Have I mentioned I'm a competitive person?
Or perhaps I didn't have to. Y'all are probably pretty smart and have read between my lines.
I enjoy a good competition in almost any format. My favorite opponents are boys because what is better than beating a boy?
(Ice cream is better. And bluebonnets. But only by a fraction of a percent.)
I think I get this competitive streak from my father. He'll play about any game. Spades, hearts, poker, pinochle, dominoes, baseball, basketball...it doesn't really matter. To him, it's all fun.
And we played with him. He taught us the ABC game, which is something you enjoy on a long car ride that tests your eyesight, reflexes, and alphabet knowledge. We had to find words that began with each letter and whoever got to Z first won.
We usually played while we drove to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Do you know how many car trips it took for me to beat him? Huh?
Did you guess 50? Maybe 100?
Well, you're not even close. I feel like we played that game one million times before I beat him. We started when I was in the second grade, and I was almost fourteen, fourteen, before I won.
I still remember what my Y and Z word were.
We were passing the George R. Brown Convention Center, and there was this Asian restaurant across from it called "Yit Ingho". I screamed, "Yit!" so fast because I knew, I knew, where a Z was. We'd played so many dadgum times.
Right after I yelled out my Y word, I whipped my gaze to a blue sign on top of a green freeway board. The lovely, glorious, victorious "Zoo" was there waiting for me. It cried, "Here, Kara! Here I am!"
And hallelujah, I shouted that word at the TOP of my lungs.
It was a good day.