Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Y is for Yuck to Fakes
Yuck. I can’t stand fakes. I’ll admit to faking a tan or celebrating a fake holiday – National PB& J day was April 4th, after all, but I can’t stand someone air kissing me on the cheek or pretending to be my friend while stabbing me in the back. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but there seems to be more fake people now than there were back in high school. Perhaps it’s the government. After all, politicians are the ultimate fakes. They tell you what they think you want to hear, often stretching the truth to suit their needs, particularly in the last election. In fact, according to Time Magazine, “the 2012 campaign witnessed a historic increase in fact-checking efforts by the media”…”clear examples of deception fill websites.” If our leaders are setting the standard it’s no wonder people might be acting more fake than ever before.
I’ll take a fake politician over a fake friend, or should I say, frenemy, any day. Like my pal Debby in the fifth grade. She slept at my house on New Year’s because she knew my mother made awesome chocolate chip cookies and we had cable. How did she repay me for being able to watch Grease in her PJ’s? By reading my diary and then telling everyone the name of the boy I had a crush on--- including said boy.
And then in junior high there was Jen, your friend only if you met certain parameters. She would unabashedly pull the label out of the back of your shirt to see what brand you were wearing if it wasn’t already splashed across the front of your shirt. You only remained in her good graces if the label read Benetton, Esprit or Forenza.
She was similar to the kid in school who was only your friend sometimes. The friend who might be willing to hang with you in class, but ignored you when you passed in the hallway. Unfortunately, those friends, or frenemies, don’t seem to have disappeared with locker combinations and braces. You know whom I’m talking about. Take my friend Julie. She told me about a woman who acts like she doesn’t know her even though they were once stuck volunteering together for over half a day. I get that you don’t need to be everyone’s friend, but it’s called courtesy. This kind of behavior baffles me as an adult. Perhaps Julie offended her while wrapping muffins at the bake sale, or is there another explanation for turning into a ‘Plastic’ from Mean Girls?
Prosopagnosia-- also known as face blindness is a neurological disorder. They can’t recognize faces. I caught a segment about it on 60 Minutes and it was an ‘aha’ moment. However the disease only effects 2% of the population, so chances are Julie’s frenemy is just a mean girl that took the halls of high school to the lawns of suburbia.
Fake friends are promoted everyday on “reality” shows like Housewives of NJ, NY or other states where women reside that want to pimp their lives out on camera. These shows are where the fake pretend to be real and then proceed to deceive their ‘friends’ and receive fame and fortune for it. The more notorious a character--the more profitable, marketable and sometimes even more loveable. Think Teresa Giudice.
A few years ago my hairdresser, Veronica, was on a reality show for the Bravo Network and asked me to be her customer for the episode. Since I needed a haircut anyway I agreed. The premise of the show was a competition between two couples where each had to teach their trade to their spouse. Veronica’s husband, a plumber, was to learn to cut hair. Although he came from a family of plumbers, Vin was an aspiring actor and had assisted at the salon before. He knew as much about hair as he knew about washers making the competition already far from real. I didn’t get to meet the competing couple, another hair stylist and contractor hubby, but Veronica raved about how lovely they were while filming together.
When the show finally aired three months later, Veronica got to watch all the nasty things the other couple said about her and Vin on camera to the rest of the world. Fortunately, Veronica won the competition and $20,000, although my five minutes of fame ended up on the cutting room floor (no pun intended).
I guess when it comes to friends, your real friends are the ones that you know won’t lie, ignore, or say nasty things about you –even if they’re a politician or on a reality show. Still it can’t hurt if we all take a pledge this month not to fake smile, fake thank you, or fake friend anyone even if it’s only on Facebook.