Bronze Medal

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Bronze medal: (n) a medal made of bronze, customarily awarded for third place in a race or competition

It is easy to be cynical if you’ve never done anything. You can make an assumption that you would be great.

But I have a question–what is the value of third place?Dictionary B

Look at it logically:

  • You decide to go to the Olympics.
  • You get funding.
  • You get up every morning at 5:30 and do your workout.
  • You win at some local competitions.
  • You decide you’re ready to go international.
  • You bolster your confidence.
  • You keep a positive attitude.

The day of the race arrives in the foreign land and you’re suddenly standing side by side with some of the greatest athletes in the world. They do not resemble your local competitors.

They are strong, sleek and more confident than you could even have imagined possible.

More importantly, they’re relaxed.

You aren’t.

You’ve just realized you’re out of your league.

Further complicating your situation is that your nerves are scrunching your bowels and nausea has landed in the pit of your stomach. You throw up, depleting your fluids.

It’s time to race.

You are not going to win.

You try to remember how to be positive, but it’s been scared away.

They sound the gun and you’re off.

At this point, you have given up on gold, mocking the concept of silver, and you’re wondering if you can beat the scrawny fellow to your left, to get bronze.

You are suddenly struggling for the worst medal.

And then, on top of all that, your legs fail you and you come in fourth.

So your story from the Olympics is that you almost got a bronze medal.

See?

The power of the bronze medal is that it complements your ability if you’ve already won gold. In other words, “Bobby won two gold medals, a silver and two bronze.”

Then you have those people who will tell you that second place is just the first loser.

So I guess that means that third place–the bronze medal–is the punchline for the first loser.

 

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Ballroom

Ballroom: (n) a large room used for dancing.Dictionary B

Every writer, whether aspiring or accomplished, has to make a personal, singular decision:

Am I going to write my articles and thoughts down as they relate to the subject or as they relate to me?

It’s a huge decision.

Well, not huge in the sense of attempting to get funding to cure cancer, but huge as defined as acquiring purpose and having relevance.

I suppose some folks would be interested in an article written on the subject of ballrooms or ballroom dancing which would enlighten them on history by discussing the international traditions.

That’s not what I do.

I am not a reporter; I am a sharer.

So when I think about ballrooms, or ballroom dancing, I relate it to my limited experience with “hoofing.”

I haven’t done a lot of dancing in my life. Considering my size and girth, I’m really quite agile, but have never had the doors of opportunity flung open for me to tap dance my way into people’s hearts.

But I do remember what it was like to be seventeen years old and going to a prom, knowing that I would be holding a woman very close to me, and have to perform some reasonable imitation of flow. Coming from a small town, it was thrilling to arrive at one of the big-city hotels, which had a ballroom with hanging chandeliers.

The lights were dimmed, the 5-piece combo began to play, and it was time to sway.

I was swept away.

Suddenly I felt like every young boy from every generation, who found himself enraptured in the aura of romance and the itch to coagulate and dance.

I wasn’t very good, but I took some risks, we had some good laughs, and for a brief moment, the young lady and I were transcendent in time, wisked away on magical shoes.

I will never forget it.

I never had a desire to duplicate it. I didn’t go to Arthur Murray and try to perfect my steps.

But in that suspended moment, I understood why they made ballrooms, and why they filled them … with dance.

 

 

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Amigo

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Amigo: (n) term used to address or refer to a friend chiefly in Spanish-speaking areas.

Don’t get me started.

I have a pet peeve about people who know three or four words in several different languages and use them whenever they get around somebody they think might be anywhere near that particular national persuasion.

I’m sorry. It bugs me.

For instance, I don’t think you get to use the word “oui” to say yes just because somebody from France is in the room.

Here’s a clue. No, let me go even further. I’m going to call it a rule.

You are not allowed to use a foreign language unless you can string together at least three sentences in a row.

So this will avoid individuals who go to German restaurants, and when asked if they want dessert at the end of consuming their bratwurst, they pat their tummy and say “nein.”

And it also is going to greatly discourage individuals who, in a Hispanic environment, begin to call everybody mi amigo.

It’s not like you’re impressing anyone. Everyone knows that you’re only aware of certain words, and even find it difficult to order by yourself at Taco Bell. Just do yourself a favor–and everyone else, while you’re at it–and remove the pretense of thinking that you become international by mouthing certain words, which more than likely are mispronounced anyway.

This also goes for individuals who start talking Southern when they’re in Alabama, British when they discuss the Beatles and throw in an occasional “thee and thou” at a performance of Shakespeare in the Park.

I thank you for allowing me to vent my frustration on this issue. I’m sure it has saved me thousands of dollars in therapy … and possibly a murder conviction from brutally attacking one of these language transgressors.