Book club (read: wine and gossip club over dinner with a minimum of two minutes discussion on the book of the month) this week surprised me.
Not because of the subject matter (Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which is a topic for a whole other blog post), but because of my friend’s response to a little rant I was having.
I referred to a blogger I follow with a kind of sick fascination because her life is just SO. DAMN. PERFECT.
We’re talking trips every week to here, there and everywhere, dining out in top restaurants, being invited to all kinds of events from fashion week to club openings, receiving plenty of lovely gifts, and on top of that – just looking fan-bloody-tastic in every single post. I mean, that lady has the most unreal boobs and legs ever. Like, EVER.
(And no, I’m not going to tell you who it is. Because you’ll just be sad, knowing that you have to go to work like everybody else, while she gets to swan about just being, well, amazing.)
So I’m ranting about how perfect this blogger is, and how I don’t understand how everything can be that wonderful, when my friend pipes up with “well, I have to admit – it is kind of annoying that you never pick a bad restaurant.”
Which of course, isn’t true. But understandably, no one would actually know that – because I simply don’t blog about the bad restaurants or meals I experience. If I don’t love it, I don’t write about it.
But now, I’m starting to understand the reality of the situation: nobody wants to read all about the good stuff, all of the time. What interests people is the bad $hit that happens.
Think about it: how much engagement, outrage, laughing, or sheer taking the pi$$ out of did your last “happy” story evoke on telling your friends? Did they really care that you found the perfect shade of red lipstick to offset your yellow skin tone? “That’s great!” isn’t really where you want conversation to hover all night.
On the other hand, think about the last “misfortune” story you told. Were people crying with laughter when you explained how you had to pick your atomic wedgie out on the street, and only realised after the fact that you were standing in front of the one way windows of an office block? Were they suitably angered and shaking their fists as you told them how your housemate came home drunk at 4am and smashed the front door in having lost their keys? Did they mercilessly make fun of you when you admitted that you had drunk texted some saucy material to your current squeeze….only to realise you’d mistakenly sent it to your mother? (Only two of the previous three things have happened to me, in case you were wondering. Which you totally were. Admit it, you’re laughing at my misfortune right now!)
People can’t help but enjoy sharing in the imperfection of others. Because it’s comforting to know that we aren’t alone in our simple, ordinary lives where bad stuff happens all the time. That’s real life.