Sunday, 24 October 2010

Natural born leader

There is one mummy at school who annoys me a little. I am not the most tolerant person, as you might have noticed. But it always fascinates me why someone annoys me. Because, very often it takes literally minutes for me to feel irritated and days, if not weeks, to figure out why.
This particular mummy is quite pleasant, really. Everyone seems to like her. I would not say she was rude, or arrogant or anything at all that would justify me being annoyed. 

So, I thought, it must be me. Maybe, I am just jealous of her flat stomach and the non-existent arse. I would never admit that was the reason, even to myself. But perhaps, it is?

And then, the days of the teacher’s consultations came.

The mummy in question met the teachers the day before me. Standing in the cold morning outside the school gate, she was sharing her experience.

'Ha-ha!' she said. 'It was amazing listening to the teacher describe my child. It was as if she was talking about me.Everything, every good thing and every bad is like looking at myself, you know?'

That was all pretty normal. I even started thinking she was quite okay, really.

And then, she said this. 

'The teachers said that there were three girls in the class who were clearly natural born leaders. And I thought: of course! Ha-ha! Just like me!'

Everybody smiled and I almost jumped  in joy. There it was! That’s why she annoys me!  

My child is a natural leader, just like me. 

I mean, how can anyone stand there with a straight face, smile smugly and announce that not only she believed she was a natural born leader, but also that her 4 year old child was clearly born to lead, too? 

So I am satisfied now. I actually don’t even think she will annoy me any longer. Now, that I know what the problem was, I can relax and even enjoy her company. Because, it will never stop amusing me how some people can be so utterly, openly, indulgently in love with themselves.Am.Az.Ing.


  1. Just as you confessed you are not the most tolerant person... well, I must confess I'm not the most patient person. Some people irritate me, but I never take the time to figure out why. Maybe I'll have to start doing it.
    ¡Que tengas una buena semana!

  2. would you feel better if your daughter was one of those 3 born-to-be-leaders girls? (Or maybe she is, I don't know :)

  3. @ Marianna: No, Scary's daughter probably is the one standing by the sidelines laughing at the three natural born leaders squabbling over who will rule the jungle jym. (And in a few years we'll all read about it on her first blog.)

    Honestly I think leadership is overrated. Imagine having a few shiftless hangers-on always looking to you to provide the impetus and direction for their actions. Some people like it, I guess; personally I think leading people isn't much more interesting than leading dogs.

  4. @Mark-"Leading people isn't much more interesting than leading dogs"- brilliant...!!!

  5. @Marianna: I have noticed since I have been a mother, that most of us ( mothers) think that our child has a "strong personality". what we/they usually refer to can also be called naughty or stubborn. But why would we use that word when we can explain our problem as a positive thing? Oh, I can’t do anything about my child's attitude, because she is a natural born leader. thus she is a bully. It is quite normal. I have noticed that on 100 of occasions. I tend to never claim my child is very smart or very beautiful. I obviously think so though. :)
    @Gabriela: Yes, try to analyze why they annoy you. Studying people is fun.

    @Mark: I don't want to be a leader. I would have to deal with a lot of very stupid people. I just want to be rich and famous. :) Actually, just rich would do me nicely.

  6. @ Anonymous: Thank you.

    @ Scary: You really are materialistic. Although I've spent my entire life below the poverty line and never seem to be doing any better than scraping by, I really must admit that I simply do not care about money. I've never worried much about security or been much of a hedonist - and considering how cheap computers are nowadays, and how easy it is to connect to the Internet, I just have trouble thinking of anything to spend scads of money on. What I've always missed are strong social bonds, a feeling of being understood, and a sense of place - that indefinable, unconscious interconnection that binds conservatives to God, King, and Country. Having lots of children seemed like the ideal solution until one of them died. But we're trying again; it will be good if this one is born healthy.

