Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wouldn't You Like To Be a Trooper Too?

Based on my childhood experiences, one of the best things a person can attain to be in this life is a trooper.  My family really loves troopers.  And you should feel highly honored if anyone in my family calls you a trooper; you are being held in the highest esteem.

By the way, that's something important to know about troopers: you cannot self-proclaim trooperism.  It does not work to say, "Boy, I was really a trooper today!"  That is totally against the rules.  You must be nominated a trooper by someone else.  For example, "He's such a trooper!" and "What a trooper!" and "She's an amazing trooper!" are all ways of announcing a trooper to others.  So, it's important if you want to become a trooper that you troop a lot in front of people, particularly my relatives.

What does it mean to be a trooper, you ask?  Well, basically it means to endure without complaint.  To long-suffer without whining.  To keep on keepin' on (and on and on and on).  To be consistently selfless.  To accept what you're given.  And I can see why my parents praised troopering--it was likely a positive reinforcement survival tactic with eight kids.  Who could endure the whining of such a crowd?  I should probably give a lot of credit to my five older siblings.  If they hadn't been such troopers, my parents never would have had me in the first place.

And while we're on the subject of having kids, there's nothing that thrills my parents more than to hear that their grandchildren are also troopers.  You should hear it when I call my mom and dad to say, "We drug Max all over New York City all day long, and he never once complained about the walking.  He kept right up--two of his steps to every one of ours!"  I can hear them smiling through the phone, beaming sunshine, and I know what they're thinking: Our grandson is such a little trooper!  (And if you think it feels good to be nominated a trooper, just imagine how good it feels to realize that you've raised one.)

I am proud to come from such a long line of troopers.  There are tales of supreme trooperism from my ancestors.  It comforts me to know that my DNA is structured to endure all manner of hardship---electrical shock, wild animals, and natural childbirth, to name a few.  Even though I don't choose to practice troopering regularly, I'm glad to know it's in me.  You know, I can if I have to.

I should clarify something--troopers are not only found in my family tree.  Here is a list of famous troopers:

Helen Keller
George Washington
Mother Teresa
Thomas Edison
The guy in Field of Dreams
The guy in Shawshank Redemption
The guy in The Patriot
The guy in Cinderella Man
The Energizer Bunny
Abraham Lincoln
Barbara Streisand
Albert Einstein
Keri Strug
Princess Diana
Zac Efron
Jackie Robinson
Abigail Adams
Luke Skywalker

See?  Almost everywhere you look, a trooper is there to inspire you.  I know they've inspired me.

Now, I'd love to know: Is the grand tradition of troopers something that is celebrated only in my family? Or have you spent your life striving to be nominated in your own circle? What are your thoughts on the subject?


Jesse C said...

I salute trooperism. By the way Tiffany, you are a super trooper.

Tiffany said...

Jesse, you are totally a trooper.

Ginnie said...

My husbands a trooper... he has to be, he's married to me. He follows your definition perfectly,
"To endure without complaint. To long-suffer without whining. To accept what you're given."

Kim said...

Man, my family is so lame in comparison to yours. You even have a theme song by ABBA:

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won't feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you

Tiffany, you are #1!!

Leslie said...

You are DEFINITELY a trooper!

Thank you for defining it so well!

Becky said...

My dad always called me a trooper. I never knew exactly what he meant by that. Thanks for helping me to understand just how amazing I was....maybe I still am? Nope. I don't think so. I whine too much.

Lindy-Lou said...

Every time you call to ask how I'm doing I tell you how flat out exhausted I am from the move - the never-ending move. Thanks for reminding me that I need to 'buck up' and be a trooper - just like you.

MiaKatia said...

I think I am going to start inspiring my kids to be troopers. Sounds very promising!

Kami said...

What?! Zac Effing Ron made the list and I didn't?

If I say you are a trooper, then will you nominate me too? Deal.

katie said...

Exactly how did Oprah make this list?

buddens said...

Favorite line:
"If you want to become a trooper ... troop a lot in front of people."

Today's goal: Troop a lot. I'll let you know if I get a nomination.

Anonymous said...

re trooper list: Barabara Streisand? How come your sister Leslie didn't make it? 5 years of residency? Love you and your blog, Robin

Soul-Fusion said...

my family likes to swap complaints and battle stories too much to be considered troopers. Except my mom. She's a trooper for putting up with the rest of us.

Annie said...

You forgot to mention the Donner Party. They were troopers. My dad would repeatedly recount their story to us as examples of great troopers. I took it to mean that if we didn't tow the trooping line, we would be everyone else.

shannon p. said...

I have heard you dad use the term trooper, and now I am very curious (only too senile to recall) was he calling me a trooper, or was he referring to someone else??? I'll be sure to listen better next 4th of July! (And I'll be sure to troop alot infront of him!)

Kelly S. said...

I'm constantly told I'm a trooper. Going on two years this week that my husband and I have lived apart (not by choice), I am always asked about how I can keep doing it, how I "can be such a trooper". I got props in sacrament meeting like 6 months ago when somebody was giving a talk on enduring and they mentioned my name as someone to look up to. Puh-lease. I don't think I am a trooper. I don't really complain, but that is because complaining really doesn't make things better. Somebody asked me recently while Matt was in Iraq if I just cry everyday and I gave her a look and said why, that doesn't make him come home. She looked at me like I was a heartless witch. My feelings about being a trooper are this: no matter how hard your life is, you will always know someone who's life is harder so cry for half an hour and then suck it up. I don't know, maybe I am a heartless witch...

jennie w. said...

Littlefoot? Really? The only reason I would consider him a trooper is by not killing that other dinosaur who talks like a weird chinese fortune cookie.

Heather said...

Somebody called me a trooper yesterday and I just wished they could have known what a great compliment it really was.

Katie H said...

i adored this post. and needed it today. i am definitely NOT in a trooper mood - but in a "why-in-the-world-am-i-awake_and-here" mood. you know, the monday kind.

thanks for the inspiring & funny posts. i love reading your blog!

Angie said...

We didn't have anything like this in our family, but I would definitely call my sister a trooper.

I used to look like Princess Diana...does that count for anything? said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Omgirl said...

Well, I'd say my family is one of the trooperest I know. But the funny thing is, we never really use that word. I guess no one has nominated us.

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