I noticed that in company, especially in company of strangers, most people do not show their real face, but put on and play sham roles, hold the shield of imaginary personalities before themselves that they believe to be funny, marketable, fashionable, and trendy. It is though very easy to discriminate someone playing a role from being themself.
Interestingly, these put-on roles and sham personalities are always much less interesting, original, and attractive than the real person hidden behind them. Some weeks ago, I was invited to an informal gathering. Seven people showed up, and all of us acted a personality alien to our real selves. Never again did I feel like gathering with that group, and I wonder whether they found me false and boring just as I found them false and boring.
As age’s weight increases over our shoulders, we tend to become more and more ourselves – even in company. We less and less feel the inner urge and necessity to appear other than we really are, and we more and more dare to be ourselves: imperfect, weary, physically boring and unattractive human beings whose first priorities are life’s real values, rather than shallow superficialities of trends and cheap expectations. I am, however, still too young, and when I’m invited to a friendly gathering, I still play my little pathetic roles. I smile unnaturally much, intelligently nod my head, show an abnormal interest for everybody and everything, and behave as if I were some idiotic marionette manipulated by invisibly lurking social norms and stupid expectations. It is difficult to be the imperfect myself instead of playing the perfect Peter. And, furthermore, I hate that perfect Peter. He is just so stupid. My everyday common self is so much more interesting and amusing. Yet if tomorrow I were invited to a gathering, I would be most likely to play the stupid role of the perfect phantom-Peter again. I’m still too young, only 35. This is my sole excuse.