One of my best qualities (not to brag) is the ability to recognize people who are smarter than me. I know this doesn't sound like it would be difficult, but I have a real knack for knowing when I'm in way over my head and need to call in someone who doesn't often get overwhelmed and retreat to her tub for a bubble bath with a side of vodka. Similarly, I know when someone is interesting and talented and I make it my business to cozy up to them and live vicariously through their accomplishments. And I don't just mean in my professional and academic life--I do this in my personal life as well. My closest confidantes are shooting stars.
Katie, one of my few remaining friends from highschool, has a hilarious blog and is currently living the dream at a prestegious PR firm in NYC where she attends parties with Loraine Schwartz. One of my other friends from highschool is a musical prodigy, and I don't mean expert level on Guitar Hero, I mean he composes symphonies in his leisure time. My prom date speaks 4 languages fluently. My main gay, within two years of taking dance classes, landed a role in "Chicago" and a position at a dance company. My roommate in college won a legion of awards from the education school. My other roommate won best female ROTC cadet in two states. And then there's me...
I do not possess any of these talents. But I am really good at surrounding myself with people who do. Which I like to think is an accomplishment in itself. Not everyone has a list of friends this impressive. I like to think of myself as a better looking Gertrude Stein, surrounding herself with the best of the best in art, music, intellectual pursuits, etc. Or a more apt metapohor, the token ugly chick in a sorority full of bouncy blondes who through a combination of pity and the desire to look inclusive, made it through the rush process.
One of the highest compliments I could ever recieve is when my friends look to me for advice of any kind. Katie sometimes asks for input on her blog, and I feel like a total rockstar. Except, I also am selfish, so if I come up with a good idea I want to take it for my less-hilarious blog. Like I suggested she do a "favorite things," podcast--and now I'm kicking myself because I think I could make that really funny if I say my favorite things are "Coffee stains on a white blouse, a blouse which incidentally pops open at inoportune times" or "using vaseline as lipgloss because Cover Girl wants like 8$ for that shit and you can also use the vaseline for when your nose gets raw from blowing it too much." I'm like a whiter, skinnier, less omniscent version of Oprah.
I used to feel really inferior in comparison to my friends, who have gone on to bigger, better things while I stayed in Dayton and got a job. I get panicky when I realize my only Miss America talent is a sub-par dinsoaur impression, that's only funny because I am so committed to making people laugh I put all pride aside. But, I am proud of my friends and only slightly jealous--but hopefully sometime soon I'll do something kind of cool that my friends can brag about and take undue credit for. Just like I do for them.