How To Show Off Right

Don’t you just get so annoyed when people show off? I do. A lot actually. I grow very annoyed at the beginning – it’s both intense and internal – then I’m at peace again afterwards. I let it go after telling myself that they don’t know what they’re doing.

I do wish I was always calm and nothing ever annoyed me but show-offs do… then when I found out I was one of them (albeit unconsciously) I was shaken to the core!

“I show off?” I asked increduoulsy.

Couldn’t believe it! So I started paying closer attention to myself… eventually I started noticing when I did.

What helped pick it up was that I was blessed with people that would let me know when I was doing something wrong (only after I’d given them permission to share such opinions… that makes me sound intimidating doesn’t it? But I’m a nice guy. Believe me.)

I got the hang of knowing when this awful behaviour would happen. Turns out there was a common theme.

I would show off with things that were given to me in some shape or form.

That’s stupid isn’t it? Well I came to realise that I came with nothing into this world… so everything that I have/had was given to me by someone else. Everything I’ve achieved is through someone else’s help whether I acknowledge it or not. So I have no right! I never did. Neither does anybody else… no right at all to show off.

“But it was all me. I worked for this so I can show it off.” I hear you say it. Don’t act like you don’t. Well at the very root of it all you’re a grown zygote that originated from a male and female, then there’s even more to that equation. Time to be grateful as well as humble.

But you still want to show off your ability. We’re ambitious us humans, we have an ego. I know that… I feel you. Lucky for you there’s a right way to show off. How? Well – not showing off. I know it sounds ludicrous but stop for a second and listen to this simple instruction.

Don’t toot your own horn. (Except perhaps as a confidence booster within yourself when you really need it.)

Work as best you can to perfect your talent in whatever role you play… once you do that – someone will inevitably do the tooting for you. And trust me, they’ll do so much – MUCH better than you ever could.

The Most Beautiful Woman

Wow… my mind struggled to come up with anything more articulate. Wow… everything I had ever seen paled in comparison. Wow… before me stood the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

Describing her is a waste of time, a waste of effort. Just think of the most beautiful woman you know. Then think what a person twice as beautiful would look like. Well she was ten times even that. She was so stunning there existed no jealousy in her peers, only awe. Traffic stopped for her to cross the street even when they had the green light. So gorgeous was she that her shadow always hung close, no matter the angle of light; her beauty far too magnetic. Yes, her kind of beauty was supernatural.

What were mere mortal men to do? This being was to be the end of us. We jostled for her attention. So great was her pull war between nations ensued. She was the modern day Helen of Troy. Companies collapsed as bidding wars to show who was the most wealthy took place. Intellects drew up schematics and equations and schemed to win her heart but ultimately failed to woo her. Artists made mind-bending pieces but when you are the most beautiful being what is attractive to you? Alas they failed too. Athletes chased after her heart with all their might but it was far beyond their reach. Even men with power could not unlock the safe that hid her heart. But I was among them, lowly me, using every gift I had at my disposal to win her heart. Her heart. Did it even exist?

Just as I was giving up, looking forward to a life of grumbling, knowing I had seen the most beautiful being but would have to live with less she turned towards me. She reached out to me and claimed me as her own. I could have died of ecstasy.

What I’d done differently only she knows. Men hated me. Plans to assassinate me were foiled when she claimed she would take her life if mine was. She said it with a smile on her lips. Did she truly mean it? It mattered not because it worked. Before then I was devoted but after… I dedicated my life to her.

“Who is the most beautiful being in this world,” she would always ask.

“You are!” I’d declare without hesitation. “There is no finer being in existence!”

She revelled in my praise and I was all too pleased to give it. This continued daily. I would only leave to shop for what she wanted. Things to complement her beauty. Those were costly. My ledger had been in the red for ages. That’s what credit cards are for I told myself. I would go out to buy her whatever she fancied and come back to tell her she looked more beautiful than ever. Everyday. For years.

Then the truck came… There was darkness. I swear I opened my eyes and I could still see it, the darkness. Light could not be found anywhere I looked. I did hear words though so surely I wasn’t dead? But they did say hearing was one of the last senses to go.

“I’m sorry but he shall never see again.”

Apparently that was the doctor. I’d had an accident on my way back from shopping. Even if I bothered with the specifics the reality of my situation would not change. I was blind – forever.

“Who is the most beautiful being in this world,” she asked numbly as a servant took my bags away.

“You are!” I declared without hesitation. “There is no finer being in existence!”

“You are blind you cannot tell. I do not need you anymore.”

She closed the door on me. The door to her house. It used to be mine but I had left everything in her name because she was beautiful. It was only with eyes unseeing that I could finally see. She may have been attractive – downright gorgeous beyond belief – but she was never truly beautiful. Not in the true sense of the word at least.

To a happier ending continue down below

So out into the street I went. I had no money and no voice to sing. I wandered in the dark yet it was midday, going where only God knew. I fell many times, it is hard to walk when you cannot see where you are going. I fell. Heart torn to shreds and the will to live drained from me I chose to stay down, this time for good. I let the darkness consume me. It must have been nighttime because my limbs went completely numb with cold. I tried to rub my toes together. Why were they so thick? Was that frost?

