Sunday, June 17, 2007

So, I Was Talking To Hillary, And I Told Her...

..."Look, Hillary, at some point, you've gotta show you're human like the rest of us. I know it's a tough gamble for a woman who's running for the most powerful office in the world and all, but you're coming off as too polished, too 'handled.' It's not like you have to cry or admit to PMSing all over the place or needing your chocolate fix or whatever--you just have to have a couple of hey, I get you sister friend Oprah-type moments. Trust me on this. I mean, if I can't speak the truth to you as a friend, then what are friends for, you know?" And I think she got me. We'll see. It might not show up in a debate, say, but she'll know when to pick her spots. She's that good.
Psssssssssssssssst. How was I just then, up there? Did it sound credible? I've decided to follow a new national trend, making it big by faking it. According to Elizabeth Large of The Baltimore Sun, (reprinted in The Cleveland Plain Dealer 15 June 07) this is perfectly acceptable. "These days it's fine to fake it," she writes. As a matter of fact, there's a book out to help us on our way: Faking It: How to Seem Like a Better Person without Actually Improving Yourself. The mantra of this program is "It's not who you are, but who others think you are." Although this book is designed primarily to help newly graduated college students navigate in the real world, it contains many helpful hints for those who are looking to impress. These hints include:
*Pretend you're a good host by filling top shelf liquor bottles with off brands when you finish them.
*Pretend you're intellectual and well-read by leaving impressive magazines on your coffee table like The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and The Economist; get a copy of the latest NYTimes best-selling nonfiction book and dog-ear every 40 pages or so. Leave the dog-ear down about halfway through the book.
*Pretend you're a gourmet cook by constantly referring to complicated dishes or ingredients you hear on Food TV shows by claiming to make/use them yourself.
*Avoid exposing your ignorance by being dismissive or saying with a chuckle, "Well, that's a pretty complex issue" and then offering refreshments.
If you're self-righteously shocked by this cool and duplicitous strategy, I ask you: have you never, ever faked it? Not even once?
Have you ever re-gifted? You know, gotten a present from someone, felt really lukewarm about it, stashed it away and, one day been in a spot when a gift was needed on the fly for someone else and...Eureka! That wrong-fit gift became the perfect present for that someone else. were asked to bring a dish or dessert to a reunion or a party or a picnic. You didn't feel like putting in the time and effort. You went to a deli or a bakery or the prepared-foods section of a local market and bought something, put it in one of your own dishes and took it to the party. If anyone asked--sure! You made it. Oh, it was no big deal. The recipe? No, you don't dare secret! (Oh yeah, it was a secret, all right!) I did this! And I admitted it in a previous post.
We've all, as the old old saying goes, "gilded the lily" at one time or another. Who knew it would turn out to be a Millenial Lifestyle Choice? According to professor Ty Tashiro at the University of Maryland, recent research seems to suggest that people are "fundamentally motivated to lie." Technology has made it easier for us to do so, what with Instant Messenger, email, MySpace, texting, and the like. We don't have to face each other to communicate. "People are pretty effortless liars," said Tashiro. And now cyberspace's anonymity and vast network of virtual reality have added to the sense of unreality already out there.

Some have called space the Final Frontier. Is the Internet the Prevarication Perimeter?
Last Year On Dept. of Nance: Men


  1. Anonymous11:40 PM


    I think Hillary got me,too, when I told her I had given my last $50.00 if she didn't get off the abortion issue.

    There are so many topics to discuss in this country and so many problems to resolve, I told her to get off abortion! Every woman in America has access to diaphrams,birth control pills, the morning after pill, self control and condoms. If any of these were used there would be no need for abortion. Bill Clinton had it right, though, when he said abortion should be safe,legal and RARE!.

    I hate to see Hillary mess up her chance to be President by dwelling on an issue that ,in my opinion,is a non issue for all the above reasons.

    If others approach Hillary with the same reasoning,perhaps she will drop abortion and use her time in a public debate on more important and more relevant topics like Iraq,health insurance,global warming,etc.

  2. Anonymous3:15 AM

    Hillary... yes, she does need something of the common touch. But not too Oprah.

