As an eldest child of only two, and the eldest grandchild, I have never been very good at sharing. I still remember being seriously chastised at the age of five for consuming a good four-fifths of a huge pink iced donut I was supposed to split with my brother before he even got so much as a crumb. I came into this world with a sense of entitlement that I have maintained through my entire life; be it my insistence as a small child that my brother and I be referred to as “Amelia and Joe,” with my name always the former, or my absolute rage when anyone drives slightly too slowly for me to be able to slip behind them in the left lane without braking.
This sense of entitlement extends to my social outings, where I immediately assume the “shotgun” position in the car regardless of who is driving, take the prime seat at a restaurant table with my back to the wall and take the first petit four when dessert is delivered to ensure I don’t get stuck with the boring cakey-looking one. Selfish? Perhaps. But in my mind these acts of, let’s say ‘assertion,’ are perfectly justifiable. My height prevents me from sitting comfortably in most back seats. I have a higher-than-average bum crack and prefer to seat myself in a position less likely to result in overexposure from my ill-fitting jeans. As a glutard I need to be sure that the deliciousness of any desserts I consume far outweighs the unpleasant and inevitable gastric consequences.
I also have a habit of calling “dibs” as a way of laying claim to whatever it is I feel that I am entitled to; be it the exclusive rights to exchange flirtatious eye contact and body language with an attractive man sitting on the other side of the bar, first use of the microwave during the mad lunch rush in the office or claiming the character of “Rachael” when my friends are discussing which member of the cast of “Friends” best suits them. (In reality I am far more of a “Ross;” however, I strongly feel that if anyone is going to be cast as the “sexy” one in the group it should be me.)
Often this same feeling of entitlement manifests as indignation at the behaviour of others;
In the public gardens: How dare those children run through the park, shrieking with laughter. CAN’T THEY SEE I AM READING A BOOK HERE?!!
Listening to the radio: You said you’d play the new Mumford and Sons song after 8 o’clock. It’s 8:09, who the hell is running this joint?
At the checkout: Stop making small-talk and smiling at everyone and bag those groceries, bitch! I’ve got 10 minutes to get home before the Biggest Loser starts!
At the gym: Your breath stinks. You are puffing stinky breath all over the place and it’s throwing off my pace. GO AND USE A TREADMILL FURTHER AWAY FROM ME!
At home: You used the last clean saucepan, and now I have to wash my dishes from last night before I even get to start cooking my dinner. Thanks a lot.
At a concert: I don’t care if you can’t see past me because you’re short. Get here earlier or get a proper set of legs, you stumpy excuse for a human being!
In a bar: What, I’m supposed to wait in line like a chump without so much as an offer to buy me a drink? So this push-up bra means NOTHING to you people?!!
At the movies: Oh, great, I get to hear this guy next to me chewing popcorn through the whole movie while this other jerk in front of me keeps angling his head to the side like an idiot. Just sit still and put your stupid large head on its normal axis. I came here to watch a movie, not be distracted by some idiot’s weird head movements.
The feeling of entitlement also extends to situations where I have not been included in a joke or prank. There have been times where my friends or colleague’s secretive murmurs and satisfied smirks (the kind that only come with the gratification of being involved in an “in” joke) have sent me into internal fits of rage where I go rampantly smashing all the crockery and porcelain figurines in my mind-hutch with the figurative cricket-bat of fury until all that’s left are sad little imaginary fragments of china elephants and delicately painted tea-cups and a white-hot sense of wrath.
I can’t be sure where this prerogative came from or why it sends me into such uncontrolled eruptions of temper. All I know is that if you take the last Tim Tam, steal my corner position on the couch when I get up to pee or forget to buy milk on the day that I need to borrow some to make pancakes: you’re in for it.