I was sitting around watching the National Spelling Bee with my parents, my brother, and my mom’s friend. (We’re really fun people, I swear.) We were staring in slack-jawed wonder as twelve-year-olds kids spelled words like “yttriferous” and “phthisiology,” which my spellcheck informs me aren’t even words, but the joke’s on you, spellcheck, because I WATCH SPELLING BEES. (Actually, the joke’s probably on me.)
Anyway, Alex went to district finals in his spelling bee, and my mom’s friend was in the top three and almost went to state, so naturally watching this brought up a lot of bad memories. I was one of the first ten to get booted out of my classroom’s spelling bee, so even if I felt my pouting was justified, nobody else did. My losing word was a lot less impressive than theirs, and massively less impressive than the words the champions were firing off like it was no big thing.
I got out on “trapezoid.” The shame I felt in that moment will haunt me forever. (Incidentally, don’t ask how I spelled it. It’s too shameful.)