I was going to die that night. I knew it and I accepted it. When the darkness took me surely I wouldn’t be able to tell? Everything was dark anyway so I shouldn’t feel a thing. I was on the precipice of death. I couldn’t see it but I could feel it. And then. Wool. A blanket? No, a body. I was lifted away albeit with apparent diffiiculty. To where I know not. I heard soft grunts of effort. My too numb skin barely felt the small pressure as someone tugged at my shoulder. Weak as I was, I passed out.

Next came the warmth. It flooded through me like a veld fire on oil covered plains. My senses burst alight… except my eyesight of course. Singing. I heard singing. Not the loveliest voice I had ever heard but it brought me the warmest feeling I had felt in a long time. Coughing ensued. Unexpected, I wheezed and sputtered like a broken down lawnmower.

“You’re awake! Thank God you’re awake.”

There was so much life and relief in her voice I could not help but smile in spite of my current state.

“Here. Open your mouth, I’m going to feed you some soup. It’ll be hot so please sip carefully.”

The spoon was held with the utmost care and I was fed more gently than most babies ever have – or ever will.

“I don’t know why you were on the street all alone but I could not leave you to die there,” she continued. “Do you not have somewhere to call home?”

Grief hit me like a whirlwind. How could I respond to that question? Having given my life to someone only to be discarded like used toilet paper I became mute. The pain must have been clear on my face. She went on even more softly:

“It is not good for you to be alone… Maybe you can stay with me and help make this new house of mine a home?”

Tears, unbidden, shed from unseeing eyes, burst forth like jets of water from a shattered dam. Surely after all that had happened to me I’d finally come across one whose beauty could not compare. Yes, with eyes unseeing I had finally seen the most beautiful woman…


Imaginary Conversation (With A Pretty Girl)

Boy: Hey

Girl: Uhm… Hello.

Boy: You’re really pretty.

Girl: Well you’re really straightforward!

Boy: I was told honesty is the best policy.

Girl: That’s rather cliché of you, don’t you think?

Boy: Cliché? Maybe it is… my source of advice isn’t very… young shall I say.

Girl: Next you’re going to tell me your source of advice is your Grandma.

Boy: *feigns it but it looks like genuine surprise* Wait… you know her? How did you know? Have you met her before?

Girl: What? No. *laughs*

Boy: Ah. There we go. Mission complete. *Stands up to leave*

Girl: Wait… So that’s it? *raises eyebrow* That’s all you’ve got?

Boy: What? I think you may have mistaken my intentions, miss.

Girl: Oh I see. Well that was rather uninspiring. I’m disappointed.

Boy: I guess I failed my mission *moves to sit down*

Girl: No, no, it’s fine. No need to sit down again. I’m actually waiting for a friend so you might as well head on your way.

Boy: I seem to have offended you. Might I ask how?

Girl: *scoffs* I’m not offended. I’m just surprised.

Boy: By what exactly?

Girl: I expected more than just a “mission complete”. That came off as rather lame don’t you think?

Boy: You want to hear something awesome about that?

Girl: What?

Boy: … to be honest I wasn’t expecting you to respond so I didn’t have an answer ready.

Girl: *laughs* Oh my God, you’re hopeless!

Boy: See? That’s it! Right there! That’s what I was trying to do.

Girl: *wipes away tears* to prove how hopeless you are?

Boy: Well there’s that, but more importantly to make you laugh. That was my mission.

Girl: *sarcastically* That’s rather gallant of you.

Boy: I wouldn’t say that to be honest but it’s something I’ve always believed in. Making people happier than they were before I met them. I saw you sitting there with God knows what on your mind and I just had to try and make you laugh. You did, hence mission accomplished! *flashes her a toothy grin*

Girl: Maybe you aren’t so hopeless after all. I guess I should say thank you?

Boy: No need. But so as not to be impolite, you’re welcome… in actual fact I should be the one to thank you!

Girl: *quizzical look* Now why is that?

Boy: I don’t always accomplish my mission. Some people just won’t have a stranger chat with them no matter their intent.

Girl: Maybe it’s because we mustn’t talk to strangers?

Boy: Who’s being cliché now? *pointed look, gentle smile*

Girl: *smiles back* Touché.

Boy: You want to hear something astounding?

Girl: Surprise me.

Boy: You’ve done a great job cheering me up by talking to me. I really appreciate it. Thank you. *rises*

Girl: Wait… you’re joking right? Really? You looked you’re doing the same thing as before.

Boy: Ah yes but this time I’m leaving you with a smile on your face. Have a good night…?

Girl: *raises eyebrow* I’m guessing I’m supposed to fill in my name? *laughs*

Boy: I guess I’ll call you Aida.

Girl: What an odd name… why Aida?

Boy: It means happy and judging by the look on your face it’s accurate and it suits you… It’s been a pleasure meeting you Aida.

Girl: Hmmm. At least I’ve learned something new today. May I ask? What’s your name?

Boy: Call me Joe.

Girl: Joe… you’re not so regular are you?

Joe: I’d like to think so. Thanks. Hopefully I’ll see you around, Aida?

Girl: Vanessa… It’s Vanessa. And yes. I hope I’ll see you around too.

The End