I am a type A personality. This is something you can’t develop, you are just born with it or you aren’t. My parents should have known when I got colic, and screamed for four months straight, that I was trying to be in control and also, I was allergic to milk. They got smart, told me to grow out of my milk allergy, and presented me with my little sister twenty-two months later. She became my first minion. Ahhh, memories.
If you’ve ever taken the color personality test, I am a red/blue. This means I will put my screws into you, bend you to my will, but I feel bad about it. I am a power/guilt machine. This also means that I have the little quirk of wanting to direct all your activities, but I also desperately need you to like me. Lucky for me, my little sister is more of the passive, forgiving, long-suffering type. She was perfectly willing to let me boss her around. In our family, this earned her the label of “peacemaker.” I was “the talented one.” Somehow, the talent was never specified, but I’m guessing it had something to do with my innate ability to boss everyone around and turn them into my personal servant.
Fate made a huge mistake in not having me born as an Egyptian queen, an archduchess, or at least Paris Hilton. I could have done so much with that kind of power. It’s totally wasted on Paris Hilton. I can promise you that I would not have had to create a TV show for myself for the sole purpose of finding a BFF, new or otherwise. I would have organized an application and interviewing process, with alphabetical lists and a rating system. After I picked, I would dread the task of telling the losers that they have lost. On top of my mad organizing/guilt skills—never mind that most of my systems turn out to not work nearly as well as I imagined—I am great at spending money and looking good. Another benefit is that money would have saved my sister from her fate, as I could have had a paid person to boss around. Instead I was forced to manipulate/bribe/bully Melissa into trading me her new Lady Lovely Locks doll for my old headless Barbie, and as part of the bargain, she had to fetch me a cookie. As soon as I had my cookie and my Lady Lovely Locks, I then felt bad about screwing over my sister. But not bad enough to trade her back.
Unfortunately, Melissa grew a backbone in high school and started refusing to bring me water (just a little ice, please,) and occasionally interjecting an opinion on restaurants and ice cream flavors. (Go, Mel! I needed a comedown). Luckily, I didn’t have to exist long in this bereft condition. I met David not too long after that. One of the things I love about him, then and now, is he is just as stubborn and hard-headed as I am. And he is sexy to boot. I love that he can stand up to me. This had been somewhat lacking in some of my previous relationships. One other bonus was that I had the vacant position of lackey filled. He loves me so much that he will gladly cook me dinner and bring it to me in bed and all I have to do is glance at him slightly and he remembers that he needs to bring me a Dr. Pepper. I also feel guilty over this. I am lucky. And spoiled. It’s at times like these, that some time-honored wisdom, passed down through the ages, reverberates in my brain, and I can hear my dad pull out his favorite phrase to use on just these sort of occasions, when I have gone too far in expecting someone to be my personal slave: “ What? Are your legs painted on?” This clearly means, “Get off your lazy arse, use the legs that God was good enough to give you, and get whatever you want by the power of your own locomotion, you crazy, type A, demanding child.”
From this, we can say that we’ve established that I like to be in charge. This is one of the reasons I love being a mom. I rule over an empire, which has the power to spawn thousands. Motherhood has brought me the opportunity to say the second best phrase in the English language: I am the boss. The first is obvious: I am right. David also knows the allure of saying these phrases. He does get the better of me at times. I can admit that sometimes, I am wrong. (I’m kidding, I am never wrong. I just let him think he’s right. When he reads this, he is going to be annoyed and insist that he is often right. I will nod and acquiesce, but in my secret heart I will still be right. Even if I am wrong. He feels exactly the same way. This is why our relationship works).
This brings me around to watching American Idol tonight. I am probably the worst person in the world to watch with. First of all, I have a decisive opinion on each person. I say that opinion out loud. While they are still singing. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is when the judges agree with me and I get to say that delicious phrase: See, I was right. I am certain that after 12 contestants, this gets old. Especially as my gleeful enthusiasm for being right does not wane after repeated occurrences. And, often the people watching with me have agreed with me in the first place.
Nothing like ruining the enjoyment of watching American Idol for your closest loved ones. Be advised, if I ever invite you to an American Idol viewing, run far far away where the sound of my voice critiquing contestants and agreeing with Simon will not poison your opinions forever. You have been warned.