or up on my wall. I was giddy about that door handle!

Maybe I have shrunk. Maybe I’ve become simple-minded. Maybe I’m finally just paying attention.

But today I voted and it felt like a sort of victory so I’ll take it.

(And look at this! Now I’ve gone and finished writing a blog post.)

34 comments:

  1. Well, as they say, a journey of a thousand megaparsecs begins with but a single rocket launch.


    Or if they don't say it, they should.

    Watch out for black holes, and you're on your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no tiny victories, only tiny winners.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Speaking of victories, here's Mr. Mayor.

      Delete
  3. “No Brag, Just Fact”

    "No brag, just fact” is sometimes said to be an old Texas saying, but it originated on the short-lived television western The Guns of Will Sonnett (1967). Will Sonnett (played by Walter Brennan) would tell old western stories and often say that he was the fastest gun in the west. Sonnett would then quickly add that his comments were “no brag, just fact.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking at pictures of that guy.I'm not sure about the fastest gun in the West part. He sort of looks like a guy who can't remember where he'd laid his gun.

      But I can believe the story-telling part. I want him to tell me a story.

      As soon as he finds his gun, I mean.

      Delete
    2. Looking for free, tantalizing Tales of the Old West?
      http://www.frontiertales.com/index.php

      Delete
    3. Woohoo! Fastest gun in the West!

      Delete
  4. Well, aren't you just little Ms. Achievement! Don't fall for it, though, as starting and finishing things can lead to, you know, other things. It isn't all that bad, is it? Even I, the Great Procrastinator and Underachiever, get things done occasionally, but I have a reputation to maintain so I try not to let anyone know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding. if this keeps up, I might clean out one of my dresser drawers.

      I mean, that's really more of a long-term goal, I guess. Way down the line. But it could happen.

      Delete
  5. I don't think you've shrunk. Although it's kind of hard to see on this tablet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That has more truth to it than you know.

      I need to look up from the computer more. I hope that I get old and senile before I realize what a terrible mistake I've made disappearing into the internet.

      Well, there's probably been a string of mistakes, but that's the one that might be making the difference.

      Delete
  6. It's not you. Victories and the definition thereof change as we age. The opportunity for trophies and awards diminish. There aren't any adult spelling bees. You can train for and win a 5K fun run, but other than that, they really don't hand out ribbons and awards to adults. So, what you're doing, taking a victory lap for changing a door handle, that's healthy, because that's all we got. You have to take your victories where you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate my small victories way more than the older, bigger ones. You ought to see me when I manage to finish three loads of clothes, and that's really more the machine than it is me.

      Delete
  7. "Send her victorious, happy and glorious . . . " Take yer victories where you find 'em.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked this comment so much that I went over to Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" on youtube and commented, "They're really just copying Green Day, aren't they?"

      I'm expecting positive responses. It could be my greatest victory!

      Delete
  8. Sprinkles are for winners.

    I space out my accomplishments so that no one expects them when another arrives. So far I've done nothing, and expectations are low, as planned. Boy, am I going to surprise some people one of these days!

    By the way, your cheat sheet is wonderfully confusing. I'd be inclined to just wing it, but obviously you have pre-determined answers for each of those races and propositions.

    I don't think they should end a ballot with a proposition, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good policy. It's like when a politicianloses a school board race and then runs for governor. It throws everyone off their game.

      What George W. Bush called "misunderestimating."

      Delete
  9. Voting's always given me a sense of accomplishment. In the few seconds it takes me to transfer that "I Voted" bumper sticker to the nearest trashcan, I raise it above my head like a trophy for just a moment and shed a single tear of triumph.

    I say, celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small. It helps combat the daily onslaught of woes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe it's the only way to survive. When I was a kid, I could rish past these things.

      Now, I have to take a moment to appreciate the good stuff.

