NaBloPoMo Day 4: People Who Have “One-Upmanship” Other Irritating Conditions

Now that my son Andrew is 13, he’s suddenly become an expert on driving. Even though the kid has zero experience behind the wheel of an automobile, he’s getting more and more adept at pointing out when I’m going too slow, too fast, breathing wrong, should pass the car in front of me, need to merge to the right, should be tailgating the jerk on his phone to teach him a lesson,  etc.. It’s as if, the closer he is to getting his license, the more innately superior he feels to me. By the time he’s 16, I’ll have started taking public transportation for fear of his judgement.

Today’s parking adventure.

ANDREW: “Mom, that’s a terrible parking job. People are going to think you’ve got “Parallel Parkinson’s.”

ME: “I have to write that down.”

I tell my sister stories like this and she laughs a hearty, condescending, one-uppy laugh and says “oh just wait. You don’t know anything about parenting teenage boys yet.”


My sister Pamela and me. She’s one-upping me with her smile. And her oldest son Will is photo-bombing us. Love that kid.

Then she begins ticking off examples of her kids’ wayyyyy more teenagery behavior than Andrew’s know-it-all-ness. I didn’t realize we were competing for the Over-Burdened, Mom of Adolescents badge.

I don’t play the One-Up game very well.

I remember confiding in my friend Laura, a few years ago, that I suffered from depression. That I’d dealt with it on and off my whole life and took  medication to cope when sarcasm and irreverent humor didn’t work.

LAURA: “You don’t have it all the time?”

ME: “No. Some days are great. But other days are unbearable. It sort of depends on how busy I am. The more I have on my plate, the less time I have to hate life.”

LAURA: “Sounds like situational depression to me. Most people deal with that. I suffer from clinical depression. That’s the real thing. I have to take strong meds to function every day. It’s been completely debilitating. People with clinical depression are way worse off than what you’ve got.

ME: (thinking) “Okay, you win. Laura. Your depression made the varsity team and is starting every game, while mine probably wouldn’t make the B-Team.”

Wouldn’t trying to “one-up” someone’s troubles be more of a “one-down?”

The following photo has nothing to do with any of the above topics. But it does make me laugh.


I had to take a photo of this sign at our pool club’s concession stand. We really are spoiled up here in Woodlake. Did they get so many requests for sauerkraut that they thought getting it warranted a sign to advertise? I wonder if other pool clubs’ memberships are suffering now that ours has sauerkraut. What’s next for hungry swimmers? Diced onion? Sweet relish? Shredded cheese? I sure hope they put up separate signs for each topping.

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18 Responses to NaBloPoMo Day 4: People Who Have “One-Upmanship” Other Irritating Conditions

  1. Cathy says:

    Not sure I enjoy the comment but love your son’s interest in your parking! One upmanship is a character trait many people have, and I hate it like you do. Let’s all just be HAPPY FOR ONE ANOTHER! Thought-provoking post.


  2. That sign is classic! I’m not a fan, and can’t imagine all that many requests, but what do I know?


  3. angelaweight says:

    Sorry, Cathy. I dont always think ahead of time how someone might take my harsh humor.


  4. loisaltermark says:

    Okay, I can’t get past that sign, which is hilarious. I bet it actually made a lot of people very happy!


  5. Sarah Mac says:

    Seriously, neither of you have LIVED until you’ve parented a teenage girl … kidding, I’m KIDDING … kind of.

    Mine has an opinion on everything from what size knickers I should be buying at my age (bigger!!) to how to walk in high heels and how my eyeliner would go on sooo much better if I pulled my eyelids out to get rid of the wrinkles first …


  6. Love the sign…hate sauerkraut and one-uppers!


  7. That sign is hilarious! It would have made me laugh, too. I think it deserves its own blog post.


  8. nfhill says:

    Teenage daughters are no better… but I survived. My husband would jump up and down with delight at that sign!!!!


  9. elinwaldal says:

    And everyone’s child is a prodigy too., yeah not a fan of the one-upmanship either.


  10. I’m not a fan of one-up headgame… or sauerkraut. I did enjoy the post, though. 😀


  11. kimtb says:

    I am a terrible parker, and my daughters think it’s hysterical. However, I am awesome at parallel parking, and none of us understand that. It’s actually one of my super powers.


  12. Carolann says:

    Oh those teen years…nightmare! Mostly from my daughter…the son was much easier!


  13. Life is better when you are laughing! My son has Aspergers and he said the funniest things all the time!


  14. Nothing more annoying than one-uppers, seriously.


  15. I agree, it drives me crazy too!


  16. Okay. I love your sister. And she has smart boys. And I’m sure your boys are smart too. That’s probably why your 13 yo is telling you how to drive. ❤


  17. I have been making an effort not to make the comment ‘wait until they are…’ to any parent. I realized how important it is to just enjoy whatever age, even if it is 13.
    One up-manship is a sad habit.


  18. Your son’s comment is adorable. As for your sis, personally I hate playing the one-up-game. I’d just tell her she wins. Big Woop:)


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