Two Worlds Collide
Lately, when I amble out into the world, I've been seeing something that alarms me. Let me paint the scene for you. I'm standing outside my hotel next to Berenice and Wanda, a couple of big-boned, plus-sized women. One of them is holding two orders of chicken fingers, the other one is eating the latest McDonald's meal- the McQuadruple with a side of FatAss fries. As they happily gorge their faces, reminding me of feeding time at the hog pens, a limousine pulls up.
The driver shuffles around to the door, opens it, and out step two beautiful, skinny women. You can tell that they clearly spend their mornings in the gym, wearing their adorable new Gucci leggings, turning to each other and saying things like, "Aubree, I can't believe I ate both halves of my SaladWorks last night." And things like, "Tiff, are there less calories in a wheat roll?"
As I stand there, brilliantly philosophizing and pontificating, the world slows down and I behold the situation clearly. The Botox Barbies pass by the Hog-pen Escapees and their eyes lock for one fateful moment and they gaze into each other's souls. And neither group likes what they see. Aubree and "Tiff" give the two porkers an extra wide berth. Maybe they worried that one of them would reach out and grab their grande iced half-caf triple mocha latte macchiatos. Maybe they worried that one of the four burger patties would fall out of the McQuadruple and get grease on "Tiff's" new floral print skirt that she, of course, can only wear once. Berenice and Wanda have the opposite reaction and feel compelled to make a point that they don't move aside for no one, strutting right on by with that whole, "It's our world, too," attitude they pride themselves on.
And that quickly, the encounter is over. The second all parties escape each other's earshot, the shit-talking begins. I mosey to a location directly between the two pairs of women so I can easily hear what everyone is saying, pretending to be immersed in playing Flappy Bird on my I-Phone. As I listen, I quickly realize that I hate Aubree and Tiff. This isn't unexpected, per se. After all, I tend to hate most people. But more often than not, my real hate is reserved for Berenice and Wanda. And this is where I transition to the serious part of the blog article.
Basic Fact- No One Is Better Than Anyone Else
Before I continue with this riveting scene, I'd like to remind my readers that no one is "better" than anyone else. In order for someone to be "better" than someone else there has to be, well, some sort of tangible standard of determination. Or there has to be some sort of necessity for which some characteristics are preferable.
If I was somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, stranded on a lifeboat with limited rations, Aubree and Tiff would definitely be "better" because I'm sure they could each survive two weeks on a single cantaloupe and they probably smell a lot better. If I grew fatigued chopping wood in Maine, Berenice and Wanda would be "better" because they are physically capable of raising the axe above their heads, and assuming they didn't try to eat it, thrusting it downward towards the wood. But, in a more general sense, people aren't "better" than other people. People may dislike other people, and that's their right. People may have different interests and lifestyles, and choose not to associate with others that radically differ from them. But "better"? Not so much.
Listening To The Botox Barbies
Not surprisingly, Aubree and Tiff start asking each other things like, "who let the hippos out of the zoo?" They make comments about how Berenice and Wanda probably haven't had a date since the Reagan Administration. I don't approve of that comment because I personally suspect that they haven't had a date since the Carter Administration unless on some off chance they are lesbians currently dating each other. In that case, I suppose it was a date when they just went through the McDonalds drive-thru. But I digress. I'm sure you all know the kind of things Aubree and Tiff were saying. Those of us who haven't said these things ourselves have heard other say them.
Aubree and Tiff are completely convinced they are better than Berenice and Wanda. Aubree and Tiff value things like beauty, wealth, sex appeal, and popularity. Their goals, hopes, and dreams are related to those values. And no one can dispute that they've done a much better job achieving those goals than Berenice or Wanda. After all, they are richer and more privileged. They look better naked. They have better sex, more often, and with hotter men (or women if they prefer). They attend the trendiest nightclubs knowing that everyone knows them and that even people who despise them will treat them like VIPs because, well, they are Aubree and Tiff. And while they are partying in the Penthouse Suite, Berenice and Wanda are cuddled up to their golden retrievers watching Rosanne.
But, are their lives really that much better or more fulfilled? I don't know, I'd have to ask them. It certainly seems to me that if you enjoy eating seventeen pieces of fried chicken and then laying down to watch Oprah more than you enjoy the sort of pleasures Aubree and Tiff partake in, that you should eat seventeen pieces of fried chicken and lay down and watch Oprah. And if you are satisfied playing Scrabble on your Friday nights against your computer, it's a lot safer and cheaper than hitting the clubs.
Listening To The HogPen Escapees
Finally growing tired of listening to the Botox Barbies bask in their own greatness and wondering when Tiff will notice that a low-hanging branch punctured the side Aubree's new left breast, causing silicone to leak through her floral prints, I turn to listen to Berenice and Wanda. Shock of the century! They are engaged in their own full-fledged shit-talking session. And surprise, surprise, Berenice and Wanda are completely convinced that they are better than Aubree and Tiff.
Berenice and Wanda value things like literature, the exhilarating challenge of playing a good Scrabble opponent, going to pot-luck suppers where ten people are invited and each told to bring food for twenty, and publishing scholarly articles. Their goals, hopes, and dreams are related to those values. And no one can dispute that they've done a much better job of achieving those goals than Aubree or Tiff. They can name and quote from each of Robert Frost's top ten poems, each have articles published on top notch scholarly websites- Berenice recently published a critique of modern hospital chemotherapy treatments and Wanda recently wrote on the existence of homosexuality in harbor seals, and both of them routinely play words like "monotheism" on Scrabble boards. And while they reach into the bag to get seven new scrabble tiles, Aubree and Tiff's only experience with Scrabble ended when Aubree began the game with the word, "Hi," and Tiff got frustrated she didn't have a move.
Why Berenice And Wanda Are Way Worse
Finally done eavesdropping on both conversations, I start walking down the street in deep thought about what I just witnessed. To begin with, part of me actually agrees with Berenice and Wanda. I happen to personally agree that Aubree and Tiff are, well, living rather uninspired existences. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being hot, partying, and having lots of great sex. But I also draw inspiration from academic pursuit, enjoy learning, and don't even mind an occasional Scrabble game. I personally hunger to leave more of a mark on the world than a collection of bar tabs.
But Berenice and Wanda are pretentious pricks of the worst kind. They are the kind of people who, lacking natural aesthetic gift of beauty (or maybe having lost it at the bottom of a seventy-piece KFC bucket), insist on minimizing the importance of outer beauty.
Their favorite thing to do is go on long soliloquies about how the only thing that matters is what's on the inside. In their world, and one might call it quite a convenient world, to spend a lot of time looking good, or going to the gym, is considered shallow. They love to loudly exclaim things like, "It must be nice to have all day to waste in a gym," as if anyone really reads their chemotherapy articles or cares about homosexual harbor seals. I mean, hell, the day they can look down on the Aubree's and Tiff's of the world is the day they fucking cure cancer, clone a dinosaur, or bring the dodo bird back to life. At that point, I suppose they can look down their nose at the priorities of others.
Brian Zulberti, Esq. is a highly-controversial, internationally-known Delaware attorney who advocates for a strict separation between an individual's professional life and her social life. Zulberti strongly opposes the practice of employers searching employee social media accounts. Zulberti writes articles on a variety of topics on his website- http://www.brianzulberti.net