There is a bar in Savannah that offers free pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I decided to make this part of my weekly routine. I grew up with a pool table in my house and my Dad taught me to play at a young age. My Dad loved three things; pool, cards, and bowling. He passed away when I was 19 and since I was a hopeless bowler and found cards to be too complicated, pool became the legacy I was left with. Instead of passing on the torch he passed on his custom-made pool cue with pearl inlay.
So every Tuesday is now date night with B&B Billiards. At first I’d like to think I blend in pretty well but when I start racking up at a free table its as if every man in the room feels a disturbance in the force.
Competent with a pool cue she is.
Or is she? When a girl plays pool in an establishment primarily frequented by pool players, they are going to size up her game. I could care less what these guys think about my game but it’s still intimidating. Is this how a man using a public restroom feels?
Fortunately unlike a public restroom (sorry guys) this is a pass or fail test and you only have to be slightly better than horrible to pass. While I may not be an excellent pool player I’m not a shitty one either. Lucky for me being not-too-shitty seems to carry a lot of weight as the men appear confused, intrigued, and admiring…simultaneously. Is this how a Christian youth group leader in a gay pride parade feels? I am not trying to start a revolution and I have nothing to prove but sometimes it feels good to show that I'm not afraid to play with the boys.
Also it’s no surprise that I enjoy playing a game where I can bend over provocatively, handle a long stick and repeatedly bust balls all night long. You could drown in that kind of sexual symbolism.
So where does that leave me? The Madonna/Whore complex enters new and interesting territory when you add some competition to the mix. On the one hand I am being respected and admired for my mastery of the game; on the other hand I am unintentionally flaunting my sexuality with the help of some not-so-subtle body positions and object metaphors. I am literally the ball buster and the tease, at the same time. Even Houdini couldn’t pull that off.
Maybe this is what third-wave feminism should look like.
In summary, the man who invented this game was very sexually frustrated and the secret to being a badass bombshell is to be slightly better than horrible at playing pool. If you can get through a game without completely embarrassing yourself you’ll have it made. If you can’t manage that then rest assured; there will always be a guy out there who is man enough to let you win.
And if you find one who is man enough to NOT let you win please let me know, because I’m still looking for him. :)