I can flare my nostrils. Quite well actually. When something is super smelly, my nostrils get really big. It makes absolutely no sense. Kind of like those hamburger gummy candies. No sense.
I played in a slow pitch softball game last night. Third base. It was supposed to be 55 minutes long, but our game lasted about an hour and forty minutes because of extra innings. This says something about me: When it was the bottom of the 8th (the second extra inning we had to play) we were in the field, the other team up to bat and down by one point. I was standing there thinking, "Seriously, other team, just score right now and win. I can't take this any more." I wanted to lose, just to get away from the anxiety. People seem to love those close sporting matches; I hate them. I, rather, love watching the home team crush their opponent. And if the home team is getting crushed, well, then I leave or turn off the TV. So last night, as their big guns came up to bat I was fighting my will to win the game with my overwhelming desire to flee conflict. It's a rough life. (We won, by the way, by one point. 26-25.)
It's funny that I'm so openly adverse to competition now. Growing up, I thirsted for blood when it came to anything I could win. Sports, card games, scripture mastery chases in seminary. I would nearly hyperventilate before most of those things — I guess, looking back now, those could be called anxiety attacks — and if I lost it was not pretty. I was either crying or poised to rip off someone's limbs. But I kept doing it, kept competing, kept signing up for sports and organizing game days and learning all the tricks to beat Carly at scripture mastery. I guess the thrill of winning blocked out the misery of my losses. Or something.
I'm not sure I wasn't adverse to competition back then like I am now, but I pushed it out of my mind. I needed to prove myself — I think that's what it comes down to. There's something so incredibly satisfying about throwing a baseball and hearing guys say, usually quietly, they weren't expecting that. It felt pretty awesome to be (one of) the best at scripture mastery, even if I didn't win anything but bragging rights (but you better believe I bragged.) This proving myself mentality has been there my whole life, I suppose. Especially proving myself to men. I'm not a feminist — I personally think, meh, actually, I'll save my feminism speech for later — but I feel like it's harder to impress males, so doing so is a greater accomplishment. This probably stems from my dad coaching me in sports and my older brothers being ... older brothers ("I get no respect at all!") I still do this, still try and prove myself, mostly in the way I talk and what I talk about. So if there's a conversation about something I'm not learned in, I stay quiet. But if there's something I can say that will give people pause, that sounds smart or witty, I'm gonna say it, and then silently soak up the satisfaction of proving my intelligence, my worth and value in contribution to a scenario.
Back to competition: I think the worst part of my natural competitiveness was how loud and obnoxious I got in the heat of things. I still do, which is why I avoid competition. I don't like who I become. There's no filter, no volume control, no tact or class. It's ... it's ugly. So when a friend of mine said the other day that he wishes he was more competitive, I thought, "No, I'm so glad you're not. You, my dear friend, are what I wish I could be."
One of the things I fear the most is losing one of my favorite socks to the abyss that is the laundromat dryer. This says a few things about me. 1) I have an unusual love for my favorite socks (I have other pairs of socks that I'd sacrifice to the laundry gods any day) 2) I fear and respect large appliances for their maniacal tendencies and 3) I have a very sheltered, easy life if this is a fear of mine. Please don't tell the starving kids in Africa. I feel guilty enough already.