Getting Countercyclical on Your Ass

by F.

When others zig, I zag.

I didn’t know why until I read Frank Sulloway’s book Born to Rebel a few years ago. In that book, I found out that I’m competing for the best teat with my sibling. Still. After 39 years. The youngest child has to go where the older, stronger, more favored child isn’t. Seemed right.

But it probably isn’t. Frederic Townsend seems to have shown that. And Judith Harris, among others, gives a pretty good refutation of Sulloway’s theory, too. Sulloway even threatened to sue the publisher of a journal in which his work was criticized. Ah, America.

Yet still I zag for some (now) unexplained reason.

Like on Memorial Day. “Are you going away this weekend?” my neighbor asked. Going away? Are you out of your Mind? This is one of those weekends I vow to stay at home. I will not be removed from the house. The freeways are clogged, the obvious recreation destinations are jammed, and people are truly desperate to enjoy themselves, which tends (in my experience) to make them grumpy, grasping, and pushy.

Sure, you can go away on Memorial Day. But you pay a huge inconvenience tax for doing so, just like driving into work at peak times. I’ll just move over and use the smaller teat.