#Exxxaggeratin’

Today I read an article about how we exaggerate all the time and it reminded me of that terrible joke my pal’s mum used to make: “Haven’t I told you a million times not to exaggerate ? Heh heh heh!” And then she would laugh so much at her own joke that she’d have to leave the room. The article talked about how we, as a generation, use exaggeration throughout social media when documenting our day-to-day activities. For example, someone went for a meal in a generic restaurant, took a photo, instagrammed it, put it on Facebook, whatsapped it to his/her pal, captioned it with “fat bastard and wot???” before finally settling down to eat that pepperoni pizza. If we look at that pepperoni pizza through the eyes of social media it would have been depicted as ‘THE BEST PEPPERONI PIZZA ON THIS EARTH’, the best meal she’s ever eaten, the cheesiest and meatiest motherfucker in town. It could have been a mediocre slice but who’s to know that? Using Valencia or Earlybird, something mildly pleasant can be transformed into an IMAX-esque experience so that people across the internet will be “gutted” they missed it. That new haircut could have been featured in Vogue (or so she thinks, stoopid bitch) and wow, look at that great night out, all those excellent cocktails and beautiful gals…oh no wait, it’s just Bamboo.

But we don’t just confine exaggeration to social media. One of my favourite things is when people are hungover and they say “I’m hanging so hard I’m gonna die” and they look like they might. They genuinely look like they may be dead by tomorrow, they are so feeble and fragile with little piss-hole eyes, weak breathing and poor posture crawling around the flat like angst-ridden sloths. “I think I drank about 500 drinks.” Did you really? Did you spend roughly £1,500? And don’t get me started on the units of alcohol. Or the fact that we wouldn’t be having this conversation because you would actually be dead. Or when people say “I’m never drinking again” swiftly followed by finding them that same evening holding a pint, casting you a cheeky wink, “hair of the dog eh?”, and all you can do is wink back and nudge them in the side; what you like??? STUPID FOOL, MIND HOW YOU COULDN’T EVEN LIFT THE VERTEBRAE OF YOUR NECK THIS MORNING. YOU ASKED ME HOW TO SPELL ORANGINA AND THEN SPILT IT ALL DOWN YOUR FRESHLY WASHED HOODIE. But no one likes a fun sponge.

I do love when you’re so hungover that everything, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, is a big deal. Like, absolutely everything. Someone brings you a cup of tea: ‘THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU’VE SAVED MY LIFE.’ Someone wraps you up in a duvet and is friendly and kind: ‘YOU’RE MY BEST FRIEND.’ Someone tells you that you didn’t make a massive fool of yourself last night: ‘HELLO GUARDIAN ANGEL.’ And god forbid someone brings you food. Forever in their debt. I remember once being hungover in a cafe and being so happy when the waitress brought my food that I burst into tears.

A while ago I had only been seeing my girlfriend for a few months and was trying to seem chill, but I woke up hungover one morning and that was the end of any pretence. I texted her and told her to “pls come round immedz and spoon me, bring half the co-op and be prepared to hum soothing songs. hurry, I might die before you get here.” Luckily she had work and didn’t get to witness me in my needy state, but it didn’t stop me sending whiney texts asking that she bring me Oasis and Chewits and cradle me.

I wonder if people exaggerate because it gives their lives more meaning. To be fair, that “super excellent” ginger nut along with that “fucking immense” cup of tea certainly sounds like a better morning than a shite digestive with a Tetley’s, but maybe after a while it gets tiring? Just give it rest, eh? Frankly, I become sick and tired, like the Anastacia song. But then I remember there are Frubes in the fridge and life is simply swell again. I am the kind of the person who gets satisfaction out of “the small things”. For example, I like it when the bassline drops (just call me David Guetta) and I grin madly when I see a pug walk through puddles. But obviously I am pleased by the bigger things in life, like the joy of childbirth and the reduced section in Tesco. All in all I enjoy everyone’s enthusiasm but let’s calm it a bit on certain things, I’d like to conserve some of that sheer exhilaration for my first skydive or graduating with any form of degree.

Going back to the article, I’m not sure if I mentioned that it’s actually a complete piss take: “It’s the most annoying phenomenon since the dawn of time. In fact since before the dawn of time” and “Someone who goes out to buy coffee is a ‘hero’. Whereas misplacing one’s hat is ‘literally the biggest nightmare’”. Obviously whoever wrote this article has never misplaced their £25 Topshop trilby before. However, one woman, a 31 year-old Mary Fisher, spoke some real truth: “I think it’s social media turning everyone’s lives into a soap opera. So there have to be relentless thrills and spills or the audience loses interest.” What a woman! Fisher obviously feels like an extra on Hollyoaks most of the time. And who can blame her? Everyone’s pregnant or marrying someone they’ve been dating since school. That or coming out via frape. Fair play, use Facebook a form of social media to reach all your loved ones at once, I can’t fault you on that but the people who are really questionable are those who basically post their to-do lists as Facebook statuses (“Early morning up and to the gym meeting the girls for a liquid lunch bit of window shopping and then back home to glam up for a night with my man <3”) or who post really personal information, the kind you would be reluctant to tell a pal you didn’t know very well, let alone 250+ people on the internet: “looks like I’m back on the Prozac :(“. Or even: “shit, late to my tutorial, didn’t get a lot of sleep last night ;)” and then tagging their one night stand in it.) Why would I, or anyone else, care about how many loads of washing you’ve put on or the fact you’re raging with ‘your man’ so he’s sleeping on the couch? Some people are absolutely shameless, tagging their girlfriend’s breasts in profile pictures and putting up public statuses about their not-so-private break ups. I know what you’re thinking: why don’t I just delete these ‘people’? Because they make me feel things that not many others make me feel: pride that I’m not a complete fanny.

[LB]

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