The comparative bunny name:
"When I was 8, my sister, 4, got a rabbit for her birthday and named it Fuzzy. I insisted on a rabbit for my birthday, two months later, and named my rabbit Fuzzier."
The eating contest:
"In third grade, I was very competitive with the boy I had a big crush on and was constantly trying to best him at everything he did. If he played football at recess, I'd join in on the other team and try to beat him. If he got an A on a project, I'd get an A and a gold star. Then, one day, our class had a pizza party, and he declared he could eat five slices. I declared I could eat six. We had an eating contest, and I had to stop at two and a half because I was, like, 50 pounds and could not eat very many slices of pizza. He beat me by a landslide, and we never dated."
The Halloween parade:
"When I was a kid, I HAD to be first for everything all the time. In kindergarten, I was obsessed with leading our school's Halloween parade. The kindergarten class was at the head of the parade, so I knew that being first that year was my only chance to lead the entire school. When the teacher told us to line up, I sprinted to the door and got there first! But then my teacher called me out for not pushing my chair in all the way. I had to get out of line, push the chair in, and go to the back of the line. I can cry on cue, so I turned on the waterworks, and the teacher let me go back to the front of the line. No shame at all."
The talent show:
"I once entered myself in a school talent show for not one but THREE different things. I was a triple threat and thought everyone should know! I was only allowed to perform twice. One of those things included reading a poem I wrote about how much I loved dolphins."
The egg hunt:
"At my family Easter egg hunt one year, my cousin ran into the backyard saying, 'I need a ladder! There's an egg in the tree!' While she looked for a ladder, I just climbed up the tree and took the egg. She's still angry about that one!"
The coin contraption:
"During family ski trips to Utah, my sisters and I used to get bored in the main lodge during lunch. One day, we discovered grates in front of all the doors to the lodge, with tons of coins lying at their bottoms! We all went to different grates, determined to stick our tiny hands down there and have a contest to pull out as many coins as we could. I soon realized that I couldn't reach all the coins with my bare hands, so I built a contraption by attaching approximately five straws together, chewing a piece of gum, and then sticking the chewed gum to the end so it would stick to coins and pull them out. Needless to say, I won that contest and ended the day with a huge pocketful of dirty grate change!"
The height test:
"One day, my fifth-grade gym class was taking a national fitness and health test. We had to do a bunch of exercises and be weighed and measured. When we got to the measuring station, one of my classmates and I got into an argument about who was taller. We each INSISTED we were and stood back to back to hear impartial opinions from our classmates. But we knew there'd soon be a decisive winner.
"She measured at 4 feet 7 inches. I then walked up defiantly for my turn. This was the moment of truth...and I was also 4 feet 7 inches! We were the exact same height."
The flag football game:
"I was playing flag football in middle school PE class, and there was this overly confident kid I didn't like at all. He had stolen the goal and was about to cross the line into his team's side to score a point. I was determined to END HIM (pull a flag off of his belt) before he had gotten across that line. Unfortunately, I didn't end him; after a hot pursuit, I ended up slipping in a little ditch of mud on the field which I then fell in, and I wound up covered in mud like a soft-serve ice cream cone. I had to go home to shower after class was over."
The made-up sibling:
"In second grade, I told my teacher I had a brother and a sister, even though I actually only had a sister, because another boy said he had two siblings and that got a positive reaction. No way was I letting another kid become teacher's pet!"
"I once ran for the same student office position as a friend. We were very civil about it, but the stakes were high.
"On the night before the election, after weeks of doing nothing, I put on my great-grandfather's three-piece suit and top hat. I dragged my family's couch from the living room into the library and positioned it near the fireplace. On this noble seat, I assumed a grandiose pose and had my mom take a photo, which I blew up and printed on poster board until I'd created a billboard of myself that was over six feet wide. Beneath my silhouette, I wrote three words: 'GLAMOUR. HONOR. PRESTIGE.' And in smaller font: 'James for Vice President.'
"I arrived at school early on the morning of the election and hung this poster directly above the table where students would soon cast ballots.
"I won the election."