I have never really liked being the only child. As a kid, I used to terribly miss the company of a sibling and had my heart set on an elder brother for some reason. My mother would try her best to explain how this was biologically non-viable but to no avail. After a while, when I was old enough to realize that my parents had no plans of expanding our family, I resigned myself to the depressing fact that I will be the unhappy,solitary child forever.My mother fearing that I would fall prey to the much-dreaded single child syndrome made it a point to inculcate the virtues of sharing in me and was in fact a bit too successful. As a result, I have very generously donated away my expensive, foreign toys and rare set of play things made out of clay by artisans in some remote place in Tamil Nadu.The sole exception was my collection of golis (marbles) which I refused to part with.I started with 5 of them and went on to amass as many as 200 marbles which I won fair and square in the goli matches from boys of all ages and sizes.But I digress.So the only hitch was when it came to sharing people, especially those close to me. If some kid as much as held my parents’ hand, I would get jealous! My friends were not allowed to be friends with any other kid. They were my friends. Period.And this trait just stayed on.
I have always found it painfully difficult to compete for someone's affection.Simply because I am just not used to it.So when my best friend Mads,decided to become girlfriend-boyfriend with B who happened to a friend of ours,I just refused to accept the change in scenario.I hated B for taking Mads away from us.Mads had to now divide her time and attention between us and him which was just so unfair.How dare he!I am just lucky I have great friends because had it been anyone else,they would have promptly disowned me or worse,completely misunderstood my feelings and intentions.But for some bizzare reason,Mads and B were both very understanding and Mads would actually go out of her way to make sure that I wasn't feeling too left out!
I go through similar emotions with my in-laws.I feel I am constantly competing against my BIL's wife A , for my MIL's affection.And it is just so damn exhausting.For instance,everyone acknowledges openly that I am a better cook than A.Inspite of that, every single time we talk to my in-laws over the phone,I make it a point to instruct M that he has to rave about something that I cooked during that week.And I feel very let down if he doesn't. Well,you get the picture here,don't you.It is not like I am trying to prove that I am better.All I want is for my MIL to love me more.And this is the only way I know to compete for someone's affection;by proving that I am better than my competitor.See how I contradict myself here?!And the fact that both A and my MIL are very warm and affectionate and sensible just makes it all the more frustrating.As juvenile as it may all sound,it is something that I have to live with.And when I am in such situations,nothing about what I feel at that moment is juvenile.It is a constant tug-of-war of emotions and believe me when I say that it is very very hard to not let it get the better of me.
I blame it all on my parents.Sigh.If only I had an elder brother.....