It was all a lie. The curriculum said we’d learn to share in Kindergarten. Finger-paint, yes, share, not so much. I had play dates where I was forced to let new friends touch my stuff. No, not while we played doctor, gutterkids; I’m talking trains or a new doll. But it’s mine and I don’t want to, but mothers whisper and you’re seen as bad if you don’t. Praise, and cookies, come with sharing. What a good girl. Pat. Pat.
When my childhood friend Hillary and I went to the movies, I offered, “can I get you anything?” All she wanted was a diet coke. Done. I can do that. I got my most favorite disgusting item in the world: spicy nachos from the heat lamp box, with extra cheese. I know, gross, whatever. Mine. Here, would you like one? Say no. Say no. Say no.
“Oh sure, thanks.” I want to stab her in the eye with the pointiest nacho in my lap. Okay, very nice. Let’s watch the previews now. La-di-da.
She takes another one, the good one that’s been saturated and is now softened with warm cheese. I hate her (hate with an enunciated "t").
I’m not 8 in this scenario; I’m 28. I still can’t share. “Oh, I’ll just have some of your fries, okay?”
“Um, no. Order your own.” I swear to God, this is who I am.
Linus is a bully. I mean, forget food, that’s obvious and common with all dogs. But he doesn’t want to share his mommy either. He’ll bite you for her. Don’t even think of trying to pet him while he’s on my lap. He’ll think you’re cutting into his one-on-one time. It’s like you’re asking for an eye patch.
And now I know how he feels. I’ve developed a growling problem.
I thought I was getting good at this. I’m ashamed to say this. I have two friends that I’ve recently introduced to one another. Now, they email and chat on the phone every day. They order in dinner and watch movies together. They go out without me. I feel replaced, and I want my land back.
It made me cry at my desk today, even as I write this. I’m so menstrual; that has to be it. Okay, for good measure, throw in some jealousy and insecurity. Now we’re talking. I hate that I feel this way. I’m ashamed that it hurts me so much. Feelings don’t know right from wrong.
Intellectually, of course it’s silly. Parents, for example, don’t love their first born any less once their second and third children arrive. But a five year old still feels jealous. I’m not five or in kindergarten anymore, though… I should know how to share. I don’t want to control or dominate anything. They’re not mine.
Baby steps I guess. Maybe I can offer up a nacho as emancipation. One. Okay, fine. Two.