27 January 2011

Superiority (naa nana, naa, na, na!)

We all like to feel superior sometimes. You have to admit, we just do. It feels good. And even those of you who won’t admit it must concede that it’s a hell of a lot better than feeling inferior. See, it’s feeling SUPER-ior – even the name tells you it’s a great feeling!

Of course, it’s what you do with your feelings of superiority that count.  My mother used to say ‘it’s easy to get up there by putting others down, it’s much tougher to raise yourself.’ So as long as you’re not nasty and as long as you don’t flaunt it in my face, then as far as I’m concerned you can have all the super feelings you want.  After all, they’re your feelings.  And if people feel good, feeling superior, who am I to stop them?

In my household, there are a couple areas in which I consider myself superior (yes, even immensely superior) to the four beloved men that surround me. Being that I’m the only female in the household– I must admit there are actually several, many, countless areas, but One Must Not Flaunt.

So, for the purpose of argument, I’ll pick the category ‘Neatness and Organization.’ (It’s almost too easy.) When it comes to neatness and organization, I am the Queen Bee of the M-Hive. Actually, this analogy doesn’t really work because in order to maintain Queen Bee status, I also constitute the entire hive of worker bees. A proper Queen Bee analogy would imply my four men were the worker bees – which they clearly are not. They are all four so challenged in this category that it would be damn nigh impossible for me to help feeling superior. Which leads me to my clear superiority when it comes to multi tasking, but, no – I digress - I’ll stick with the first one for now.

On the other hand, when it comes to financial, technical or mechanical matters, I concede my husband’s superiority. I wouldn’t dream of challenging him in these areas, nor does he flaunt his know-how over me in anyway (except of course, when he is explaining the mechanics of a technical, financial transaction – but it doesn’t bother me because I am really not that interested.) So anyway, it makes him feel good to be superior here, and I pride myself on other things. We both have areas where we feel superior and that makes us both feel good.

What’s now funny is that the boys start developing their own respective areas of superiority. My youngest just recently began snowboarding and throws the bizarre terms out there with studied nonchalance. ‘You don’t know what a fakey, ollie, stale fish grab is, Mom?’ He feels superior. He feels good. What he doesn’t realize is how well I remember the period just a few years ago when he didn’t know how to walk. My middle son often feels superior in regard to music; ‘you mean you don’t know who sings ‘Only Girl’?’  Maybe not, but I remember when you didn’t know how to talk. My eldest is now a teenager, and with him it gets more difficult.  There are many areas in which he feels superior to me and some get under my skin.  We do the SAT question of the day together and if I occasionally get one wrong (only in math, mind you, does this ever happen - Superior Verbal Skills!) Then I ask him to explain it to me and he gives up in frustration and says: ‘how can you not know that, do you really not know that?’ – and then I get all defensive and say ‘no, but I used to!!’  And I used to change your diapers, you little show-off. And herein lies the problem with feeling superior. It is very, very difficult to do without making the other person feel inferior, and that we all know, feels bad.

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