You know those people.
The people, who despite Mrs Roosevelt’s one-liner, certainly make you feel inferior, regardless of your consent. The people before whom you stutter as you speak, trip as you travel, spill as you sip, choke as you swallow. Even your otherwise-notable successes are converted into dismal failures, much less your mere passes.
Your life collapses on cue, because everything they appreciate is not you. What values to them is simply not valued by you, but that does not stop them benchmarking your life against their expectations because they speak louder than you. In front of them, the need to justify your life – an exercise not practised elsewhere – bubbles and splashes out of your mouth. Each word lands without bounce on the surrounding furniture and sinks into the flooring, grateful to be again invisible; each word lands anywhere but your intended listener’s ears.
They don’t understand you but they haven’t realised that. You can’t blame them, however: their opinions must be even louder in their heads. They don’t ask questions – you don’t know why. Instead of asking you questions, they buy you gifts. And they’re lovely, although the gifts are not particularly your style but their style, because they have better style than you. It doesn’t matter than you are not interested in photography, they’ll buy you a vintage camera. And out of guilt, you’ll spend money buying film and spend time on photography blogs to use the vintage camera you don’t want because you should like it because they like it. It doesn’t matter that you can’t afford to go to expensive restaurants for dinner, because they’ll buy you a voucher for one. Never mind that it’s the pretentiousness that goes along with it, you can’t or won’t afford. Your wardrobe does not cater for such outings, and your interest in make up application or hair styling dissolves once the first layer has been applied or brush length has been passed. So the gift has turned into a night of more inadequacy – highlighting the holes they wish to fill in your life.
The gifts are continually given but it’s not only the content that bothers you. The gift keeps intruding into your soul because now you have to be grateful for the gifts you couldn’t have afforded and didn’t want; you’ve lost twice in a transaction to which you did not agree. Now, you’re in debt and you all know it.
I can see why they would think they’re superior to me. If someone stuttered and tripped, spilled and choked through life, I’d assume they needed assistance too.
Be better, they encourage. Be just like me.