The last year has been about one topic over and over again. More than any year before that I can recall.
Status. It’s been about status… Almost everyone seems insecure and obsessed with it lately. Maybe the world is so crazy right now that we’re all looking for something to take solace in.
So, if you read this blog as a way to label me (be honest, we all do it subconsciously at least) here’s a tip for those that don’t know me very well in person: throw out almost everything I’ve written about my family in regard to class. The truth of who I am and who I’ve been is exceedingly complex.
I’ll attempt to keep it simple and yet it must also be opaque, it seems… My parents were raised well. I was raised well with the caveat that we didn’t have money in the same sort of manner that other families in our community did, while I was a child. And of course if “raised well” sounds vague well, that’s because it’s meant to sound vague.
If I look at our family in one way, we were old money living in relative material scarcity for our kind of folk. If I look at us in another way we were just middle class… Maybe even lower middle class. But we were truly all of those and none of them at the same time.
My father who hated “the system” and “the man” in the 60’s, contemplating running away to Canada at one point to avoid the draft, succeeded I guess. He raised me outside of the norm… Confusingly so.
Of course this young man who grew up relatively well off, having college paid for, a new car and a nice bank account until my grandpa cut him off (too many college years spending money on clothes and parties instead of books), thought he had had a very average childhood. And even though he was somewhat well educated (two degrees from two decent and respectable universities) and- Oh never mind…
Basically, he just thought he was dirt. He had a very low opinion of himself. And he was emphatic about it. He was a failure in his mind. And, therefore, so were we… And his extended family couldn’t have been that great either, I think he reasoned…
Anyway. The topic makes me want to punch something.
I’m so sick of pretentious idiots who think they’re fooling people with their pseudo sophistication and wealth. And I’m of the firm opinion at this point that in order to protect people’s feelings and maintain genuine meaning, the word sophisticated should only be genuinely used sparingly to describe people (at least) and in a hushed voice. If you’re sophisticated: great. If you’re not: fine. But sure as heck don’t go around labeling one person (or thing really) more sophisticated than another or etc. without real fear and trembling… Values and the principle of things have to be preserved at the expense of people’s ego.
Sophistication is either there or it’s not. Wealth is either there or it’s not. (You’re a blue blood or you’re not, to some degree) And I refuse to believe that we’re in such a “post truth” and dumbed down society that people can’t see what’s real. Nobody is really fooling anybody.
Now go worry I’m secretly talking about you! Or don’t… Because, what does it matter? Seriously. We are who we are… And that’s always good. But we have to honestly and bravely be that! (Of course this is nothing new but I had to say it)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to say, “you’re not what and who you’re pretending to be.” Then in the same breath I worry about where that puts me… We all do. However, the situation I find oddest to deal with is if I am what they are pretending to be. In that case, as angry as it makes me to see them making a mockery of themselves and those they seek to imitate, I have to bite my lip, take a breath and shut up.
Now, just to clarify, I don’t mean to be advocating a limitation on free expression or adventure. And I don’t mean you shouldn’t try to expand your horizons and grow one way not another. It’s just that you can’t be Mickey Mouse if you’re Daffy Duck. And vice versa. …You can’t be a jelly donut if you’re made of roasted peanuts. You dig?
I’ve tried lots of methods to express my frustration, such as direct confrontation. And other times it’s been subtle hints. …Little comments to indicate that I see through someone’s crass attempts to be better than others (and of course, better than me too in the final game, regardless of how many times they pretend to bow to what they call my “great taste” for the time being). But it’s useless. Some folks want what they never had physically, socially, etc. (and then some) and I’m kidding myself to think I can do a damn thing to truly open their eyes… They want to ascend to the throne!
Of course, unfortunately, the emperor has no clothes and they’re in for a surprise if they meet him. But let them figure that out for themselves I guess.
In the meantime I’m just going to appreciate beauty. Real beauty… And therefore, appreciate sincerity. Genuine compliments are nice. Honest people are wonderful… I’d rather have a polite cold shoulder than a fake and twisted grin.
(p.s. If you think I’m a rich, horrible person, well, that’s your opinion. Or, on the other end, if you think I’m a silly, little pathetic fool then please feel free to keep thinking that. I’m exhausted trying to walk on egg shells…)