Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Attenzione le narcisiste!

I will put this mildly- I come from a competitive family. My parents' marriage was an unlikely match: the union of two first-born children. Both of my parents are the oldest of three children. Neither of my parent's parents had siblings. What do you get when two first-borns, the children of four only-children, have children of their own? My sister (the oldest), me, my brother (the oldest boy), and a family where four out of five members are oldest children and five out of five members want to be in charge. People expect that I would not be competitive, a sort of middle child peacemaker, inserted to prevent competitive family meltdowns. It's a nice idea, but apparently there was too much power-hungry DNA in the gene pool to split between two children without killing them, and it was divided up between the three of us.

Since we never got into competitive sports, the competition has been channeled into other activities: Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, push-ups, pull-ups, cooking, dancing, friends, driving, IQ, EQ, SQ (social quotient), SpQ (spiritual quotient), airtime, grandparent affections, pet affections, pet names…(list continued below.) It is not uncommon for a casual lunch conversation to include the words, "No, you are wrong." In fact, it happened again on Sunday. Board games are rarely played because they get so out of hand (I haven’t played Monopoly with my dad in 12 years), and although it is early May, the category for our annual Christmas quiz has already been chosen. Past categories have included the neighborhoods of Manhattan, English history from the 1100’s to the present, and landmarks within a three mile radius of our house. This year, the quiz will be on the location of all of the countries of the world. I'll admit I am nervous. My sister has already memorized maps of Eastern Europe and Africa, my brother has already memorized Southeast Asia, and I have unwisely spent my time seeing if Text Twist will let me hit a score of one million (I still do not have an answer, thanks a lot “ocular.”)

Family competition only occurs inside the home or the car. Outside, in this "real world" that I hear so much about, we huddle, strengthen and swarm so that we can take down the competition. It's easy to feel unified when we all look nearly identical, but it also helps to occasionally wear matching outfits.

We are not ruthless, we just need to win the way we need oxygen, food and Cable.

general coolness
skin care
room cleanliness
celebrity sightings
in-law accolades
college rankings
Classical music
nail care
food shopping speed
music lyrics


Blogger Patrick said...

glad to see your genius continue to be unleashed on the blog

5:50 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

my guess is that whoever wins vacuuming has a head start for winning room cleanliness, therefore i would focus my training on vacuuming.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Riley said...

LOL!! Yes, I am a first born and I'm marrying a first born (who is the child of an only child!). And I have 2 younger sisters. I can totally relate. Although, there is no Christmas quiz...

And, yes, I do say "No, you're wrong" an awful lot...

10:42 AM  

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