Everything I Need to Forget I Learned in Kindergarten
When I was in kindergarten, I became enamored with one of the girls in my class. I don’t recall how this little relationship began. She probably offered me a beer at snack time.
I remember very clearly sitting at one of those tiny kindergarten tables next to this young lady. The teacher asked for a volunteer to pass out papers, and her hand shot up immediately. My little brain was confused. Why would my new friend want to get up and pass out papers when she could be sitting with me?
I was hurt. I was afraid she didn’t really like me. If she really liked me, she would want to spend every moment with me, right? I am sure that I acted in a needy, clingy way that only an annoying 5-year-old can pull off with panache. Predictably, our friendship didn’t even make it to nap time.
Why did I experience those intense feelings of insecurity at such a young age? I wish I could blame my parents, but I had a great childhood. They loved me and supported me in everything I did. Maybe there was not enough fluoride in the water. Or maybe too much.
Today, I still sometimes feel insecure about myself and my talents, even in areas where I have a proven track record. I sometimes feel pangs of jealousy that cause me to be stupid and overbearing. These days, it is harder to pass off my actions as 5-year-old immaturity.
The good news is that I handle myself now better than I did ten years ago. I am better able to talk myself through the irrationality of it all. I think one reason is that I’m getting older and curmudgeonier. (I’m pretty sure that’s a word.)
One of these days I’ll be perfect. In fact, I’m pretty darn close right now.
An unrelated note: don’t you think everybody hates the Boston Red Sox right about now?