I'm awesome. At least, that’s what people keep saying about me. I will admit, at first I was skeptical. Partly because most of the praise came from my Mother and Grandma, two individuals who are not particularly known for being unbiased. In all honesty, I think I could probably throw a baseball through the kitchen window and the only thing they would have to say about it would be series of congratulations on my form, strength, and aim.
But other people have begun telling me I am awesome too. People not related to me. People from whom I would not necessarily expect to be given praise.
This leaves only two possible outcomes. Either, I am as awesome as everyone says, or a very large group of people is out to play one of the most elaborate pranks of all time. But even in this latter scenario, the mere fact that so many people would collaborate together in order to do something involving me clearly indicates that I somehow stand out from the crowd, and I can only assume that somehow is related to how amazingly awesome I am.
To some extent, I don't know if these people understand what their praise is doing to me. Their intention, no doubt, (assuming their sincerity [which might imply a reason for doubt, come to think of it,]) is to thank me for all my hard work by saying nice things about me. And I, hearing my name used in a conversation, thoroughly enjoy their talk, and revel in the satisfaction that I made someone happy.
Talk of my greatness, however, is usually short-lived, and like a drug addict* I find myself needing to do even nicer and more helpful things in order to once again drown my life of monotony in the sweet, sweet, praise of my awesomeness.
Slowly, over the years, I will turn into the Gollum of helpfulness**, lurking in the shadows, forever consumed with the desire, no, the need for positive reinforcement. Holding doors open. Pouncing on anyone who looks remotely confused. Answering questions with volumes of superfluous help.
Ultimately, this can end in nothing but a disaster. The “Helpfulness Curve” is not indefinite. As someone attempts to be more and more helpful, they inevitably cross the fine line into the realm of creepiness, and creepy people are never awesome. Like that man at the hardware store who insists on showing you a new light bulb that is on sale, and despite your protestations that you live in a electricity-less cave, refuses to let you walk away without putting a light bulb in your cart, if only because it is a “good deal.”
The withdrawal of no longer being awesome coupled with the mental anguish of being considered creepy will be hard to cope with. Then things will only continue to get harder as everyone I know slowly drifts away from me, the creepy light bulb guy, until I live a sad and solitary life and am forgotten in the mists of time.
A tale of great tragedy. My only consolation is a small hope that just a few kindly people will remember me, and think back on me fondly as “the guy who used to be awesome.”
* Having never been addicted to drugs, and can't personally speak about the physiological need of drug addicts, but I have been forced to go onto an M&M free diet on multiple occasions (sometimes even cold turkey)*** and assume that the experience is similar enough that it makes no matter.
** The Gollum of Helpfulness would be a great title for a book.
*** Under no circumstances is it recommended that you mix M&Ms with cold turkey. Those are two distinct flavors that should be kept as far apart as possible at all times.
“I don't remember much about the book.”- Luke Wels
“I haven't had this much fun since reading- A.E.
the lyrics to Soviet patriotic songs.”