In Which I Reveal My (and Others’!) Qualifications For Presidents

The Flower, who likes things to be grand, chose to go bowling for her birthday (because we had last year, and she wanted to double-up and go bowling and do miniature golf this year but the mild rain thwarted her plans to tilt at windmills).

The Flower just turned seven. But she, The Boy and I all beat Barack Obama’s 37 score before the 7th frame (in which he quit).

Full disclosure: We had the gutter bumpers up.

It was actually our purchase of a Wii last year that inspired The Flower to go bowling in the first place. I was rather astonished that, right off the bat, I rolled a turkey. I’d never done that before in my life, and I even followed it up with a spare or two, but then my game went to hell and I started bouncing off the bumpers.

This year I opened with just one strike, and then went to hell.

The thing is, bowling is really easy. Not to excel at, of course. It’s an endurance test and, at least in my case, a sort of meditative challenge as (for me) the best way to bowl is just to walk up and roll the damn ball. If I think, or plan, or do anything else, bad things happen.

Even so, a reasonably fit person should be able to bowl around 100, even if they’ve never seen a bowling ball before. It has the virtue of being instantly grasp-able.

So, 37 is a pretty bad score, but I think what struck me the most was that he quit in the 7th frame. I’ve heard that offered as a defense, as if he were going to strike out the rest of the game and finish with 120.

But he didn’t finish, of course, and why not?

My theory is that, like other candidates, he has no humility. He’s expected to be a perfect person–an idea that he encourages–with perfect solutions to all the world’s problems. Therefore, he couldn’t bear to show his mortality with something as prosaic as bowling.

I find this troubling.

Obama, in particular, has yet to show any genuine self-deprecation. Or any self-deprecation, come to think of it, that I’ve seen.

I wondered, as I watched The Flower struggle with the bowling ball–she can’t swing even a lightest ball with just one arm–how I would react if she decided she wasn’t having any fun and wanted to quit.

I’d probably let her, but I’d be disappointed.

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