I’m sitting at BWI airport waiting to board my plane to a fun filled week in Arizona with my younger sister and niece. Why then, is my stomach tied in knots? Admittedly, my morning was filled with crises; I pressed ‘snooze’ while I was still completely asleep, so I was running 15 minutes behind all morning; I couldn’t find the boots I planned to wear where I so carefully ‘set them out so I wouldn’t forget where they were’ (they were next to the bed where I never thought to look); and after I had my suitcase perfectly packed [everything rolled neatly so nothing would wrinkle] it split wide open (hard case) and I had to move everything to my husband’s suitcase. So, yes, there were several moments of stress that could be the cause of the knots in my tummy…but they’re not.
I am not a nervous flier. As a matter of fact, every time I see an airplane fly overhead, I think to myself, “someone is going somewhere fun—how lucky—wish it was me.” So it is definitely not pre-flight jitters I’m feeling.
I think the real problem is the old adage that has been erroneously entering my mind for the past several days: “two’s company and three’s a crowd.”
I think of the many times in my life, beginning when I was a young girl playing in my backyard, when three was a crowd. I wanted to do things one way, Sally wanted to do them another, and poor unfortunate Linda was always left to figure out how to make us meld—or choose without causing trouble.
It is hard enough for two people to get along, but throw in a third personality and things get complicated. Now one person always has to choose, whether they want to or not or whether or not they are even aware of making a choice.
In any given situation, one person takes the lead and the companion can either go along with it or suggest an alternative. But what happens when a third person enters into that picture? Well, I’m fairly certain all of us have been faced with that dynamic.
You would think that such issues would not exist within a family, but they do. I can see it happening amongst my own children. But, because of the birth order thing, the hierarchy of ‘who will concede’ has already been established over time and there is rarely a problem.
Within my own family, my youngest sister and I were raised almost as a separate family from the older eight because of the drastic age differences. Although she was my best friend growing up, I realize we are really nothing alike. I am strong willed, bossy, driven, and always ready to fight for something or someone. She is easy going, relaxed, kind, and always believes that good will prevail if we just let things be. My niece, who is closer in age to her than I am, is more similar to her too.
I love these two women so deeply, yet I worry like crazy every time we three get together. Individually (me with one of them), we have such a great time together and have created wonderful memories. But in the past, when the three of us get together, it is as if I have a neon sign on my head that says “ODD MAN OUT!” Understand, this is self inflicted [I am certain], because they are both just lovely to me at all times.
So, I sit here in the airport wondering what changes I can make in my own behavior so that I don’t feel like I laugh too loud, give my opinion when not wanted or just push too much. They have both already emailed me that they plan to relax, relax, relax…which of course, has already created somewhat of a panic inside of me. I am not good at relaxing, so I have to really try to be relaxed, which of course, is counterproductive to relaxing.
It is time to board. I really am excited. I love them