I never realized how competitive my two siblings and I are with one another. It’s not a physical competition, as none of us care that much about physical activity to push the other into action. It’s mental, with each trying to shine as the smartest in the group.
Over the holidays I had three such debates with my older sister and brother. The first came when I attempted to find a cord to charge one of Mr. Carter’s toys. My brother asked me if I needed a “standard USB cord,” to which I replied “no.” The input looked different than what most are used to seeing on their computers, and I was sure we wouldn’t be able to find anything that resembled what I needed. My brother commented to my sister that we still needed a “standard USB cord” despite my protest, and after she found what was needed, he further reiterated it was indeed a “standard USB cord.” Jabs from both sides continued the rest of the day.
The second brain tussle happened after a day of fun activities for Mr. Carter. I had forgotten my glasses and was wearing prescription sunglasses, but in Nashville, the winter sun sets around 5pm, and we were out past that hour. I was wearing said shades in the dark, so I decided to pull up Waze to find that fastest way home. It was at that point my sister let me know that her directions were far better than Waze, while my brother had some shortcut ideas of his own. We made it home, thanks to the combined efforts of the others’ directions. I still think Waze would have been faster.
The final argument had to do with the best pizza delivery system. We were hanging out at my brother’s home, as my sister and I decided to get back to my mom’s place and bring Mom dinner. My brother offered to order us all pizza before we left, but my sister refused; she said her favorite pizza place closer to Mom’s was faster and that we’d just pick a pizza up on the way home. He told her his pizza place was within walking distance and that it’d be ready quickly, but she was resolute in using her familiar go-to place. Both then placed their separate orders, as if someone had fired a gun to begin the race. While my brother’s pizza was being delivered my sister was still on hold with her pizza place. Add to that defeat when we finally went to pick up her order, they had forgotten it, and no pizza was ready. We had to wait another half hour before the pizza was prepared to take to our mother.
As ridiculous as these experiences were, I realize there is a blessing in being with someone so much that you take them for granted. I tell myself I will not engage in fighting, yet somehow a USB cord or GPS app becomes something personal that I’m throwing my hat into the ring.
The important thing is that at the end of the day when real problems arise, you emerge on the same team.