Lester: An admission of failure

Kerry Lester

Three weeks ago, my boyfriend made a deadly mistake by claiming girls didn’t have the know how to win an NCAA pool.  This comment sent me spinning into an orbit similar to the one Carly Simon was in when she wrote “You’re So Vain.”  I devised a plan to hit him where it hurt – beat him at his own game for all to see.  He even agreed to wear an embarrassing sign all around campus if and when he lost.I did everything right – studied the facts online, watched ESPN Sportscenter as intently as one would wait for the mid-season J.Crew sale and even consulted a few basketball experts. At first it seemed like luck was going my way. I was ahead in the first round of the tournament by a sizable 20 points.  In the second round, still ahead by twenty points, I was starting to feel a rush of victory. By the third, my lead had narrowed to a mere 10 points. But the fourth round, the Elite Eight, that’s what made me hit the wall.

Kentucky, who I believed to be a national champion shoo-in, bowed out of the competition while playing Marquette in a 83-69 loss. I caught the news while at an Italian restaurant with my aunt and roommate. For a few moments, it seemed quite appealing to stick my face in my bowl of pasta and just forget to come up for air. What went wrong?

Seemingly nothing.  On one hand, March Madness rings true to its name, a competition affected by nothing more than chance.  On the other, I had claimed it to be a simple task – my pride and womanhood were on the line by my own doing.

But, instead of blaming my mistakes on someone else; accusing my boyfriend of playing with a stacked deck, or making other excuses, I am owning up to the fact that I lost this bet fair and square. Any source of comfort in this situation? After all, there is that old saying: A woman’s prerogative is to change her mind.