Maybe it’s in the genes

As you might have read in a previous post, Greg and I are very competitive. Or maybe we’re way too stubborn. Or both. We’re a little different. We have, at least, established that. I think our competitiveness springs from childhood events.
The first time I visited Greg’s family for Christmas, Greg bragged to me about how his family had won the neighborhood lights contest for the past 15 years. I figured maybe his parents were friends with the judges. The following Christmas, I heard Greg’s dad predicting they would win the contest again. At this point, I had been through their neighborhood and seen some of the other decorations, blinding displays with thousands of lights, some tacky, some charming. Big colonials with 10 windows had a wreath over each pane. Greg’s dad, it seemed, had quite an ego. Sure, their display won points for tastefulness (a candle in each window), but it seemed about average compared to the rest. I later learned (after marrying Greg) that his parents are not friends with the judges. They are the judges. They created their own neighborhood contest, which only they know about, so that they would win each year. I might look down on this. I might look down on this if my family weren’t equally wacky.
My family had the annual Christmas tree debate. We drove to a Christmas tree farm in Wisconsin each December. We each chose a tree we thought perfect. Then we defended the honor of that tree.
“It’s got two points at the top!”
“It’s got a bare spot over there!”
“The trunk is crooked!”
We spewed insults about the other trees while trying to vie for our own. Eventually, my dad would choose the winner. It should be pointed out that my Dad participated in the tree debate and ruled in favor of his tree on several occasions. The strange part is that the winning tree always got the death penalty.