A couple of nights ago I was headed to the movies with my cousin when she said her parents had mentioned I was writing a book. This was news to me. I started racking my brain, trying to remember something I might have said recently that would have made them think I was writing (as they put it) the next great American novel.
Then in a moment of absolute clarity, I figured it out: they had spoken to my parents recently. Of course I was writing a book. I’m a little surprised I didn’t already have a publisher lined up.
I should probably point out that my parents are fairly modest people. They don’t brag about themselves. But what they lack in self-promotion, they more than make up for in bragging on their children. A very sizable chunk of the population in our hometown knows all about my sister the adventurous world traveler, my brother the handsome natural athlete and family man, and me. I’m basing this on the numerous times I have run into people back home in places like the grocery store who are so completely up-to-date on all the happenings of my life that I really have nothing to add. Also on the fact that I’ve witnessed how much they talk about us in our presence and know it gets a lot worse when we’re not around to rein them in.
I suppose it’s my fault. I really dislike people who are full of themselves, especially those who try to feign modesty only to drop very loaded hints about how cool they are. Since I really don’t want to be that person, I try never to brag. The problem is I love to talk – about everything. If I just rocked a major project at work, or scored a goal in soccer, or wrote something cool, I want to tell someone the story. So I call my parents. And thus the cycle begins.
Really if I think about it, I’m no better. If someone I care about has done something awesome, I want everyone to know. I don’t let them get away with being modest either. Boy are my kids in for it. Maybe it will inspire them, just like I’m inspired to be the person my parents brag about. Now where did I put that book idea…