I’m not talking exhausted from a work out, not from running a marathon, not from babysitting grandkids for a long weekend. Not even from helping you significant other spring clean the entire house. I am talking total and absolute exhaustion from a social event. Last night I had the opportunity to attend a dinner party. The guest list was a bit rare as this particular mix has never been in the same room together, and like Haley’s comet passing hopefully that will be the next time this group gathers!
The group had a couple of people in it that are the greatest one uppers I have ever heard speak the English language. If one had a mansion the other had an estate. If one had seen Mount Everest the other was on top of the mountain when they were there as well. In all of my life I have never seen people try so hard to be better than the other. I will never understand why this is important to some people. As I sat there in mouth gaped amazement listening to this competition I was reminded of a guy I worked with years ago. We would sit around a large table at lunch and listen to stories from the “old guys” in the business. This one guy was the all-time leader in one uppers until last night, sadly he has been dethrone and not one place but two! I will never forget the day when we went into lunch determined to get something over on him. We had a lot of veterans working around and one of them decided he would tell a huge lie about flying with the Blue Angels. Well after the story we all waited and sure enough here comes “Liar Lair Pants on Fire” he proceeds to tell the group, with a straight face, he was on the USS Nimitz during a tour of duty and was called to ride in the back seat of a Blue Angel airplane and was shot off the deck of the aircraft carrier. We all sat the in utter amazement looking at this guy until we just erupted into uncontrollable laughter. He got his feeling hurt and stormed off swearing the story to be true. WHY?
As I sat there listening to this BS last night my ears bleeding like someone had stuck a pencil through my ear drums I was once again in total awe of people who get so caught up in being better, faster, richer, smarter, been there done thater than anyone in the room. What a sad curse to have placed upon you. And sadly I watched as people I know that do not have this syndrome get pulled into the fray like a moth to a flame. Good people, who I love and respect, suddenly telling stories that are more than likely true only to be dashed by the one uppers. Then they walk away hurt and mad because they want so badly to tell another story but realize that it too would only be topped.
What a sad state of affairs. As my wife and I rode home all we could talk about was how it turned into this feeding frenzy of I’m better than you and can prove it. People who seem normal on the outside but once challenged they turn into these story telling zombies that totally take over every conversation in the room. And if you try to turn the conversation back to something resembling the truth they say I wasn’t finished with my story. That’s when I got up and when to a comfortable chair!!!
My wife and I made a pack last night on the way home. If either of us ever starts down the one upper road the other will simply say “Merry Christmas”!
May you never have to sit through what we did last night. Trust me it’s painful!
Well let me leave you with a story about the time I was playing golf with Jack Nicholas, Arnold Palmer, and Lee Trevino at Augusta National. I was only up by 3 with 2 holes to play.
The Blessed Man