When you’re in the fourth grade, you have some tough choices to make. Are you going to keep your from-birth best friend, who stuck by you through thick and thin on the playground, but who now has developed a rather unfortunate case of body odor, thus compromising her social standing? Will you admit your love of Star Wars, or pretend that your Millennium Falcon replica belongs to your older brother? Will you keep raising your hand in class, when now it’s generally more acceptable to be a bit more laid-back with your studies? And finally…will you bite the bullet and join Chess Club?
The thing is, you’re not the most popular kid in the neighborhood…and all those other activities you’re involved in, like swim team and musicals, well…you’re just not the best. But look at you, busting out a well-known gambit on an inept sixth-grade boy. You own this! You’re the girl the boys don’t want to play. You remind yourself to thank your dad for teaching you how to play chess at a young age when you lazily flip through a Weekly Reader while waiting for your prey to stop sweating and make a move.
Go on…you know you want to. Be the girl on the chess team. Wear it proud, you clever thing, you! Let your freak flag fly. How else will you get to talk to smart older boys who would never acknowledge your existence otherwise? How else can you win a trophy bigger than anything your siblings have hauled home? How else will you be by-default the coolest and prettiest girl in the room?
But even chess has its moments in the ’80s pop culture spotlight: