Jelly Bellies and Mom Genes

I like most people. I can be around some more than others, but I generally get along with everyone, and I typically prefer for my life to proceed in that way.

However, there is one type of person—a type of female—that I have avoided like poison…since I was old enough to think.

This particular type of female has emerged in various unpleasant forms repeatedly throughout every single stage of my life. So, because all of their behavior started in early childhood, I will hereby refer to these females as…

“Baby Hoggers.”

You know those little girls who practically have someone’s baby in their arms the second they set eyes on the child? The girls all the moms call “sweet,” “caring,” and “motherly,” while you stand by, quietly and politely waiting your turn to hold the baby…if you are asked…because you know that sometimes asking questions is rude, and that’s not your baby anyway?

Those girls who don’t understand the concept of sharing very well and aren’t capable of making real friends because they’re too busy concentrating on what they want for themselves?

They will also likely take over the world one day…which will not be awesome. It will be terrifying. Because they will not actually know what they are doing.

Yep.

Yep.

Those girls are Baby Hoggers.

Things don’t really change as you grow up together either…

They just shift a little bit.

boy hogger

At some point they separate into two types:

Type 1—The one who hates you and bullies you until one of you dies.

Type 2—The one who suddenly and seemingly miraculously decides she LOVES you and wants to be your best friend ever until the day one of you dies.

They are still the same people. If I were to draw a Venn diagram out of them for you, this is what it would like:

Baby Hogger Venn Diagram

And just when you think adulthood has whipped some sense into these girls…

Scenario: Your “friend” discourages you from pursuing your awesome life goals because “you’re not cut out for that” or “that’s a terrible idea.”

Reality: no, she is not your friend, and she discourages you because she is jealous of you and is just looking out for #1. She wants all that awesomeness in life for herself, and unlike her, you actually have a brain that comes up with ideas. If she steals your ideas, she will take credit for them, expect you to worship her for it, and will not share anything in return…because she is a HOGGER.

Scenario: When you start a family, that “kind lady” begins to offer “suggestions” for how to raise your child—particularly at times when you are not asking for anyone’s advice.

Reality: She either wants everyone to think she is the best mother on the planet, or is a Supermom wannabe who is judging you so hard because… she is so jealous of you. She wants what you’ve got and doesn’t want you to have it at all. And, if she can get away with it, she will put you down as a mom to feel good about herself as a… not-mom. Fortunately for you, it seems to be socially unacceptable to tell other people how to raise their kids, so if you let her know who’s boss in your family matters real quick, you shouldn’t have too much trouble later…we hope, anyway.

In the end, what it all comes down to is this:

Baby hoggers want to suck all of the joy out of your soul, and they will do so in any way that comes easiest to them. Why? Because they want to hog your happiness. And why do they insist on not sharing? Because it’s actually not about being happy at all. It’s not about babies, boys, or even just being awesome. It’s simply about making everyone around them THINK they are awesome, can get all the boys, are the best babysitter/mom ever, and all other things that display an aura of success and coolness in life.

They will totally rock at making you think you are best friends forever… until they don’t get what they want from you. Then, they will immediately begin to bully you incessantly until they get what they want from you.

Here just a few ways you can expect them to attempt this:

  • They are easily irritated with everything, complain about everything, and have an opinion (usually a negative one) about everything you say or do.
  • They will insert just enough kind words to smooth over their negativity so that you’ll stay in their game.
  • They will try to tell you how you feel and try to convince you that you think certain things–things that actually never crossed your mind a fraction until they mentioned them.
  • They may suddenly give you the silent treatment as a punishment for something.
  • They may never actually end a silent treatment.
  • They hijack your friends and turn them against you. (This is an ultimate win for them.)
  • If you even barely resist them in any way, they will vehemently resist you, and you can certainly expect a threat or two when that happens.
  • They flawlessly suck up to everyone when their reputation/popularity is on the line.

If none of these (or other) methods succeed in manipulating you into getting them what they want, they will simply give up and abruptly leave your life or resent you and harbor bitterness toward you that builds every time they have to see your face.

That being said, girls….are nuts.

Choose your girl friends wisely.

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Success!……kind of

Ten years ago when I came home from school, I ran straight upstairs to the office, perched peacefully above the thick woods surrounding our lovely Tennessee dream home. In this corner of the house, tucked away from the rest of the world, I brought my first dreams to life.

Guided purely by my imagination, my mind channeled images, feelings, and perceptions into one flood of force—a current of thought—which my fingertips, pattering competitively on the keys, brought to the screen in front of me within seconds.

My feet never touched the floor, so I crossed my legs or sat on them. Sometimes hours would pass, and my mom would call me down for supper, but I would stall so I could finish my last sentence…or complete an entire scenario. My knees would start to hurt and I would squirm restlessly in the chair, but I was determined to finish what I had started that day. So I sat there until I did.

And then when I did, it was time to play something else!

So I got up and did exactly the same thing… except through the piano. Then, if it was still light outside, I might have hopped on my bike and ridden around and around on our driveway spanning our 11 acres; or cartwheeled obsessive-compulsively in the front yard; or failed every attempt at a slam dunk with my little brother—all of it just fueling my mind for the next round of activities.

The feeling I get from doing the things I do well has always been rewarding, but these things have not always been viewed as accomplishments, or as anything particularly special. I scribbled away… erased away… and scribbled away during those timed essays in fourth grade, proud to finish exactly what I had set out to finish at exactly the right time. I was confident of the work I had done, but when Mrs. Wiley read my narratives in front of the class, I was more concerned about when it was all going to be over with and what others thought about me than about how I was actually an exceptional writing student and why in the world that mattered anyway.

This outlook progressed through high school when my friends excelled at math and science, and while parents and teachers cooed over how “smart” they were. I assumed I needed to be like them if I wanted to be “smart” and succeed in life, too.

Perhaps this is why when, one day in Spanish class, our class valedictorian told someone she thought I was smart, I wasn’t sure exactly how to internally process that. Was she serious? Or just being sympathetic? It was like having my narrative read in front of the class again, except slammed up into two seconds. If I could put my full mental reaction into words it would be something like, “Okay…cool. Thanks! I guess…” or maybe just, “Uh…”

I graduated from high school knowing that I wanted to take my writing somewhere in my life, but I did not graduate high school thinking that writing was anything particularly extraordinary. When I (felt as though miraculously) got accepted to Auburn University, I specifically chose Journalism over English initially because I had heard more frightening, negative statements about majoring in English than in any other existing major. I did not want to be that girl.

Later, but soon enough thankfully, I learned that there are a variety of avenues that you can take in obtaining an English degree, and all of them do not result in spending the rest of your life in a school. Actually, there are even some pretty lucrative careers that can come out of an English background—one being what I fell in love with and which lead me into the English major after all—and that is technical writing.

There was a time during high school when this really popular sign was around, usually in highly traveled places. It said, “Math is power,” and it looked as cool as it sounded.

It wasn’t until I began my studies in writing at AU when I realized that actually, words are power. In fact, words shape, and even dictate, our whole world. Yeah. That sign? Not that cool without the words.

Language defines and affects credibility, authority, laws, responsibility, religion, purpose, relationships, and real life consequences…just to name a few. But you know… numbers are cool, too.

You can pretty much bet your life that the most renowned people of all time are backed up by stacks of literature, and the people who wrote them were often poor scribes slaving away for a government and not getting paid squat; people whose names we don’t even know because they set their bars higher than a vain desire for praise and recognition; people who claimed having the inspiration of divine beings and continue (whether done truthfully or not) to convince the world of these events and meanings; weird people; crazy people; people who changed laws, wrote nation-altering speeches, influenced the hearts of groups and individuals to help make the world a better place; in short, AWESOME PEOPLE (even if a lot of them were actually kind of bad).

I certainly won’t be performing any surgeries or building any software systems, but it sure is satisfying to know that among my gifts is the power to support the people who CAN do these things; and the power to support the people who can’t; the power to understand people; and the power to convey meaning from one group of people to another; the power to articulate a purpose, the power to clarify a vision for a leader, the power to change a person’s life… the power change the world.

Now back to those dreams…