When people find out I’m an only child, their reaction is often surprise, which I believe I’m supposed to take as a compliment. Though, as an only child, I tend to take everything as a compliment. I guess only children are expected to behave in patterns I don’t follow. Like if a waiter brings an only child their order but they forgot something, it is expected that the only child will start shrieking and throw something across the room. So, when I don’t do this, people are like “oh, he must have a brother or something.” I guess people with siblings are so used to compromise that if things go exactly as planned they assume something is wrong.
My wife would step in here and tell you that I get upset when things don’t go the way I want, to which my reaction is always “who DOESN’T get upset at that?” Anyway.
Once people get over the shock of learning that I’ve somehow managed to control my impulses and self-centeredness without the tempering effect of a sibling, they often ask if I wish I did have a brother or sister. It’s an interesting thing to think about, but odd. It’s like wishing you were taller, or were born in a different country. It’s such a fundamental thing, and while you imagine certain advantages to a different situation, those new conditions would be so woven through you that you couldn’t possibly predict how changed everything would be. But of course I do think about it.
I’m soft. I worry and fret over things that probably don’t need that sort of attention. It’s way too easy for me to stay at home and too easy for me to be alone. My natural state seems to be one of slight withdrawal. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy getting out and doing things, nor to say that I don’t like spending time with my friends. It’s just so easy not to. I feel like if I had an older brother kicking my ass around the house a little when I was a kid I would have grown up more, and sooner, and I might not be so hesitant to just stand up and be myself.
But, I can’t actually complain. I always had my own room. I didn’t have to share my Nintendo or split TV time or anything like that. People also seem to be surprised to find out that an only child would go on to be an actor. “It’s not like you were starved for attention or anything.” No, no I was not. I got all the attention. And I loved it, and I want it more, all the time. Just, can I get it all at home while I watch TV?
Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he’s an actor and writer.