"You're a big jerk! You should have given her more of a chance!" one of my coworkers joked to the other who had just eliminated me from the game of "lightning" we were playing at our team party. At that moment, I realized that me playing this game with my male coworkers put them in a no-win situation.
If they eliminate me, the only woman on our team of software developers, then they're a jerk.
If the one, not-very-athletic woman on the team eliminates them, then they've lost face.
So I decided to be a spectator. I'd just spent a delightful hour playing volleyball with 7 of them. I was tired, and had jammed my thumb during the volleyball game (clearly the reason I missed my basket!), and so was happy for the chance to relax and snap a few photos.
Here's a video of the lightning game, where you are eliminated if the person behind you in line makes a basket before you do:
Here's a photo, for those who can't view video:
I had so much fun playing with my coworkers that day. They are good men. Smart. Responsible. Funny. Fun.
As I sat watching them play the final rounds of lightning, I reflected on how lucky I was to be there. I couldn't think of any other forum where I, a single woman, would have the opportunity to play with these guys. All but one of them are married: some with 7 or more children. They are busy, many with serious callings in the LDS Church in which they volunteer many, many hours each week.
As I realized that in no other setting would I have an experience like this, I felt especially grateful for my work, and the opportunities it gives me. Including, on a few occasions, the opportunity to play with some great guys.