Losing to Iris Melman

We’ve gone over the fact that as a middle child, I suffer from Middle Child Syndrome and that I am the lucky #2.

I like being the #2.

You don’t HAVE TO BE THE BEST. You try as hard as you can and that would be good enough. Why? Because someone else is striving for perfection, ALL the time, because they have to. It’s expected of them. #2 has to be really good and sometimes (or in my case – have a complex about) trying to beat out #1 and making that top spot some of the time. I am really competitive when it comes to my brother, in the recent modern technology age we can fight for the winner position by playing on-line games with each other. As children, Chubby never won, because big brother was taller, stronger and it came easier for him to win at games. That felt rotten, but now I’m older, wiser, and accept that being #2 aint so bad.

At only 5 years old this little writer won the 2nd Place in a Beauty Pageant. Yes, I did. Located at the Holmdel Swim and Tennis Center, bashfully standing in front of many half-clothed kids and other various pool-people in the 70’s, Chubby won a ribbon, an elephant pin, a flower, and got to take a picture with a creepy-looking clown.I have no idea who this lady is with me in the photo – but we are matchy-patchy – maybe it was fixed? I was pretty cute…again, I don’t think there was any talent portion of this contest, I just stood there and looked like my little self.

I look back at this photo and wonder how my parents got me to do this. I was so shy! Funny how my 4.5 year old now sometimes puts his pinkie in his mouth when he’s nervous! Side Note: I know it’s the 70’s, but this photo looks like a snapshot from the Brady Bunch. I look like a brunette Cindy Brady!

I loved that elephant pin. I have no idea what I said or who this guy is. Maybe Lifeguard of the Week?I enjoyed the win. Even if I came in 2nd place to Iris Melman, featured below with said creepy-clown-guy.

Honestly though, I’m the one with the flower, the envelope and the brown-bagged package and ribbon, while Iris Melman just has a brown bag. Seems to me, that I look like a first place winner, but that’s how the story goes.

In life, we try as hard as we can to succeed. It doesn’t matter who wins or comes on top (unless you are in the Olympics, I guess, or a spelling bee). It’s important to be part of the action, be part of the game, the race, the contest, the challenge. I like being #2. It means that I tried really hard and that there is room for improvement.

I enjoy the task, the challenge of knowing that there is more to learn, more to grow, more to experience. Of course, its nice to receive complete adulation from a crowd of nakeys just because you’re cute. (I do not recommend any of my readers doing it now though, the 70’s were a weird time). If I leave you today with one message it’s this:

It’s okay to come in 2nd place. 

It’s a healthy, safe spot that can encourage growth, and inspire to bettering oneself. It’s been my spot for a really long time and I am happy to share it with you, unless we are playing Words With Friends…I’ll dominate you for sure! Challenge accepted.



  1. Thanks so much for coming by today to see me! That meant a lot to me and I look forward to hanging out soon. Tuesday night? shavua tov

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