Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

So What Have You Been Up To?

The University get-together went ahead last weekend, and Alias Aurora and I drank and made merry with about ten acquaintances from our Strasbourg days. And it was fun!

One thing has been preying on my mind, though (how did you guess?): When you meet old Uni mates, do you talk yourself up or down?

Because it seems that you have to choose. I try to be a wonder of matter-of-factualness, but it’s not possible. Either I end up implying that I am…

A) a big, fat failure – only days away from turning into a bitter crone who dwells in a cardboard box and throws gravel a pigeons for kicks


B) an über-achieving Wunderkind of the Zadie Smith variety, jetsetting from metropolis to metropolis, leaving a trail of champagne and canapés in my wake.

Being Scandinavian, I of course prefer the first alternative. Nothing massages the ego like modesty, after all. But what about the poor person you’re talking to? The more disparaging you are about your life, the more they feel like they have to do American Sitcom Duty and come out will all sorts of vague encouragements – not what you want while you’re sipping your gewürtstraminer.

So should I switch to B – or just try to be mysterious?


At 7:37 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard said...

If they are true friends, you should tell them how it's REALLY going...i.e., if your life sucks wind, you should TELL them. A true friend will offer advice.

A superfluous friend should only get the glittering generalities, similar to "Plan B." But I wouldn't lie--e.g., say you are making more money than you are, etc.......

At 7:47 PM, Blogger Swedish Girl said...

Well, this is only supposed to relate to acquaintances... people you don't know very well... All I want to do is answer quickly and move on! But seem to be unable to do so.

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Curiosa said...

Pretend your life is your blog. Tell only exciting and interesting stories about your life.

I guess it's sort of like how I'm bound and determined to show up at my 10 year high school reunion with a handsome Swedish man on my arm. *crossing my fingers*

But mysterious, mysterious is always good too.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Khimaera said...

I say go for mysterious. The best movie on this subject, Imo, is Grosse Pointe Blank:

Mr. Newberry: What have you been doing with your life?
Marty: Uh... professional killer.
Mr. Newberry: Oh! Good for you, it's a... growth industry.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous south american girl said...

Hey, it’s been a long “post” ago since I last stopped by!

I think that almost everything has been said here. Anyway, I’d like to make a comment of my own and here it goes. First, I’d choose the best of Plan A and Plan B, and then I’d season the whole thing together with some mystery. Yes, mystery again. It will never let you down. But how on earth does one cope with so many elements at the same time? Well, an intensive training in socialising with acquaintances*, along with courage and windward, will set your mind at rest. In time one becomes an expert at juggling with vacuous and assorted elements –somehow, being a kind of performer allows some people to answer quickly and move on that fast like a racing car.

*It might sound sickening, but one has got to go to as many parties or events one is invited to as possible -or just give it up!


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