Throughout my childhood, I had two best friends that I always hung out with. Especially when we all lived in the same community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, we saw each other and played together every day.
Our friendship was very caring in nature and unique in the sense that we almost never competed against each other. We always cared about each other’s feelings above all and since it was important for us that everybody felt included while playing together, competitive activities rarely took place. However, even in a friendship like this, once in a while, there were moments when a competitive spirit rose among us.
When we were about four, there was one TV program that every kid watched, called “With Mommy”. It was a late afternoon program designed for young children’s educational and recreational purpose, and several young children appeared in the program engaging in different activities. One of the activities showed a child changing into pajamas on their own without any help from adults while the music played in the back.
One day, one of my friends said that she could finish wearing her pajamas faster than the kids on the TV.
“I can finish wearing my pajamas so much faster than them.”
“Me too!” I said immediately. “They are so slow. I can do it faster!”
From that day on, I spent several days consciously putting on my pajamas faster than my usual pace until the topic became out of fashion among us.
Another time, we three girls were sitting at one of my friends’ home and reading girls’ comic books side by side. My friend was watching my other friend read through her book and exclaimed how fast she was turning the pages.
“You’re turning the pages so fast. Are you really reading it?”
My friend was laughing and nodding, but I interrupted.
“No, that’s too fast. You can’t be reading it properly!”
For such silly things we competed with so much seriousness. Even with my best friends, it was an important business for me to show my competence – that I was a competent person. I don’t know about my friends, but for me that was always the source of my competitive spirit.