Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am intensely competitive.

I compete with everyone.

I don't even know you and we're probably competing.

I turn all that I can into something I can win. Blood pressure. Cavities. Grades. Heel height. MPH. First to the ticket counter. Last to finish a meal. Healthiest lunch. Handwriting. First one to bed. Posture. Weight. Tidiness. Humor. Much like I have an uncanny ability to justify things, I am a wizard at creating competitions.

Although I'm encouraged by competition within myself, it's much more engaging when I have a tangible counterpart to slaughter. And since he's the person I interact with the most, The Husband has been a frequent target of my competitions.

Let's see who can get the lowest cholesterol! I tossed out one morning.

He laughed at me.

I went on, It'll be a contest! What kind of a prize would you want?

Kept laughing, that man did.

And it was then that I was struck by the difference in our natures. I'm competitive. Highly so. He is not. At all. He's never felt he has anything to prove while I'm motivated by seeing my name at the top of a list (though I'm not a fan of public recognition; I don't need everyone to know that I won. I'm generally sated with the mere knowledge of my victory--no prize required).

Is it healthy, this need to compete and to win? In some arenas, surely. In others, it's detrimental to relationships and pecks at self-esteem.

Yet, without a doubt, I have what appears to be an innate need for contest, and I hate losing.

Which introduces a problem, because I'm not good at everything. So I'm bound to lose from time to time. However, this is a problem I've solved. (I win!) Solved through selective, developed apathy.

In order to apply my competitive nature to something, I have to care about it. Healthy teeth: I care. Running fast: I don't. Ranking at work: I care. Whacking a baseball: I don't. Grades in school: I care. Prettiest pedicure: I don't. If there's not a good probability that I'm going to win, I abnegate participation altogether.

If I'm invested in something, it becomes a competition.

And if I've cared enough about that thing to make it into a competition, I will win.


kathryn said...

When I wake in the morning I take Banjo, my dog, out first thing. Second thing is to open facebook and leave a status update. I try to beat everyone on my friend list and leave the first one of the day. Then I log off and don't touch it again until the next day. Facebook is overrated, but winning the status update game is not. Since I rise at 5am and live in the eastern time zone I normally win.

There is no excuse, and it is really dumb. But I do it everyday!

Kelsey Carreon said...

We turn everything in our house into a competition. Our latest one is decorating our kids rooms. I can't reveal which one I am doing but one parent gets the girls room and one gets Duncan's and when it is all over we will put them on our blog and let people vote. Look for the reveals in spring 2010. :) We make meals and ask the kids to judge, we race up the steps jumping over each other to be the first to the room so we don't have to be the last one downstairs to "lock up" the house. Glad to know we are not alone.

Winder said...

It is probably best if I don't get into how competitive I am. You can ask rabid, I am so bad it becomes a detriment. I refuse to even let children beat me. I actually have a post brewing about this topic. It may take me a week or so to finish. I am slow at one thing, blogging.

rabidrunner said...

It's true. Winder is the most competitive woman I know. She hissed at my mom once during a card game. The Winder is one of my favorite people, which makes sense to why Megan is now one of my favorite people. It's the competitive thing. I must be attracted to competitive people.

Ryan said...

i lurv to win, too, which is why i, like megan, get decked out in blue and white every weekend to cheer on our cougars of byu (while rabid aims to identify our cohorts on the road).

ok only one of those things is true.

but i do love to win. a lot. but at the same time i am an extremely good winner in that i'm not all in your face about it, during or afterward (unless i truly don't care about the outcome; cue apathy) lest i somehow lose, and have take in return what i've just dealt out. i try to be a good loser as well, but i'm usually not as successful. being a graceful winner is so much easier. maybe because i get all that practice.

Jessica said...

Ahh, competition. My favorite.

I recall one time at the beginning of the marriage when the Mr. suggested we play tennis. I took that to mean we were playing to the death and keeping score. So I kept score during the volley and continued onward; playing my little heart out.

Problem: I suck at tennis. And the husband had played tennis everyday for several years.

Outcome: I lose. At a game where the husband didn't want to keep score. Then I cried because I lost. Husband still likes to remind me of this. He gets a good giggle out of it. We don't play tennis together anymore.

L said...

Depends on the arena of play. I loathe board games and those of the like, so when goaded into participating in such activities I don't play to win. Instead I pick out one individual in which I determine to make the game hell for. I then use a battery of tactics both physical and mental to ruin the game for them. Usually this results in tears and for some reason me winning. Is it wrong that I get sick pleasure out of evoking reactions out of grown men in which they are nearly brought to tears over board games?