Friday, February 26, 2010

Friendship Unrivaled

Julia and Lindsey have got me thinking.

Back in 2006, Julia Mancuso in all of her 21 years, showed up at the Torino Olympic Games sporting a tiara.  She even raced in that tiara.  It was her way of adding fun to the disturbing amount of pressure that came with being an Olympic athlete.  No harm, right?  Well, no.  Many made fun of her.  Even Picabo Street felt it was necessary to lash out at the poor princess. 

Now I've seen Picabo in person.  That girl wears enough rhinestones and razzle-dazzle to shame Elvis - especially when she's skiing.  So why would a little tiara cause Picabo Street to fret so?  Prolly because Julia Mancuso was about to dethrone Picabo as the reigning U.S. Olympic Giant Slalom champion. 

In honor of Julia Mancuso's tiara-studded, Giant Slalom, Gold-Medaled victory, the 2006 St George Marathon became the year of the Mancuso, wherein we women-folk ran 26.2 in a tiara.  Note, however, that we're equal opportunity women-folk and offered tiaras to the dudes, but they respectfully declined.  Here's the proof:


Fast forward four years to Vancouver 2010.  Julia Mancuso is the reigning Olympic Giant Slalom champion.  Lindsey Vonn is the current world champion and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Superstar.  As usual, the TV people (also known as NBC) picked their beloved.  And it was Lindsey.  Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey!  Enough already with Lindsey! 

(Am I alone in my yearn and burn for some other network to finally take control of the Olympics?)

Anyway, as Lindsey is crashing here and there, Julia is winning medals.  Who do you think should get the spotlight and media attention?  Why, Julia of course!  But you all know that Lindsey still got a truck-load of media attention.

The kicker to Lindsey's media whoredom, was the Giant Slalom.  Lindsey crashes.  And because Lindsey is the Golden Child, they yellow-flag Julia Mancuso so as to stop her run mid-way.  Julia is forced to ski down, ride a snowmobile up and restart.  Her second (first) run was a disaster and the reigning Olympic Gold Medal is out of the running for a medal.   The kicker to this already kicking Giant Slalom situation is Lindsey's post-crash interview.  Lindsey expressed how badly she feels for messing up Julia's run -- all while grinning from ear to shining ear.  Lindsey's sentiments weren't all that convincing.

It's no secret that Julia and Lindsey don't jive.  They don't hang and they certainly aren't copacetic with each other.  Which brings me to the point of this dumb post:

Men are better than women at competing with their friends.  Or so it seems.

When men who are friends race or compete directly with each another, it seems they can heckle with "I'm gonna kick your ass," or "you're going down" or "your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elder berries."  Stuff like that.  Men friends can jab each other fiercely with derogatory names, compete ferociously, and still remain friends.

Girls can't do that.  Or so it seems.

At the beginning of a race, a girl (who is a friend) will size the other up and down, look straight into her dear comrades eyes and tell her just how awesome she is.  She'll gush all sorts of optimistic encouragement -- hoping the whole time that the girl friend will fall flat on her face.  Not only does the girl hope her friend will perform worse than she herself will perform, that girl hopes the friend will crash and burn.  Phony, right?  Phony is right!

Why is it that girls (or women), cannot openly express how badly they want to run their best friend into the ground?  How come?  If I were to march up to one of my girly-girl running buddies and say, "I'm gonna kick your ass," do you have any idea what kind of drama that would create?  I would be digging myself out of a hole for at least a month. And I'll be honest and say that I wouldn't exactly welcome the gesture either.

So why are we women like that?  Is it because doing our best is not enough?  Is it because women are insecure?  Must we be better than another to feel good about ourselves?  Is it all Cinderella's fault?

Yeah.  Let's blame Cinderella.  That and her petite little pumpkin riding feet.

I run with people and many are girls (women).  We are somewhat competitive.  We all have a similar goal of outdoing our personal bests.  I have had many friends (who are girls) who honestly support and encourage.  But I've had a few doozy dodos that have been the exact opposite of support and encourage.  And it ain't fun.  It's as if the girl's entire self worth depends on whether she can beat me. 

So why can the dudes do it and the girls cannot?  Seriously, I want to know (and will try to remain objective even if you say, "Rabid.  It's just you.")


Lars said...

