I forgot to tell you about my lunch with Cyndi Lauper. It was great. It was very casual and comfortable. Cyndi didn't wear a stitch of makeup. Her white hair was still workout wet and pulled back into a tiny ponytail. The food was fantastic. I had the burger. With blue cheese. (No, detail mavens, the burger above does not have blue. I looked, but couldn't find a picture with oozing blue. Please know I tried.)
At our lunch, Cyndi and I didn't talk much.
We didn't talk much because we were at different tables. Whatever. My lunch was still technically with Cyndi. Look up "with" in the dictionary. It doesn't say "at the same table," does it? No. So, technically I am not lying. Nor am I exaggerating the truth, capitalizing on our culture's celebrity obsession, so you read my blog post. I would never do that.
Okay. Time for the non-sarcaustic truth (I must remind myself that sarcasm is caustic). Weeks ago, I had lunch with Mom and Sister C and Baby Bulldog at a neighborhood favorite The West Branch. And I did have the burger. Yes, with blue cheese. And the lovely Cyndi was mere feet from us, chatting with a woman in a suit whom I assume was her agent. So there. I'm not a total liar and celebrity stalker. At this lunch, Mom made a big announcement. Sister T, my baby sister, now a senior at Yale, is Phi Beta Kappa. No, people, that's not a sorority. It's an academic honor of the highest order. One that I did not get.
When Mom announced this news between bites of her club sandwich, I looked at Sister C. I studied her face for the envy I was sure would appear. But it didn't. And then I realized something.
"Wait," I said to C. "You were Phi Beta Kappa too, right?"
She bounced her cute baby and nodded. "Yes," she said humbly. "But I didn't get it until second semester."
I nodded and sipped my water silently, marveling at levels of genius among my sisters and the celebrity in my midst. And I decided that I was far more starstruck by my little sisters than I was by the singer one table away. It was a no-brainer.
And then I realized something. Something major. For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I did not feel competitive with my sisters. When I heard of T's accomplishment, I was authentically and purely proud. Nothing more. This is big. In my family, my amazing family, competition is a given, a constant. We love each other, yes. But we compare ourselves to one another. Or at least I do. And I am sure I will continue to do this. Loving competition is part of being close.
But for once, I didn't feel it. That fierce flash of envy, that stabbing insecurity. No, I just felt proud. Very proud.
Rock on, T.
Do you have siblings? Were you competitive with them growing up? Are you still competitive with them on some level? Do you think competition is something we outgrow? Or do we evolve to compete over different things?