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Why Trying to Be Fabulous Just Makes You Look Like a Loser

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Enrique* could often be found leaning against other people’s parked cars, making a pouty face and checking out his own reflection in storefronts.  Even though he was a hairstylist, he refused to get his hair cut at the salon he worked at, and instead paid significantly more for a greasy, tousled bowl cut at Vidal Sassoon.  He wore purple pashminas, tight white t-shirts, and a pinky ring that he claimed was designed by “da jewelry dee-sigh-ner de Angelina Jolie” (even though it was clearly plastic and any idiot could see the gold paint rubbing off of it).  He was from Tijuana, but wouldn’t admit it– instead, he told everyone that he was “Basque and Lebanese.”  He talked just like Hank Azaria in The Birdcage.

I met Enrique when I couldn’t find a “real job” after college.  When I was a hair salon receptionist for longer than I care to remember.  The job itself was mind numbing, and– fresh out of college and hopeful that my internship at the museum would turn into a “high profile” part-time Admin Assistant position– my soul was chiseled away a little more each day that I had to to schedule highlights appointments.  Thank god for the entertainment value that was Enrique.  Every horrible lesson I learned about being fabulous, I learned from him.

Enrique taught me that if you want people to think that you’re classy, you just have to lie about it.   He was extremely preoccupied with seeming “rich” and “glamorous” even though he was clearly a hot mess.  You see, upon close inspection, Enrique’s tight-white t-shirts were pit-stained.  He stole other people’s food out of the office fridge.  He got paid in cash under the table every week, and never flushed the toilet when he used the bathroom.  Nevertheless, his compulsive lying about Lebanese origins and hobnobbing with Brangelina fooled some people into thinking he was elegant– his schedule was always booked solid with rich old biddies from the most chi-chi neighborhoods in town.  He charged them wads of cash for brassy highlights and a crooked bob, a one-trick hairstylist whose gimmick was pointing the blow dryer at his clients’ faces like they were in a wind machine and saying, “Ju so glamorous!  Everyone else– trash!”

Besides lying, Enrique taught me that fabulousness and shitty attitudes have a positive correlation.  The shittier you treat people, the more important they will think you are.  Enrique did this by saying things like, “Ju should try being anorexic for awhile and see what happens,” to his co-workers, and flicking his wrist a lot.  Pretending that you don’t know people’s names also helps, as in this exchange:

Enrique: (flicks wrist) That girl, I don’t know her name…
Receptionist: Her name is Carrie, and she’s worked here for six months.
E:  I don’t care.

After making most people terrified of you, you need to assemble a key group of minions who will help you keep up your fabulous facade.  Unfortunately, Enrique tried to recruit me for this group by cornering me when I was getting a glass of water, getting a few inches away from my face, and hissing, “Ju and me, we got a lot in common.”  I wasn’t sure what that could mean considering that I am not a flamboyantly gay Latino, or an asshole, but I was intrigued by his proposal and accepted because I was broke and thought that I might at least get a free dinner out of it.  I didn’t last long though, and he soon replaced me for the cleaning lady who would cut his fruit for him without complaining about it.

The last step in the Enrique Way of Fabulousness was to talk a lot without saying anything at all.  Fabulous people love the sounds of their own voices, but their heads are too clogged with narcissism to think of anything interesting to say.  Enrique often talked in short sentences and made obvious statements in philosophical tones, such as “At night, it’s very dark,”  and “I see a doctor, it’s more… medical.”  Speaking in an important-sounding tone, narrowing your eyes, and furrowing your brow are crucial, as they’ll distract the people you’re trying to impress from your complete dumbass-ness.

With these few easy tips from Enrique, I learned how to trick the fab set into thinking I was one of them. By lying and being a vapid person, I too could have gained a low-level reputation for glamour in my community.  It wasn’t for me, but maybe you should try it– the only problem is, to everyone else you’ll just look like a loser standing on a street corner in a skin-tight tee, making a pouty face and checking out your own reflection in a storefront.

*Names have been changed to protect the fabulous.

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Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she
lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food,
but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends
to have a flair for the dramatic.