These are my confessions…..

by Nana Malone

“Just when I thought I’d said all I can say…” Okay, so life is not an Usher song, but I do have a confession to make. I’m addicted to winning. I’m competitive. With March Madness rolling in, I see it in everyone around me. Little old grannies have started trash talking in the senior centers. I started to wonder about my own competitive streak and if it would always rule my life.

I love to win. Who doesn’t? I love the feeling of pride and endorphins when I do well at something. I play a mean Gin Rummy. I kill at monopoly. I’ve made trash talking when playing Dominoes into an art form. “That’s right, Bitch. Make ‘em squeaky!” I’ve been known to shout at the end of a rousing game. (The person who goes before the person who wins a round of Dominoes has to “wash” or shuffle the Dominoes for next play. Squeaky = washed well.) Don’t even get me started with sports teams. As a former athlete, let’s say sometimes things get a little heated when it comes to sports. Especially as DH and I always pick opposing teams. Or rather he picks a team and I pick the opposing team on principle. :) Since he hates Duke, guess who I’m rooting for?

With friends at work going into full death-to-the-opposing-team mode, I’ve wondered if I’ve gotten any less competitive as I’ve grown older. “Try to enjoy life for life’s sake” as DH will often tell me. “What’s the rush? Is there a gold medal for finishing the grocery shopping the soonest?” Though, if there were, I’d be all over that. I try hard not to be competitive in my personal life. Though it’s gotten harder as my daughter came along. Everywhere I go, I hear parents say, “Well, little Ella was walking at seven months.” Or “Johnny said ‘Bye-bye Momma’, and he’s only eight months.” Even better, at play dates, other parents look at my little darling and say, you want to make sure to get her in XYZ activity because you don’t want her to fall behind. Fall behind? She’s only ten months old. Though, being the product of hard core Ghanaian parents, I was all over the new Amy Chua book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. But I probably won’t take that same hard core approach to child rearing. Siaki has her own mind and knows what she wants. Yet, somehow I have a feeling she’ll be even more competitive than I am. And totally be a Duke fan. There's just something in her eyes.

A friend once asked me if I was as competitive with my writing as I am with nearly everything else. The answer surprised even me. No.

As a writer I spend most of my time when writing, alone. It’s so subjective. Writing is fun. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done that helps me relax. With writing I can really only compete against myself. Where is the woman who watches Park Place with a hawk eye ready to pounce on anyone who dares stop on her property? She gets lost in her characters. When I sit down to write, the only thing I ever think about are the characters and telling their story. Do I care about sales? I’m not crazy, of course I do, but somehow I care less about that than telling the story of my characters.

Will I ever stop being competitive? Nah. It’s part of my makeup. Some things are off limits to the fire in the belly urge to win.Though , all bets are off if Siaki does sports. I apologize in advance for screaming in the stands. I know, I can be loud.

So what’s your confession? Will you be doing some trash talking over March Madness?


  1. Nana, is that your name/pen name or are you a Nana? Nana is something we call our Grandmothers in the UK, esp in Wales where I'm originally from.

    So, what is March Madness? Is this an annual thing, or a saying to describe how we all pick up during the spring season? Yeah, forgive the Brit, she doesn't know a darn thing! LOL

    And it's good to be competitive, puts a 'spring' in your step. Trash talk is good, too. I prefer to do mine in the bedroom, though, rather than around a dominos table.

    I can just imagine shopping races appearing in the next Olympics, could you imagine... you'd get the gold for sure! That reminds me of an old Married with Children episode. Now that's one competitive couple... when it comes to food.

    Love how you embrace your competitive side, Nana :) And tell your DH that you are enjoying life, after all, the competitive buzz must be very enjoyable!

  2. Nana, i LOVE your post. I can be competitive too when it comes to "fun" stuff - but i'm with you on the writing front - I know it's a business and you have to be savvy as well - but that is separate from the act of writing - which can be meditative. :D

    and i'm sure your baby girl will be just as awesome as her mama when she grows up! :D

  3. Hey JoAnne!

    Nana is my actual name. Shortened from Nana Ofosua. I'm from Ghana originally.

    Good to see a brit here. I lived in London for a year while I was doing my masters. I miss it terribly.

    Lol. March Madness is a crazy College (University) Basketball Tournament. Happens yearly and is super heated and competitive.

    Thanks for leaving me a comment!

  4. Miss Joanna!

    Thank you hon :) I always feel like I'm this crazy competitive person, but I really can't help it. It'll be so fun to see how Siaki turns out. I can see a little determined streak in her even now. Poor DH. He has no idea what he's in for. Lol.


  5. LOVE this post! Sooo true about being competitive. Try being an only child, then it's that times 100! I'm even competitive when it comes to my BFF... I want to know I am her only BFF and that she doesn't consider anyone else "above" me on the best friends scale. Amazing stuff, but true!

    Had to really enjoy JoAnne's comment. So much of what we do and write about is so specific to our own culture. Had to take a moment myself, my Italian self, to realize what you were talking about with March Madness. But your writing brought it all home and I so enjoyed reading this post. Thanks Nana!


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