Once upon a time in a land not too far away, Megan was a cute little twelve-year-old with huge glasses, braces, and an obsession with ancient Greece. This obsession was enabled by the fact that her 6th-grade class was studying ancient Greece, and her teacher had divided their class up into "polises."
Megan was sure that she would be assigned into Athens. I mean, she was pretty Athenian down to her core, right? Loved the arts, loved literature, loved winning debates . . . Athens must be her polis.
But nope. She got Sparta.
Which made no sense to her. Sparta was the athletic polis. They were the warriors.
Whenever Megan played soccer, she always got kicked in the face. She was the second-slowest runner in her class. So she generally stayed away from sports and would swing on the swingset, or make up imagination games with her friends.
But here she was. In Sparta.
But what Megan soon discovered while in Sparta was that her thirst for competiton was just as fierce as any Spartan's.
And there was a rule, written right in the "We are Sparta!" worksheet, saying that they, as Spartans, could do whatever it took to win. Whatever. They could beg, steal, borrow, or barter (or lie, or bribe, or whatever) to win. But particularly to beat Athens.
You shouldn't tell that to twelve year olds. Particularly to usually-demure twelve year olds. Because when you do, the floodgates break loose, and drama always ensues.
Well, my Spartan mentality came back to me Monday night during our ward Family Home Evening activity.
[Quick aside: Basically, for those unfamiliar with Mormon terminology, a ward is a congregation of Mormons. Like, a mob of ravens, a dazzle of zebras, a ward of Mormons. Family Home Evening is a Mormon tradition where you spend Monday night doing activities with your family. For a Young Single Adult ward, Family Home Evening can be any number of permutations. Usually they involve doing silly things or playing sports. And they always involve food.]
Anyway, this Monday we had a road rally/scavenger hunt. You had thirty minutes to do/find and photograph or video yourself and those in your group doing a bunch of random things. They could be anything from finding a Utah state quarter to making a half-court shot blindfolded.
My roommates and I were really skeptical and didn't think it would be very fun, but then our competitive natures came out. And we had a little bit too much fun.
Here's some proof:
[My head is cut off. But we managed to do this human pyramid.]
[Becky just happened to have a sewing mannequin? Weird. So Jessica gladly posed next to it.]
We were running around our apartment and the apartment complex trying to get as many things done on the list as possible. One of the girls jumped in the pool. We also took a super awkward picture of Marcus giving me a piggyback ride. Basically, we are crazy.
And we found anyway to bend the rules to make it work. Or more like, make what we were doing fit inside the rules. Like how Becky wrote "For Sale" and held it up for me to take a picture to say that we had a picture of us with a "For Sale" sign. (Hey. It works.)
We also attempted that half-court shot. And by we attempted, I mean that we asked the teenagers who were playing basketball to make a half-court shot for us. (Hey, there was nothing that said we had to make the shot ourselves. Just that we had to have a video of someone making the shot.) And the kid made the shot! And it was on video! And we knew that we had most likely won, because, dude, that was worth 500 points!
[Also, as an aside, one of the items on the scavenger hunt was, "Get an autograph from a stranger." So Becky had the kid who made the shot autograph her hand, because that's all we had. And he signed it "Young-sexy." So this is where we are in America today.]
We zoomed over to the church building to get there on time, added up our points, gloated that we had made a half-court shot, and were generally congratulating ourselves on winning. #teamwinning for the win. Per usual.
We looked like Slytherin about to win the House Cup.
And I say that literally. And that "about" is important.
Because when the moment of truth came, and we were announced the winners, the judges of course asked to see the video of the half-court shot.
And we couldn't find it.
We accidentally deleted it.
And so the House Cup was taken away from Slytherin and given to a bunch of boisterous Gryffindors.
I never identified so much with Draco Malfoy as I did in that moment.
Another team did vouch for us and say that the kid had made the shot, but it was too late. Dumbledore had already given Neville Longbottom those 10 extra points and it was over.
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
For all my Ravenclaw-ness, I guess there's a little bit of Slytherin (and Sparta) in me after all.