Saturday, November 30, 2013

Status Update



Thanksgiving. It is the mushiest of America’s mushy mushy holidays, one on which we’re supposed to congregate with friends and family and rejoice in one another’s company. Blame my self-centeredness, but as much as I love this holiday (which truly is my favorite), I always dread it, because in my eyes, it represents a status update. No wonder there are people who discuss off-topic topics before the big day; none of us want to feel judged, especially by those closest to us. Their judgments hurt the most, more often than not containing modicums of truth.

“No, I don’t have a boyfriend, Cousin Greta. I know, so, so sad. Yes, yours is gorgeous. Uhuh, yes, I have seen his six-pack and his LinkedIn. ”

“Oh, Mom told you that my career STILL hasn’t taken off after four years out of college? Yes, Aunt Janine. Thanks for cluing in all 17 people at this table.”

“No, you’re not hallucinating those twenty pounds, Grandma. I did INDEED gain them. Mmhmm. Yes, I’m getting more stuffing.”

For those of us who are deeply insecure, these holidays take us to our default mode: glass half-empty. We may joke with our friends about tindering & grindring our way around town, but the reality is, we’re so lonely, we’ll risk meeting a serial killer just to be touched. We feel like such failures, that we’ll talk up any aspect of our jobs to feel validated by people, some of whom we see only once a year.

I suppose it is what it is, but perhaps the solution is to just be honest with one another. We spend all day on Facebook and Twitter misleadingly portraying ourselves in the most glamorous of ways in order to impress, but instead we ignite bubbling springs of bitterness and jealousy. Thus, our friends/followers feel the need to do the same, creating social media facades in hopes of bolstering their low self-esteem with likes and comments. If we tore these glossy walls down, we’d all be able to see each other’s messes, and hopefully, have the time, focus, and consideration to provide a shoulder to lean on and a hand (a.k.a. advice, networking connections to help us climb the corporate ladder, or a perfect pair of pants that highlights our curves) to lift each other up. At the end of the day, that’s what most of us need. Fortunately, most of you gentiles have Christmas to try it all again. ;)

Unapologetically,
Barry

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