      Delete
  10. I decided a few years ago to step back and let the youngsters get the big victories. I won mine, like you've won yours and now it's their turn to win a few. I think there's an old song where it is noted that yesterday's victories were apples. Today's, are apple pies - warmer!
    Maybe he was talking about something besides victories but the metaphor still seems apropos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. Hey, I'd love to win at something. Maybe gain some kind of skill.

      But all this music isn't going to listen to itself.

      Delete
  11. Of all the things to be curious about, I'm rolling my eyes at myself on everyone's behalf for asking the most anorak of possible questions: which history of Doctor Who?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Doctor Who: A History" by Alan Kistler.

      It wasn't bad. Stuck to the basics, mostly. I mean, about halfway through, I realized that I already knew more about the show than I thought I did.

      The only areas where I'd say I learned anything was when it came to the Nineties and the failed attempts to bring the show back, as well as some of the novels and audio dramas, none of which I knew anything about before.

      Delete
  12. Katy, my dearest and darling. Rather than to have shrunken, you have finally made it to Nirvana. When you reach my age, you'll realize that it really is the small victories that mean the most. Like not shitting yourself before you can get out of the car. Or changing the door knob when it still, sorta, works and before you're required to break the door down to gain entry and feed your withering spiders.

    Failing in either of the aforementioned case studies is both discombobulating, and sad. And please allow me to here say that it really should be "discombOObulating."

    Fuck Walmart while it is down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not complaining. Things are good right now. Time is standing still.

      So far as the door handle goes, I had ignored the signs for a long time. First, I had to turn the handle to the right to open the door because if I turned to the left, I'd pull the handle out of the door.

      Then, I couldn't open it all, and the handle no longer came out if I turned to the left.

      Still managed to get the old one out, but it was less fun than if I'd done it a year ago.

      Delete
  13. I'm envious of your unwavering enthusiasm. After all the presidential crap that's been going on, I got my ballot in the mail. I ripped it open excitedly... only to see it was local stuff. Who's going to be sheriff of my small podunk hometown. Who's going to be treasurer of a place that most definitely has no treasure. A badly worded question about tax money going somewhere. It was literally five things to vote on. No cheat sheet necessary.

    I did my civic duty and wadded it up and threw it away. Now, for the presidential election maybe we'll talk.

    Oh, and thanks for reminding me that I haven't yet fixed my door handle. Good thing there's no crime in suburbia, otherwise I might worry about not having a properly functioning door handle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't they still have dragons for that? Guarding a town's treasure, I mean?

      The bad news is that Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the race for President today, so now you're never going to have the chance to vote for him.

      Delete
    2. Our little town is stuck in the middle ages, so we definitely have dragons. In fact, four years ago I so foolishly voted for Anthor the Burninator, who won in a landslide over the incumbent, Agnes Pendleton. He guarded our treasure, sure, but he also burninated anyone who tried to touch it. Including people just adding to it. Death toll: 17. I'm never voting dragon ever again.

      Lincoln Chafee - is that a brand of upscale coffee maker?

      Delete
    3. This comment thread has turned into a Terry Pratchett novel,.

      Delete
  14. Was overturning the illegal to feed the homeless law part of the propositions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, although there is a candidate for City Council named Eric Dick who is making that promise central to his campaign.

      Unfortunately, he's not a very good candidate. At all. He has run before and been most notable for plastering his signs (which prominently feature his last name) everywhere - the top of light posts, empty lots, etc.

      In fact, the city fined him for his signs last time. His press release in response to the fine was headlined, "Lesbian Mayor Afraid of Dick."

      Delete
  15. Be careful, or as predicted by Donald Trump, you will have so many victories that you will be tired of winning. You will grow to utterly despise winning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My victories could really pile up if I keep lowering my definition of what a win is.

      I mean, I did get up out of bed this morning. I arrived at work with two shoes on.

      So I'm scraping bottom, but still not quite to the point where I'd support Trump for President.

      Delete

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