In a recent online exchange I jokingly told my husband to be careful of inflating my ego. To which he replied, "Too late."
I was a little hurt by that. Considering how much I hate myself, I'd hardly say that my ego is inflated. So I asked him, "Do you really think I have a big ego?"
And I got back a one word answer. "Yes."
Now I was more than a little hurt, to be honest. But it's hard to argue effectively online with your spouse while he's under mortar attack (exaggerating, but still...) so I turned elsewhere for moral support. I texted Patrick.
"My husband just accused me of having a big ego! I don't have a big ego. Do I?"
Yes, I use full sentences, spelling,and punctuation when I text. But, anyway...
Not long after, I got Patrick's halting reply.
"Rock. Hard place. Me."
What the fuck? Now, that deserved a return phone call.
When I got Patrick on the line he was actually a little speechless. Those of you who know him can pick your jaws up off the floor now. I've never heard him stutter or grope for words like that before.
Here I was, slogging through life thinking most people saw me as self effacing, a little timid, and hugely humble, yet the people who know me best think I have a huge ego. I was flabbergasted.
I guess maybe there is a fine line between cocky and confident. Apparently I've tripped head first over that line and landed on my face.
Both of the men in my life fell all over themselves trying to explain that they thought it was good that I was confident in myself in some ways. I'm not sure I believe them.
Like most people, I'm not good at receiving compliments. Inside I know that I am a fraud. For whatever thing I'm being complimented on, I have a host of faults that obliterate it. But I've learned that it is most polite to say, "Thank you," and move on.
Maybe my compliment-accepting technique needs some work.
Or maybe I really do need to embrace this egotistical side. Maybe carrying around a big ego is better than carrying around a suitcase full of self doubt and a duffel full of self hatred.
It's got to be easier on the back.