Someone who tops every story, hardship, joy and complaint you ever make with a more elaborate version.
I don’t know if toppers were attention-starved as children or simply tap-danced their way out of the womb in a top-hat shouting “I did all the work!” – whatever caused their urge to purge is irrelevant in the face of “my story is better than yours – I win”.
I once worked with a big-time topper. She was well accomplished in the art of one-upmanship and could suck the sunshine out of a Chaweng beach marriage proposal. She didn’t want to hear about the two weeks I had off work with an infected chicken pock that threatened to invade my eyeball because she was too busy talking over the top of me about the car crash she almost had. It got to the point after a few years where we all simply stopped sharing our lives lest she take the fun out of adult-onset chicken pox.
Occasionally toppers present themselves in public spaces as friendly, inquisitive strangers asking after your babies and toddlers. Perhaps missing the telltale signs of isolation and sleep-deprivation on your face, they will lure you into a false sense of security then before you know it BAM!! You are hit with a barrage of “wait until they’re teenagers” and “it is just so mentally exhausting and therefore more exhausting overall” and “enjoy this age it goes so quickly and soon they will be teenagers and driving and IT IS SO MUCH HARDER THAN YOU HAVE IT NOW BECAUSE I KNOW EVERYTHING AND I WIN!”.
Because I cannot find a DeLorean time machine to transport me back to the point of conception I have accepted that parenting is a life-long gig. Despite the various challenges, I love my children but I sure as shit don’t remember asking to be told that every, single stage of child rearing was going to be harder than the last. What happens when my children are teenagers? Are people going to tell me how rough it is when they’re middle-aged? “You will never stop worrying” people say ominously. WELL I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE WORRY! PLEASE GIVE ME SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR!
Toppers. Indifferent to your problems because theirs are always greater.
Do you know any toppers?