For years I naively believed that men were far more competitive than women. From a young age my Mother explained to me the complexities of the male ‘ego’. Ah yes…so very complicated.
Basically I had to let my brothers beat me or something overwhelmingly tragic would occur to them in later life, like learning that they’re not the best at everything or heaven forbid, how to lose graciously. But maybe my Mum was right, after all you know what it’s like when you’re a middle class white man, there are so many hurdles to jump and barriers to face and…hang on a sec. I should never have let them beat me at squash when I was 12! Damn them!
Still, despite the obvious nagging resentment between myself and my brothers, it simply doesn’t compare to the competition I experience from my sisters. Yes I said ‘sisters’ mainly because I know it’s annoying but also because I have three brothers and I’ve always wanted a sister…that’s a different story.
I blame trashy magazines, apparently I can’t name them but they’re usually about 99p and have headlines like, “Cheryl Cole loses 2 stone from her head. Is her hair anorexic?” Probably, or at least her frontal lobes. Ok, that was harsh so maybe I’m competing with Cheryl Cole or at least her hair, which unlike her personality actually doesn’t seem that limp, lifeless…I can’t help myself. Back to the magazines. The fact is I don’t want to see big yellow circles around D list celebrities thighs and back sides. Mainly because if there was a photo of me in a bikini they’d have to circle my entire body, including my head. I’m also not interested in the latest diet or how to get thin, stay thin, eat yourself thin, eat thin people to stay thin….you get the idea.
We don’t just compete about weight or how young we look, it’s also about our jobs, our partners and now, our children. I’ve had to suffer competitive Mums and I don’t even have kids. Yes I’m barren, well I’m not barren I probably could have kids if any of that spermy stuff found its way up there. It’s just that I’m not using my womb in the way God intended, I’m actually renting it out as a gymnasium to some local street kids, they were complaining that they didn’t have anywhere to hang out and be themselves so I said, “Ok, ok you can use my uterus” You’d think they’d be happy with an X Box.
Competitive Mums are the worst, I have a friend who has two kids and hanging out with her Mum friends is one of the more painful experiences I’ve been forced to undergo without swearing or becoming physically violent. They come out with bilge like, “I’m so proud of Henry he’s already talking and he’s not even two.” Yeah right, he just threw up on his chest, if that’s talking then my cat’s fluent. “I actually gave Molly a rattle but she hasn’t used it and I heard that if a child delays pleasure it’s a sign of genius” I wish I had a kid just so I could’ve said, “Yeah kids are so complex, there was a whiff coming from Charlie’s nappy yesterday and he was looking at me with a funny face and I thought what is he trying to tell me? Turns out he’d had a sh*t. I think he might be a genius.”
Life’s too short and the truth is I don’t want to be in competition with anyone mainly because I have incredibly low expectations and I don’t like to be reminded there’s something better out there. The truth is we’re not all following the same road and as women we’re not one big homogeneous mass. One person’s success or happiness doesn’t detract or add to my own. I’ve got my own path to follow and yes there will always be thinner, more successful, happier people out there and to them I would say, “Could you please not rub it in!”Posted on 16th February 2010