Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Ego is Bigger Than the Stomach
Failure typically isn’t in my vocabulary. Even when I "fail" by definition, I explain it away by external factors. I have a heightened (read: bloated) sense of self which leads to a not-so-very healthy cognitive awareness that there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it. Dare me to do something, the likelihood of me doing it is pretty high. The more dangerous and stupid, the better. You don’t have to give me much in return, just a commitment that you will call me Daredevil for a week in public settings, preferably with a lot of people around. Want to challenge me to a game? Name it, anything. Chances are I probably think I will beat you.
Call it competitive edge mixed with an inflated ego. Call it psychopathic. Call it a big mouth. Truth of the matter is, the only A game I bring is this gaping hole found below my nose.
In fact, that’s how someone described me recently when I challenged the wrong man to a ping pong match. That’s right, call this one poking the uncaged bear in the eye. But I happened to talk a truck load of heaping crap to someone who happened to be on some dirtbag collegiate ping pong team (yes, they do exist.) to a duel of sorts. He did some digging on my "game" before we played and someone who I had played (and perhaps schooled, although I don't quite remember) had said just that, "the only game Brown has is her mouth."
I won’t bore you with the details other than to iterate that considering my stellar ping pong abilities, I had talked myself into believing that I was able to squash this four eyed pip squeak in what appeared to be an open and shut game of best” two out of three” table tennis. Oh, how wrong I was as the end result of said combat had me crawling to a corner licking my wounds, feeling the sting of my loss. One could argue that I put up a good fight. The young college graduate didn’t beat me by a lot. In fact, I think I made him sweat. But what’s fair is fair and I lost, and that turd won. And here’s the most narcissistic part – I am already practicing so I can challenge him to a rematch. Because deep down, I truly think that I could beat him.
Where does this mindset come from?
The other night, Pants and I were at the Kings game (boo Kings for thinking of leaving us and joining that pathetic concrete jungle known as Anaheim.. No offense, of course). We happened to be watching the players warm up and Pants had mentioned how cut one of the Kings teammates arms were. This player was at the free throw line, bouncing the ball methodically, feet shuffling, getting ready to shoot. Don’t ask me who it was for I cannot name one Kings player without the help of Google. And if that doesn’t make me a fan, so be it. Move to Anaheim if you must because I could give a crap.
Anyway, I happened to mention to Pants during this guy’s warm up that if I took off my shirt at that moment (yes, right in the middle of section 107 on the lower deck), that my arms would look like his.
“Check it, brah.”
I flex my pulsating biceps.
Pants ignores me.
Not just 15 minutes later, it’s half time and the Kings dancers take over the court to perform a catchy little number by Lady Gaga in Vegas style shimmery little mini dresses. They are fist pumping, gyrating, knocking knees and doing some serious modern mix-spinning on the dance floor.
I turn to Pants and say, “I could probably knock that dance out right here.”
This time he doesn’t ignore me. He says the following, “really, Brown, you think you can do that dance?”
I nod and then add that I could probably work the outfit too, without incident.
He is visibly disgusted by me.
Whatever, dude, it’s true.
Later that evening, Pants was telling a friend of ours that he thinks my workouts are making me more bravado, more of an egomaniac. Then the following debate ensues as I stay silent and listen as the hypothoses of my behavior unfolds:
“Perhaps she’s producing more testosterone through her crazy workouts at that goofy muscle gym.”
“I have definitely seen a heightened sense of self. I can’t give her a hug without feeling her flex.”
“It’s like she thinks she can walk on water after she gets back from the gym. She’s never wrong and thinks she’s good at everything.”
The conclusion was this: that I needed to quit the gym immediately and begin to do more “female” activities like sewing, saying please and thank you, and volunteering at soup kitchens.
And then it donned on all of us. This didn’t start with my joining the gym. This was imbedded into my preadolescent being. Pants recalled the workbook I filled out as a 7 year old where my overinflated self was actually documented. (See photo of actual referenced book above).
A calm washed over me having remembered that book. It’s in my bones. I was born with it. I couldn’t help myself. It's all my parents fault, and not mine...
Thank God I don’t have to quit the gym.
Now who’s up for a butt whoopin’ in arm wrestling?