  7. @Mark: Yes, I am. What do I need money for?
    Let's see. Without money, I can't give my child a good education for a good chance in life and this country, where state schools are nowhere near good enough. Without money my family's health is in danger. My parents are not covered by NHS and if tomorrow they need a surgery, I will have to find thousands of pounds to cover that. There is NO medical knowledge I could trust in Azerbaijan. Those are the main things that concern me. But of course, there are also simple pleasures in life. Like going to a nice spa. Having a facial and going out to dinners with friends. I need money for any form of entertainment in the UK. The weather is not good enough to simply walk around aimlessly, or sit on the beach. :) I have to also make enough money to support my folks back home who can't make enough for themselves. shall I stop here or do you want me to give you more examples? So, the bottom line is-yes, I need more money. I like spending it!

  8. I agree, "natural born leadership" is often used as a lame excuse for bad parenting. My son also has a "strong personality" (he's going through "terrible two's" in other words), but we don't let him get away with bullying kids in our presence.

    Mark--I am very sorry to hear about your child, I hope your next attempt will be successful. And I agree with Scary about the importance of money but, obviously, not all people see it that way. Btw, if you plan to have an extended family, your children may not necessarily appreciate being raised in a big family that's below poverty line. I know I would not.

  9. @Marianna: I agree 100% on the aspect of raising kids in poverty. I often say we can't really afford another child, but I know a lot of people see things very differently. It depends what you think is important to give them, I guess.

    @Mark: I seriously doubt you live 'below the poverty line'. What that means to you is probably very different to what it means to a lot of people in this world. I also don't see this fact as anything to be particularly proud of, to be honest. :) If you forgive me for speaking openly.

  10. Scary, I admire your honesty. At this time and age it is so rare. Especially in British culture. It is simply unheard of. As if people are taught to say exactly the opposite of what they are really thinking or about things in general. Things get bottled up so much that no wonder everybody has a shrink these days:-)

  11. @ Scary: Nope, my entire life. Income last month was around $600. Of course, with sensible money management this isn't a big deal - most of the world lives below the United States' definition of the poverty line, and although translating that line back in time may be somewhat problematic, I think it's easy to argue that the entire *world* lived below that line throughout the vast majority of human history. It's a pity that so few Westerners know how to make ends meet with little money anymore; when world oil production peaks, they may have to.

    @ Marianna: Yes, I was thinking of my future family got my college degree. You'd imagine that a Bachelors in the hard sciences would be enough to impress most employers, but it seems that most of them are only looking for masters' degrees - and just my luck, the economy crashed as soon as I had my diploma. I've been reluctant to go back to school, but I just took the GRE and my scores are good enough that I'll be able to go to a school with a good assistantship program.

    However - again - I really think it's easy to overestimate the importance of money. We have a respectable car, warm clothes to wear, plenty of healthy food (most of it organically grown), a television, two computers loaded up with video games, and bins and bins full of toys. But although my surviving son has fun with all that, he's no dummy - he spends most of his time with grandma, cutting out bits of paper with scissors and claiming to be a spinasaurus. Yes, money is important, but compared to sane family and good friends, money isn't much.

  12. @Mark: Why do people always have to remind me that love, family and friendship are more important than money? I guess people assume that, if you say money is important, that must mean that you have wrong values in life.

    I don't see any logic in that. Money is just something that makes our life a bit more fun, also is just something we all need to survive and have a decent standard of living. We live in the world where it matters. Not admitting it does is like having an imaginary friend. :))

    I am sorry you are having trouble with employment. You sound like a guy who has brains, but, sadly, it does not always guarantee a well-paid job!

  13. @ Scary: People probably remind you that money is less important than love because it makes them feel big. For most people, money is pretty important, because I don't think they have much idea how to live without it.

    Yet, I feel that I've suffered more, and much more consistently, for the lack of understanding friends, sane family members, and a culture that I can relate to, than from a lack of wealth. It's really an economic question of scarcity - in the Western world, it's easy to find material things, but much harder to find intangibles. Thus I value and pursue intangibles.

    (By the way, my intelligence appears to be a frequent topic for discussion! Let me just say that, well, there comes a point where being bright stops being a strength, and veers into something more along the lines of a disability. Or to put it bluntly, very high intelligence tends to drive people insane. No, I'm not kidding! Successful people tend to have IQs from 120 to 150, not 170 or 190. I think this article does a pretty good job with the subject: )