Then you catch a glimpse of yourself in a storefront window (or even worse, on the unforgiving hardcopy playback of a digital camera) and the record scratches - the wind in your gusty sails is sucked away - and you find your self asking you closest friend something irrational like "how did you let me leave the house with this many chins?"
Lately I have been acting all hot stuff and braggy about Pittsburgh. I happen to think the city is pretty fly and it has been underestimated.
I've also been boasting about the infallibility of the college tournament bracket method to determine winners for things.
You can see how this would put me in a bad position (and set me up for one of those kind of reality checks I was talking about above) when I stumbled upon this bracket from CBS Chicago.
Its called the "Tournament of Bad" and of all the terrible things that could win - from heavy mouth breathers to Nicolas Cage Movies - do you know what won? the state of Pennsylvania. [record scratch]
I really wish we were Georgia at a time like this so I could diffuse the situation ("oh you must mean the country not the state, happens all the time, no need to send a formal apology, I accept")
What really gets me is that the photo that goes with our scarlet letter is this:
(on the left is PA, losing to something also very crappy on the right)
and I can't argue with that. I wish I could go retract my love for brackets and quote REM with "a tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies."... but I can only ask 'How did we end up leaving the house looking this way'?
I thought when we got dressed, we were hot stuff.
But I'm not dumb, I was a middle school girl once and I learned some things. For example, when you don't want people looking at you, draw attention to someone else...
"oh em gee - did Kentucky just punch someone?"
"and have you seen Texas lately? total. mess."
I also learned it's much better to ridicule those outside your friend group.
"ew. ew. ew. Spain is so gross."
(hey, I'm not proud of these lessons, but I want my state to look good again. We lost to 'wet socks'! I can't have that)