From Drama Llamas to Prima Donnas, our family had all the bases covered. In fact, we have an abundance of characters who wish to be adored and glorified. Since the beginning of time, there have been stories written about people who love to look at their image in a mirror like Narcissus who was a hunter and was renowned for his beauty. He was the son of a river god named Cephissus and a nymph named Liriope. He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis saw this and attracted Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died.
Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself.
It started with our mother Mary who thought that because she kind of, halfway, every other Friday practiced Catholicism she should be up for sainthood. Next up was our stepmother Beatrice who also thought she was amazing, and the model for others to follow the path to fulfillment of one’s own desires. And thus be worshiped by all the others in the family circle.
Constantly vying to be the center of attention in any family means you must be loud, unwilling to give up the “microphone” and over-talk all the others gathered. As this scene plays out, someone always feels left out and shuts down. Monopolizing the conversation because what you have to say is the funniest, best, most important means you wish to be adored.
Lights, cameras, action, I’m ready for my close-up!
The only one in our family who never had to vie for attention was Cousin Beverly who was smart enough to be an only child. She was adored by both parents and was always the center of attention at any family gathering. Surprisingly, she is not the spoiled brat you would imagine her to be, but she is a smart, funny successful attorney. Sometimes people out-grow the need to be the Star!
Taking turns and remembering to include everyone is a sign of maturity that comes with age, wisdom and grace. Some of us have arrived at that destination and some of us have taken the detour to Crazyland.
None of us have gone on to Hollywood fame but we are legends in our own minds.