Growing up as the youngest of four brothers was not the easiest thing to survive. Of course somethings were easier because I got away with a lot of things since my parents went through it all with my other brothers, but I also had to compete with them for almost everything.
I received a lot of hand me downs on many things, but on somethings by the time it reached me it was already worn out or broken. So many times I ended up with something new.
The one thing that was always tough for me was being shy. My next older brother was king, the social butterfly, the guy that everyone liked to be around. He may not have been the smartest in the family or the most athletic but he always had the prettiest girls falling all over him and a truckload of friends that would call him on the weekend.
Me, I was the quiet one, the smart one that kept to myself most of the time. I was also the athlete of the family, played three sports, skied, surfed and an outdoorsman. But for some reason I was shy and quiet. And therefore I did not have a lot of good friends. I spent most of my school years with the same people, even still talk to many of them, but my group of friends was quite small.
I did not mind being the quiet one. I was able to fly under the radar most of the time. When everyone in my class got in trouble for cheating on an exam that I helped steal with another student, I was the only one that did not get detention. When my friend's family would not let him hang out with my other friend for a period of time because he was a bad influence on him, his family always let him hang out with me, even though I was just as bad an influence as the other friend.
The only thing that I did mind was the fact that I was always overshadowed by my brother. I would meet someone and they would say oh your C's brother, and they would automatically have an opinion of me.. most of the time they would like me so it was not bad, but my brother did talk an awful lot and so his teachers all expected me to do the same. So I would get in trouble for just being his brother.
Plus I was my own person, the quiet one, the smart one, the athletic one, I did not want to be known as C jr.
It was not until college that I became more talkative, and even then I was still the quietest one in the room. I like to observe. I tend to be more analytical when I am in social situations, trying to figure out the dynamic of the room.
The one thing that I did become good at later in life, was the bar conversation ice breaker. In fact I was so good that many of my friends would bring me along just to start the conversations when they were trying to pick up women. I don't know if it was because I would sit and listen to all the conversations around me until I discovered something to talk about or if it was because I tend to open up if I find that I have nothing to lose.
I was still the quiet one, the one that would be happier sitting with a few people at the end of the bar, or having a few good friends to hang out with instead of the fifty my brother always had around him. Despite of all that, I have somehow raised a social butterfly... my daughter is definitely not the quiet one.