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We're not as fabulous as we think we are
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
When did we all get so fabulous? By the looks of things, you’d think we all came up with a cure for cancer and alcoholism. Personally, I think it started long before Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Skype, and any other social networking tool I can think of. I blame the self-esteem movement, tabloids, and celebrity worship.
I’ll explain. Back when I’d won the services of a life coach in a contest, I came across a book called S.H.A.M.: How the Self Help Movement Made America Helpless. I found it much more interesting (and readable) than the book my coach asked me to read. It’s a somewhat humorous look at the self-help genre and why so many books keep coming out year after year. It’s because they did a study; people who buy self-help books tend to keep buying them. I did, for a while, until I stopped. For now, at least.
I admit I have a problem with self-esteem, and I’m hard on myself, but I can’t help thinking that perhaps if more people were harder on themselves, and didn’t think they were so fabulous, the world might just be a better place. I know of at least one narcissistic person in my life, and it’s gotten to the point where spending time with the person is not fun at all. This person hasn’t cured cancer, or alcoholism (although they do have a college degree, but who doesn’t?) yet this person carries on as if she were Madonna, Queen Elizabeth II, Mother Theresa and Princess Diana wrapped up into one. This person never backs down from stinging remarks and one time at a party, she brought Mardi Gras beads for everyone, including the dog, except me. Her “lick my feet, peasant” attitude is getting extremely old.
She’s not the only one with this mindset, however. I see people all the time who think they are the center of the universe, and they are THE ONLY ONE. It’s all about THEM, and it doesn’t matter that you’re on day seven of a nine day work schedule, you’re wiped out, and they come over to your house and ask if you’re going to cook for them. Uh, I’m sprawled out on the couch, I can barely keep my eyes open, and you want food. Not going to happen.
And there are the people who try too hard to impress. The Coach purse, the Cadillac Escalade, the Prada running suit and the gold jewelry. We get it. You love Sex and the City AND you want to show us you have money, or at least the appearance of money. I got news for you: I find designer clothes and accessories at the thrift stores. Haven’t found that Escalade yet, but I don’t want one. I don’t like Cadillacs. It seems the people who drive them are either drug dealers or past 70. Since I don’t identify with either group, I’ll stick with a more appropriate vehicle. You want to impress me with your money, show me your bank statement.
Anyway, the whole “I’m a celebrity, too” attitude is a little annoying particularly if you weigh 300 pounds and feel that the fashion industry is taking too damn long to sign you to your modeling contract. Don’t expect a red carpet when you arrive at your customer service rep job. You are just an ordinary person, probably with some accomplishments, but nothing warranting millions of dollars and adoring fans trailing you, bugging you for an autograph. We all need to realize that we are stars only in our own minds, playing the lead roles in whatever fabulous fantasy life we have cooked up in our brains. In my fantasy, I’m not really famous, but just a lottery winner. I live in my seven bedroom house in Toronto, and I spend my days swimming (in my indoor pool) horseback riding, taking piano lessons, surfing the Internet, blogging, writing, and doing creative things. Not famous, not fabulous, just incredibly wealthy and able to buy whatever I want at Ikea.
Maybe Andy Warhol was right—everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. Does famous equal fabulous? To some, it won’t matter. As long as we have Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Skype, and YouTube, our lives can be as exposed as we want them to be. Everyone will know where we just checked in, what our current status is, and the latest cause we “like.” To be honest, we’re all pretty boring. Unless some of my Facebook friends become serial killers or forcibly take over the government, I expect to be reading the same things—“I just checked in at Powers!” “Had a really sucky day today.” As I write this, I spent the day at home, did laundry, filled a garbage bag with crap, threw it in the garbage can. I also worked on a project for class, and watched episodes of The Big Bang Theory in the evening. Not fabulous, but real.