I Oughta Be Ashamed

Three things have happened this week that have caused behaviour best described as unseemly, quite possibly shameful and which has significantly set back my personal growth.

Thing #1: It may be somewhat of an understatement to say that I'm slightly competitive. I try – oh, lord, do I try - to control it, especially when playing games with children, as I believe it may be cruel to wipe the floor with someone who's underage while cackling maniacally as you win. Besides, it's not a fair fight and it is much more fun to win when you're on a level playing field. Which brings me to the Minesweeper story. An innocuous, deceptively quick little game, it has the potential for addiction built right in. Which I discovered to the point of incurring a Minesweeper injury. If that wasn't bad enough, both Ken and Stephanie joined the “fun”, which took things from serious to demented and I didn’t quit until I reached 83 seconds on the expert level (Ken and Steph having had the good sense to abandon ship several weeks prior to this event). I haven't played it since, even when I discovered a website that claims that it is possible to do better than 83 seconds, because I know myself. I am on the wagon now and being all too aware of the problem I once had, afraid of even opening the program.

Which brings me to trivia. Which I love and not just because I possess what an old friend once called the "Amazing Mind for Useless Facts", but also because even when you get it wrong, you learn something and I like that. So when Willowtree started a trivia contest, I naturally signed up as fast as I could and at first managed to contain the competitive instincts fairly well, just having a good time challenging myself. Until the man announced that I was the winner of the October tournament, then cruelly taking the win away from me when he discovered that someone had beat me by two points. TWO POINTS! Is anyone other than me hearing the term “gateway drug” wafting about? Yep, the past month was spent compulsively playing this game with the result, I'm sad to report, that I won the November tournament. I even received a trophy

and hope to figure out how to put that in my sidebar so I can enjoy it daily. And this is where the shameful behaviour comes in because this is where I admit that the noise that came out of me when I saw the win could was somewhat akin to the triumphant roar of a lion having just made a kill. And although this may be an indication that I should reflect on my behaviour and priorities, I’m too busy. Too busy playing the game, because I care only about repeating the win in December and it is quite possible that I need professional help. Maybe an intervention? I briefly considered not playing this month in an attempt to render the competitive urge dormant again, but so far, have been unable to quit. So, Willowtree? Thanks, dude. I’ll be sending you my therapy bill.

Thing #2. I may have mentioned that one of the reasons I adore the Amelia Peabody series is because I secretly, in a hidden corner of my heart, believe that Amelia and I have been separated at birth. Oddly enough, the facts that she lived in the Victorian age and is a fictional character do not affect this belief at all. Like Amelia, I am often convinced that I am right and fully believe that if people would just submit to my will and do what I tell them - I will naturally be very charming and amusing while providing detailed instructions and organizational tips - the world would be a far better place. Unlike Amelia, however, I have yet to conquer the regrettable inhibitions that prevent me from wholeheartedly throwing myself into running the world on a full-time basis. In fact, I have somehow been brainwashed into believing that people have a right to make their own decisions, a right to not follow my advice and I work very, very hard to remember to step back and keep my mouth shut. And then, once a year, there’s The Schedule. And Stephanie says such things as “Lene runs my life and I like it” and calls me “Our Lady of Extreme Organization” (which I liked more than I should’ve) and the schedule is working and she is happier than she was without it and it all just contributes to raising my levels of supreme confidence and belief that if I ran the world, it would be a better place. And now I have to spend months suppressing my inner Amelia again, hopefully before I email family, friends and misc. world leaders offering my services. Every year, it gets a little harder.

Thing #3. I normally try to respect Mojo’s dignity (of which she has much). I normally try to laugh with her, not at her. But when Eric the Cat Whisperer comes to clean her ears and put medicine in them and she spends the rest of the day looking like this

I lost the fight. And spent the rest of the day laughing. At, not with.

I oughta be ashamed.