You Can’t One-Up Cancer

, , , | Friendly | March 14, 2018

(Every week I host a social group for young adults. While the number of people changes every week, there’s a couple of us who are there every week, and for the most part we’re all friends. However, there is one guy who none of us can really stand; he tries to twist everything to make himself come out on top, no matter what the circumstances are. One day, one of our regular attendees — the only girl most of the time — comes in, looking like she’s on the edge of tears.)

Me: “Are you okay?”

Friend: “Could be better.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Friend: “My dad has been diagnosed with an inoperable, cancerous brain tumour.”

(She starts to cry, but it’s obvious she’s trying not to. The other regulars go over to hug her while she explains she came in hopes that it would take her mind off things. Suddenly, the one-upper speaks up.)

One-Upper: “That’s it?”

(We all look at him in shock.)

One-Upper: “You’re crying because of that? When I was seven, I lost my grandfather. I understand your pain, but that’s no reason to act like it’s the end of the world. Everyone dies; just some pass earlier than others.”

(We’re all disgusted, as he pretty much just said the death of her father is nothing big. She cries slightly harder. I turn to him angrily)

Me: “F*** you.”

One-Upper: “Excuse me? What I said was true. Everyone dies. You’ve all experienced family deaths, and I’m pretty sure you didn’t act like this.”

Another Member: “This is her dad we’re talking about.”

One-Upper: “So? I lost my grandfather twenty years ago, and last year my nephew got chicken pox, and my dad’s appendix burst.”

Me: “But your dad and nephew are still alive?”

One-Upper: “Well… Yeah, but…”

Me: “Look, you do this too often. We’ve had multiple complaints, but I didn’t think you would stoop this low. Get out. I’m banning you.”

One-Upper: “Seriously? I’m just trying to show her she shouldn’t act like she’s the only one who’s had a death in the family.”

(After a bit more arguing, where he maintained that he did nothing wrong, we called up his parents to remove him. The girl’s father is still in critical condition, but she now spends most of her free time by his side.)

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