Megan’s friends have been over a lot lately, which is fine, it’s good, even though it unsettles my peaceful world when they storm my kitchen and make chocolate muffins and leave a huge mess. They took over the living room tv, and are playing Wii sports. That’s a good thing, so I will just hang out in the kitchen and read while I wait till next week to watch Project Runway.
I hear things from the girls that I would never hear from Megan, even though I think we have a good relationship. It’s stuff that I am actually overhearing them say to each other, but they don’t seem to mind if I butt in and ask a question. One night, Shelby described Megan’s ex-boyfriend Jack as a “one-upper.” When I asked what that meant, she told me that when you would tell him something you did, like, “I went to Adventureland this summer,” he would say, “Well, I was at Disney World in June for a week,” He one-ups everything you say to him, never directly responding to what you’ve just said.
That’s exactly what David does, too. Now I have a name for him, a “one-upper.” That’s one of the reasons I don’t talk to him anymore. Why do people feel a need to do that? Is it because they are insecure, and need to place themselves into a superior position to feel functional? Is it because they already feel superior, and need to demonstrate why they are better than you? Do they just not know how to carry on a meaningful conversation, and are just looking for something to say? I think it’s option number one.
I see other ways David acts insecure. He won’t attempt to fix anything for fear of failure. If he can’t figure out what’s wrong with the DVD player, he just abandons it and storms around the house in a funk for two hours. Guess who gets to pick up the pieces and hook it up? He doesn’t have patience for things like that, because they frustrate him. Then, when he is in a position to take the lead, he totally takes over. He has a chance to lead his Bible study group while Jeff is out for a month. He works on that study constantly, and wants to tell me everything about what he is learning. But there is no give and take, no discussion. It’s like he’s preaching a sermon. All I can do is just pretend to pay attention and nod at appropriate points.
I find myself wanting a man who is competent and capable in a way David isn’t, but there has to be a happy medium. I don’t want to be the one to run the entire household while David lays on the couch and watches old John Wayne movies or naps, or writes pages and pages of old sports statistics on his notepads for no earthly reason I can fathom. I want someone who practices what he preaches.
Of course, I’ll stick with David because it’s just the way it is. Changing would be traumatic. He’s willing to let me do what I want. He doesn’t keep me tied down or penniless; I have the freedom to go out today and buy a new computer to replace the one he stepped on. Maybe I will, after I balance the checkbook and pay the bills. I’m off till 4, but I won’t spend that time laying around the house. Then I go to work until 8, and only then do I get to relax. He’ll come home from work at 3, and proceed to fritter away the rest of the day doing basically nothing productive. Irritating?
A one-upper who tells the same stories over and over, because he hasn’t done anything worthy of one-upping anyone since he was young. I can’t say these things out loud to anyone but my best girlfriends, that’s why I’m writing them here. It makes me feel better for some reason. If I don’t plan on leaving him, maybe I shouldn’t say them at all. I’ve learned the little tricks that make life with him liveable. I do my own thing and pretend that we are friends. I do a happy dance when he spends the night at his mom’s house.
And I spend time with my daughter and her friends, laughing and talking. Life goes on, like it always does.