When I was in second grade, the nun who taught us made me classroom monitor. This meant that after lunch, as my classmates filed in and colored in their coloring books until class started, I monitored. I patrolled the room and distributed demerits for infractions like talking out or getting up.
This made me wildly unpopular. Also, what started as an honor deteriorated into a dreaded chore. I felt cheated. I was the only one not coloring. I wanted to color, too.
It wasn’t fair, I complained to my mother, and she suggested I tell Sister that I didn’t want to be monitor anymore. Sister appointed someone else and I got to color.
Over the years, I’ve had to be in charge at home, school and work. It seemed to come naturally – I was smart and reliable, and others looked up to me. Appearing authoritative adds to the perception.
At stores, shoppers often ask me where items or the restroom are, though I’m not in uniform and I’m carrying a purse. And I know the answer, which I give them.
Now I’m retired and tired of being in charge. I just want to paint. I just want to color.