The Coarse Competitor

Even a trivial game like a round of Guitar Hero brings out the fierce competitor in Jordan. She isn’t satisfied until she proves she’s the best.

Her seductive personality, which often lapses into soulful discourse on the merits of biscuits and tea, belies a gritty underbelly on her character. Psychologically speaking, she might shiv you to win a challenge. She has a ruthless side that sparks when placed in competition. It is the essence of what propelled her up that rock face in Orlando, the substance of the never-ending war of words with her brother, and the very foundation of her survivorship. Jordan is a competitor.

We fist discovered this quality about her when she was still a toddler. The kids once shared a room at our condo on Lake Avenue. The condo had previously been owned by three college bachelors and the one who occupied the kids room evidently worked out quite a bit. He installed a pullup bar in the doorway. The kids loved for me to lift them up and let them hang from that bar. One day, when Jordan was about three or four, Luc had me count while he dangled in the doorway. I made it to 15 before he signaled that I needed to help him down. I looked over at Jordan and saw nothing but fire in her eyes. She asked me to lift her up and do exactly as I did for her brother. When I reached 18 she was still hanging on. Her face was steely, her grimmace determined … and she had no intention of letting go. At 22, I put my hands around her waist and asked her to let go. As I set her down, I looked over at Luc, who replied, “yeah, that’s a lot.”

Lately, I’ve seen this side of her burst through at the oddest of times. Our family is on a mission to eat more veggies. Actually, Jeanette and I are on a mission to eat more veggies. We’re dragging the kids with us. It hasn’t been going well, but then I had a spark of an idea. At the dinner table last night, I said, “you know what? Let’s start having a salad competition. We’ll take turns inventing salads to see who can do it better than the others.”

It was a throw-away comment, something to make vegetables sound remotely interesting. Everyone liked the idea, but with Jordan it took on a perverse life. The next morning she was concocting a wish-list of ingredients. Every 15 minutes she’d ask if it was time for her to make her salad. When Jeanette returned from the store with all the ingredients, Jordan became downright domineering. Luc wanted to sample one of the edamame she requested and a beast erupted.

–Lucas! Don’t eat my special ingredients! You can only have one.

Luc went first, making a pepper and heirloom tomato salad that was quite good. Jordan gave him his propers, but not before reminding him that she planned to win this evening.