DEAR CHARLOTTE: I lead a relatively quiet life. I write sometimes, and try and make folks laugh, but I’m generally uncomfortable with attention, especially the flattering kind… and then people look at you. And now, through some crazy miracle, I’ve been thrust into the spotlight and I’m not sure know what to do… I don’t feel like I deserve it. And how can I keep up with others’ expectations of me?
I definitely don’t want to seem ungrateful for all the good that’s coming my way, but what advice can you offer for someone who’s going through an awesome, and yet unsettling, time in their life? – FRESHLY PRESSED AND SWEATING
DEAR FRESHLY PRESSED AND SWEATING: I know that life can seem tough, even in times of plenty, but you’re wrong. I firmly believe that if I won the lottery, for example, I won’t be one of those people whose life goes down the crapper – I’d know what to do with my good fortune… But I digress. What I see you clearly need is both good advice and perspective, and so I offer you golden nuggets of wisdom from Idiocracy:
1. “Welcome to Costco. I love you.”
We long for human interaction and affection, wherever we can get it. Costco of 2505 knew this, and created an environment for every patron to not only know where they are, but that they are cared for, unconditionally.
This attention that you’re receiving is a bit like this, except it is conditional in the sense that if you sucked you wouldn’t be getting it. So there’s some comfort in that… But you should also take comfort in knowing that regardless of whether you suck or not, just the fact that you showed up means a lot. And the bigger in bulk, the better.
2. “A pimp’s love is very different from that of a square.”
Wherever you are in life, it’s always easier to think the grass is greener on the other side. It’s not. For Lieutenant Colonel Collins, the world he entered to earn Upgrayedd’s trust was fascinating, but it ultimately led to his demise, gold tooth cap grill and all; and for the Human Hibernation Experiment.
While this flattery you’re receiving now can seem glamorous, like double doses of pimpin’, you’ll want to be careful to remember that you are not a pimp. Don’t sacrifice yourself or your baby* for a quick turn, but stay true to your art and calling in life.
3. “Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.”
Let’s face it — we sometimes don’t know what’s good for us. We’re too busy reciting what we’ve been told to say, that we never stop to think why plants crave electrolytes and why Brawndo has electrolytes that plants crave… electrolytes.
In the same way, try not to make all accolades about whether you deserve them or not. Sometimes you get lucky in life, though that’s not meant to discount the hard work that you and other people put in… I can tell that you work hard and you try to be conscientious, but you are just one of many deserving people. Still, accept the good and use it fuel your future efforts. Just lay off the salty foods some.
4. “People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!”
As President Not Sure pronounces, even in the darkest of times there can be greatness ahead. It doesn’t matter if the ecomony sucks, or if people grunt instead of speak… We can easily get caught up in the failures of our past or the blog posts we want to re-write, but what is important to focus on is the potential of the future. Smart people did things, like write things that made you care. And yes, your readers may not like everything you write, but hopefully they’ll see that you write because you’re smart. Or at least, because you didn’t get out of the way…
* Euphemism for work, not an actual child. Please don’t send complaints or the Department of Justice on my ass.
Dear Charlotte is written by Woman at Tastes Like Onion. Write “Dear Charlotte” at firstname.lastname@example.org.