Because women are callous bitches that are highly competitive. I think we are conditioned this way. Notice out in public that women will give their female counter parts the twice over to check out their shoes, figure, bling, manicure, hair, makeup, etc. And then race home to gush about to friends about the hideous creature they saw on the street that raised one's self esteem that much more. BINGO. Self-esteem issues, women don't know how to be nice to themselves so how would they know to be nice to another female.

Rabid dear I was raised with a pack of wolves aka male humans. You could talk smack to me and I would still be your friend. I love trash talking, but that may be why I take on male workout partners.

Jessica said...

I haven't been watching the Olympics ('cause I don't have a TV) but I'm kinda not liking this Lindsey character.

Anyway, I think girls are just too sensitive and take things personally.

When boys say "I'm gonna kick your ass" to another boy, they don't take it personal.

Girls? Boy, is everything personal with them or what?!

Girls need to repeat this mantra: It's not about me.

Lars said...

Sidenote...did you watch the men's aerials? Did you notice that after Jeret Speedy Peterson lost the Gold he was still clapping and cheering for Alexei Grishin excitedly. Almost immediately, without skipping a beat. I like when people can look at the bigger accomplishment i.e. for the sport etc.

rabidrunner said...

"Women don't know how to be nice to themselves so how would they know how to be nice to each other." Wow, that's poetically poignant, Lars. Well said.

Jessica, why don't you move to my house in 2014 so that you can watch the Olympics? I'm sure you feel as if you're missing something (right!) And YOU'RE WRONG! IT IS ALL ABOUT ME!

Actually, you're right. I'm going to print "It's not about me" in vinyl and slap it up on a wall somewhere.

Jessica said...

YOU are the exception, Rabid. It IS all about you. But definitely not about other people.

See you in 2014. Probably the next time I'll visit Utah....

Lars said...

What about 2012? The Summer Olympics are really where it is at. Jessica needs a home for two weeks for the London Games.

Winder said...

My favorite NBC comment is when they repeatedly say that Julia won two surprise silver medals. As if she has not proven in the past that she can ski.

I also would love to just say to someone "I'm going to kick your ass", Oh wait I have. It was just to a male. No way would I say it to a female.

Becca said...

Dear Rabid-
Next time we are at a race together, I would like nothing more than for you to come up to me and say "I'm gonna kick your ass," complete with angry eyes and a bitchy tone. It might just happen to be the highlight of my racing career. And just to be fair, I will return the favor, in words, not in action.

In fact I think this sounds like a great way to start a race--it would totally take the edge off.

The petulant ninny said...

Winder, you can dither on about trivialities, but it still does not change the fact the you have been served.

lifein360 said...

Becca has it perfectly! Men say what they mean right from the start and make no bones about it. We also acknowledge when we are beat and leave it at that. We move on seconds after the attack. A perfect example of this is in that Superbowl commercial with Betty White. The fellow boys on the field immediately confront the guy who is playing like crap. Done, acknowledged. But what does the girlfriend do? She has a sad face and says "here honey, eat a Snickers". What she should have done/said is slap the bastard in the head and yell "get your f'ing head in the game ya puss! Suck it up princess!!"

Women have more power than they can ever imagine, they just can't let what other women might think of them get in their way. That tiara should have been shoved a foot....oh well you get the idea.

Staci said...

Wierd. I've said that to many boys but no girls I can think of.

That's one great thing about being married to a male: no-holds-bar I can say whatever I want and turn it into a joke. I would totally tell Diego I was going to kick his butt. I just feel bad for all those men out there because they have to be married to women. How would you like to be watching what you say all the time . . . and anything little word can be construed to mean whatever she wants? Man, we all must take our lumps in life.

rabidrunner said...

I'm so very disappointed that no one said, "Rabid. It's just you." So very disappointed...

Becca! You're going down! When's our next race so that I can tell you that you're going down and you can tell me that you plan to kick my ass. Can't wait.

Lifein360 - thanks for the input, so wise and well said. I say BINGO to, "[women] just can't let what other women might think of them get in their way." Bingo.

We women are so dumb sometimes. Always giving a stinky rat's A what others think of us.

Staci, I know Diego and I feel bad for you... hehehe (see that's the equivalent of saying I'll kick your A to Diego, right?)