topper |ˈtäpər|

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?


  1. Margot says

    I know what you mean… aren’t we all Toppers to some extent? e.g. I am upset because the Topper thinks their story is better/worse than mine; but I the reason I am upset is because I think my story is better/worse than the Topper’s & it should get more airtime, otherwise I wouldn’t think the Topper was a Topper at all & would just appreciate their story…

  2. Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo says

    This made me laugh so hard I farted.

    And then once I opened a window I wondered, hmmmm, am I a topper? Cause my stories are always infinitely better than anyone elses.

    That is why I became a blogger.


  3. Carly says

    Brilliant! I had no idea there was a name for these annoying people. The ‘topper’ friends I can manage but the ‘topper’ strangers make me want to punch them in the face some days. I hate when people ask you a question because they want to give you their anwer… what is with that ?!

  4. says

    I was thinking that surely I’m a topper too. Was just about to tell you a story about how I contracted chicken pox three weeks before my wedding–see what I did right there?

    I think there is also a ‘topper of complaints’, and I know a few. I’ll say, “Oh, I’m tired. One of the boys woke me up at 3 am and I couldn’t get back to sleep” The topper will say, “That’s nothing, I didn’t get to sleep at all!” Despite the fact that the reason I couldn’t get back to sleep was because the topper was snoring so loudly in my ear. The upside is that I’ve stopped complaining so much because I’m tired of the “I have it worse than you” competition.

    “Tap-dancing out of the womb in a top hat”…loved this!

    • says

      I would possibly take child birth over adult chicken pox so you can comment away on that topic – how stressful before a wedding! I have one of those snoring toppers too…..and I think I have come to the conclusion that I am probably also one after reading all these insights!

  5. mel says

    I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately as I’m afraid to say I too think I’m a topper, either that or an over sharer or even worse probably a combination of both. I think I go in thinking that I’m “sharing” when really I should spend more time asking questions about their story.

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