Manners & Misdemeanors

When Vanity and Paranoia Cause Foolish Outbursts

When in doubt, do not put on a pout and throw around your clout, says the Truly Rich Lady.
ILLUSTRATOR SANDY ARANAS
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Speaking from personal experience, from that time I accidentally had a refreshing chemical peel that was not so refreshing, paranoia can do a number on your head. It can make you believe in alternative facts and, worse, see things that are not there.

As a member of the fair-faced community, my appearance has always been watched, and any blemish that occurs is deemed an aberration worth discussing—at least that was what I thought.

Once, after suffering from severe pizza face (imagine skin as raw and red as tomato sauce) because of my overzealous beauty treatments (always listen to your doctor!), I became hyper-conscious about how people perceived me.

At the time, as much as I wanted to just stay under the blankets, I had a couldn’t-be-missed lunch, so I ventured out, big hat on my head and monster-size sunglasses over my eyes.

While sitting across my lunch companion, this thought played in my head: “Why is she sniggering? And pointing at my pizza face? And thinking how ugly I am? Why is everyone in this room staring at me? Why!“

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“Stahp it don’t look at meee shut your eye holes I fire you now!” I blurted out like a mad woman.

“Huh, excuse me, my dear, but what I said was, ‘Do you want ketchup?’” replied my companion in a cool even tone. “And also, I have to remind you that you can’t fire me because I am your mother. You can’t fire mothers, at least not in this country. Ketchup?”

Needless to say, I caused a minor scandal because we were at the club at the height of lunch service with everyone we knew in the same room. (If this had happened now, it would have been spread across town via the pestilence called social media.)

Later at home, I discovered that my mother hadn't even noticed the redness in my cheeks, and was actually more concerned about a pimple on the side of her nose—and that was the reason why she had insisted on sitting beside me instead of across from me during lunch.

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In fact, she had thought I looked flushed with life as if I had just come from a vigorous run, while I thought her zit was just a beauty mark.

Which just goes to show that, in the daily battle that is life, you are better off thinking the best of people rather than the worst. Best not to think that she thinks you look like a day-old, sauce-slathered carb pie. Really, it’s best not to think at all, because they are not thinking about you.

Put another way, this incident was like a wrong reading of the room. Savvy billionaires and money magicians are well known for their ability to gauge an audience, and I have been taught by my billionaire father to do just that.

Except that, when a seed of doubt was planted in my mind (by my own hand), my radar went haywire, reading everyone as an enemy out to get my severe pizza face.

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Since then, I have sought to master doubt, the root of this error and most evils. I say, “When in doubt, do not put on a pout and throw around your clout.” My mother says, “Don’t say that out loud!”

Irrational outbursts brought upon by a mental malfunction is like that eternal Carly Simon song, “You’re So Vain.” At that moment, I do admit I had been vain, thinking everything was about me.

When you are under intense scrutiny, you become a prisoner of your mind. Set yourself free by releasing fear. Think only happy thoughts. And remember, not everything is about you.

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About The Author
C.C. Coo
The Truly Rich Lady
C.C. Coo—also known as Town&Country’s Truly Rich Lady—is not a professional seeker of leisure as many people wrongly assume, for she has a real-life occupation: a SHE-EO of Important (Sub)Company of an Empire, for which she works very hard to make sure that the people in her care are not left wanting. She believes that manners are utterly important: “If society is like one of those costume jewelry pieces worn by Jackie O or Diana, manners would be the glue that keeps the veneer of a most beautiful thing from falling apart,” she says.
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