    I read your sneaky macaroni salad story and loved it. That rocks. Especially the part about making up the recipe! I would not have the guts to do that, so I love it when somebody else does. On the very rare occasions when I have bought something for an event when I was too tired and didn't give a damn, I have always admitted, just before the unveiling, that, "sorry, didn't have time for homemade." Always in the case of someone I didn't particularly care for. For a real friend, I would get up at 5 a.m. to make the damn cake or whatever.

    All of this "faking it" stuff has given me an idea for a post, though, so I hope you don't mind if I steal the idea and carry on.

  3. Nance, this was a very thought provoking post! And in my estimation, to "fake it til you make it" takes so much more energy than to just merely achieve those accomplishments...for real!

    I often come across people...especially in my line of work who are not as "high class" as they proclaim to be, and the killing thing about that doesn't impress me!

    Now admittedly, I have regifted before (perhaps once or twice), of course only for the purposes of knowing that good (for someone ELSE) gift would go to waste if I don't, that makes it my civic duty! I have not however, done the fake dish thing, because I love to cook and bake!

  4. I dated a guy once who must have read the faking it book. Wait, he couldn't read, so...never mind...

  5. Anonymous10:42 PM

    I pass off Trader Joe's Bruschetta sauce as my own. I didn't do it intentionally, but people started raving about it and asking me for the recipe. I couldn't very well say it came from a plastic container, now could I? ;) It would've ruined their enjoyment!

  6. annie lou--i agree with pretty much anything bill says. my feelings for him have been well-documented here at the Dept. thanks for bringing it up with her. that's just one of those areas we have agreed not to get into.

    ortizzle--even oprah is "too oprah."

    tera--i love to cook and bake, too, but when it's not for someone i care for (see my prev. blogpost), or it comes at a bad time, i can usually say no. but in a pinch, i can fake it.

    fringes--i'm surprised you hadn't weeded him out earlier!!

    girlanddog--now you can say, "I used to slave over my own, but I found that Trader Joe's is so close that it's hard to tell them apart. Now, I just go ahead and buy Trader Joe's!"

  7. I regift often. In fact, I have a tote full of unwanted gifts in a closet. I haven't been caught yet, thank goodness. But I once saw a Miss Manners type person on tv and she said it's perfectly acceptable.

  8. I am a slow weeder.

  9. Anonymous9:16 AM

    I'm more likely to feel inferior than to fake superiority. My Catholic school teachers would be proud of my ability to feel like crap and not tell even a white lie. They'd see it as virtue where sometimes I see it as a waste. I'd be a great liar!

  10. Nina--you must get a lot of presents. i'm not afraid to return things, nor am i squeamish about admitting it, gently and politely of course, when asked.


    V-Grrrl--aaaah, the catholic guilt. that's why i always call myself a "recovering catholic" when pressed about my religion.

  11. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Are you standing still? Because I am about to put a wreath on your head. You sprinkled your Tie Report with perfect Spanish (O.K., there was the odd accent mark missing, but who cares?) and you don't speak Spanish. KUDOS OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE. (And then you say that I, moi, am an over-achiever!)

    And, yes, that WAS a camisa gigantesca. But what about the dark blue T-shirt or whatever it was under the big-ass shirt?! For starters, he must have been hotter than hell. The temperature in El Paso these days is in the mid-to-high 90's! A long-sleeved shirt with a T-shirt UNDER it?! How about a short-sleeved shirt with a TIE? Yes, Nance, do apply for the position of Summertime Wardrobe Wench. :-)

  12. ortizzle--hey, thanks! i got a little bit of spanish from: growing up in an area of NE Ohio which has an enormous population of puerto ricans and mexicans; living with 2 kids who took 4 years of spanish and who speak it constantly for fun; knowing french and the fact that the two are somewhat similar; relying a bit on your nemesis, i was unfamiliar with the form 'gigantesca', though, and almost just put 'gigante' , which i am more familiar with. as far as the diacriticals...i have no freaking clue how to implement them on the computer and no desire to learn. too worky.

    re: the camisa in question. the dark teeshirt under was horrifying for an older man; it is a fashion thing for teens and younger men, definitely, but only if the shirt matches the pants or a contrasting color in the shirt. that dark tee was confounding. he was wearing white jeans or very light--VERY--khakis!!! (although I liked the pants very much! he looked!) his whole outfit was misbegotten. sigh.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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