Tell a FriendLeigh AnneLeigh Anne Jasheway ~ Queen of Stress

I’d Like to Change My Order

I was listening to a radio talk show in my car the other day and the main guest was a psychologist who specialized in "birth order." To be completely honest, I have to admit the whole reason I tuned in in the first place was I thought the psychologist said she specialized in "girth order." I wanted how she could possibly predict my personality from my hip size. But once I got it all straightened out, I was hooked, so I kept listening.
Now, I want you to know that I’m not the kind of person who believes that your whole life is determined for you by the stars, the planets, or the number you get when you add all the letters up in your name. In fact, the one time I tried adding up the letters in my name, I got –7. The chart explaining what each number says about you didn’t have negative numbers on it, so I assumed my number meant either I was going to lose weight, go bankrupt, or have to make an emergency run to the store for new batteries for my calculator.

So it’s not surprising that I was taking everything the radio psychologist said that day with a grain of salt (don’t tell my doctor!) The psychologist insisted, for example, that first born children are always argumentative, bossy and controlling. Well, I am the first born child in my family. So I pulled over to the side of the road, demanded that my spouse get my cell phone out of the glove box, called up the radio station, insisted that the producer put me through immediately, and told the psychologist in no uncertain terms that she was absolutely, completely wrong. And I was willing to wrestle her to prove it.
Okay, so maybe there’s a little something to what she had to say. After all, she admitted that she was a first born child as well, and believe me, the woman was as bossy as they come. Our conversation went a lot like this: You’re sure argumentative! Are not! Are too! Well, so are you! Am not! Are too!

But then she said some things that made more sense: that children who are born first tend to be leaders and are most likely to succeed. Hey, maybe this woman really does know what she’s talking about. And, she continued, first born children often end up in careers in like business, research, or speaking. That’s uncanny -- I’m in business for myself, I have to research my articles (although most people don’t consider calling your best friend and asking questions such as "Do you consider me bossy?" or "Does this column make me look fat?" to be actual research), and often during the day, I speak – either to people who’ve called on the phone to suggest that my carpets are dirty or to my dogs letting them know that they are the reason my carpets are dirty. I guess there may be something to this.

To check out how well birth order predicts the personality of second and third children, I called up two of my friends. I could have called my own siblings, but those would have been long distance calls, and we first borns, according to the experts, tend to be fiscally conservative. Which is why many of us shop at Goodwill. You wanna make something out of it?

Anyway, back to the point… according to the radio psychologist, middle children are often rebellious. My middle-born friend disagreed. I think. I could barely hear her because the roar of her Harley motorcycle all but drowned out her voice on the cell phone. Then she said something about getting her nose pierced. I yelled into the phone, "You’re 36, when are you going to grow up?" Do you think that was too bossy?

When I mentioned to my friend who is the youngest in her family that, according to the experts, youngest kids are usually show-offs who always want the limelight for themselves, she simply put on her tiara and stuck her tongue out at me.

Okay, so maybe our personalities are influenced by the order in which we were born. But I bet there’s something to the whole "girth order" thing as well. And I bet women with 39-40 inch hips are much more successful, strong, independent, and funny, and we have more friends than women with, say, hips that are only 34-35 inches. And we’re not bossy or argumentative, either. Are not!

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