In Which Ms. Bean Contemplates Human Nature: Do You Play Up?

A marble in a martini glass because, I ask you, why not?

Everyone plays up.

An acquaintance said that after going to a party for the parents of middle school boys who play basketball.  She was making an observation about the group as a whole.

I got what she meant, having been to a few social events myself wherein people missed no opportunity to #humblebrag about their blessed lives, posing as someone more important than they might really be.

Acquaintance, who like me is an introvert with an extroverted personality when necessary, admitted that she’d played up in her own way.  That is, she’d bought a new dress for this party, but one that she’d be wearing to other events.

I’m not sure I’d say that is playing up per se, but I got her point.  She’d done something to make herself look better in the eyes of other people.

The conversation was short & lighthearted, but got me contemplating the ways in which we all play up depending on, I suppose, your need for external validation in a particular situation.

In my observation, and perhaps yours too, some people seem to need to belong to a group, any group, and will say or do anything to remain a part of it, fearing, I guess, the possibility of being alone.

I’m reminded of the old adage that there are makers, takers, and fakers.  If I’m entirely honest, in various situations and at different points in my life, I’ve been each of these to some degree and that seems normal to me.

Anyhoo, getting to something that resembles a point here, all of the foregoing got me thinking about this idea of playing up.  Here are my questions:

Does everyone play up? Is that a fact of human nature?

 And if so, does that mean you’re a maker, making something of yourself by playing up? OR are you a faker by playing up? I can see both sides to this.  What say ye?  

~ ~ • ~ ~

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

177 thoughts on “In Which Ms. Bean Contemplates Human Nature: Do You Play Up?”

  1. Well, maybe the introvert with the extrovert personality bought the dress because it made her feel good, not necessarily to look better in the eyes of others. While reading this post ABean, all I could think about was those obnoxious annual Christmas letters that used to be all too common. Thankfully, I only get maybe one a year now but gosh…talk about playing it up!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Jill, I think you’re right in that Acquaintance bought the dress to feel good about herself. I’d forgotten about those humblebraggy Christmas newsletters. We used to get a few of them, but now so few people send Christmas cards that by default we don’t get the newsletters.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Jill, I send some Christmas cards, but have no expectation of getting any in return. Truth be told my favorite part of Christmas is the cards, but society has moved on shunning that which makes Christmas special for me.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. I love snail mail so I also send out Christmas cards (but no play-up letter!). Perhaps in a way I’m “playing up” there because I hope that if I send out a Christmas card my friends will continue the tradition also. I love seeing the family photos, the smiles, the little bit of what they did that year, not as braggy, but as “hello there!” Our holiday card just includes a fun/funny photo of my guy and me and usually a grandkid or six. Because I feel we should celebrate love/family/good times/ and acts of the ordinary (to get away from all the divisiveness in this world). Wow, I didn’t mean to write so much on this subject, but Ally you bring up such a neat question/philosphy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Pam, I enjoy getting Christmas cards, too. I have nothing against newsletters that are “hello there!” ones and enjoy them. From what everyone has said here, no one likes holiday newsletter filled with humblebrags and hubris– which I’d say is an example of playing up.

            I like your idea that in these divisive times we need to celebrate acts of the ordinary. I agree. I wish more people would just chill out and share their love for humanity, instead of their pomposity. I do like makers better than fakers.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, the annual holiday spin! Yeah. The ones that are hardest for me to take are the super Christian ones where a parent goes on and on about how their five-year-old accepted Jesus Christ as his/her savior.

      The kid is five. The kid wants to please the parent. It would be like bragging about your kid making his/ her bed. Or being potty trained.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. AutumnAshbough, I’d really put all those newsletters out of my mind, but now that you two mention them… yes I remember the humblebragging and the shallowness of what was written. Rather tedious to read.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. One year, long, long, long ago, when I was a teen, my family made up a joke letter relaying our wonderful and questionable accomplishments in the previous year. And yes, we actually mailed it out to people (although I don’t remember how many).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’re reminded me of that other saying: “Fake it ’til you make it.” I still remember the day in my own high school life when I had to meet, mingle with, and compete against a whole clutch of high-level achievers. A teacher said, “Just pretend you’re Sophia Loren acting the part of a confident woman walking into that room.” It worked, and no one was the wiser — even me.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Without resorting to a long-winded reply, here is my observation in the form of a conversation.

    He: Hey, how are you?
    She: Fine, can’t complain. You?
    He: Same.

    When in fact, both are dealing with stuff.

    Yeah, it’s human nature to hide our vulnerabilities.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Very interesting topic. I think were more apt to play up when we’re younger, because youth often brings insecurity and lack of confidence. We feel a need to belong because it’s too scary to be different. But that being said, as I’ve written lately about influencers and the need to keep up with others and judging….I’d need to say that most people fake it in some way much of the time. Like how Megan markle now speaks with a British intonation. Great topic. I’m going to overthink this a bit more

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LA, this is a topic that lends itself to overthinking. Trust me, I’ve been musing on this for a couple weeks. You make a great point about how when you’re younger you often lack confidence so you play up hoping to appear worthy. It goes on all the time to some degree, but I can’t decide what I think about it… 🤔

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your musings are always enjoyable. I didn’t add to the conversation because I’ve been up since 3AM (heard a noise outside, and there was no going back to sleep). I’m feeling the mental effects, so there’s no telling what I would accidentally make, take, fake — or break. o_O LOL. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s way too early for my brain to get this deep while still on my first cuppa of the morning, but I’ll say I have been all three at times throughout my life. Clothes. Don’t get me started. I am GUILTY!
    I don’t need much reason to buy them. Oh, I love clothes, and all things fashion! They just make me feel good, and more confident that I’m feeling inside because I think really I’m an introvert in public settings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deborah, this is a somewhat deep topic, isn’t it? Didn’t think of that when I posted this. I know I’ve been all three things in my life, depending on situations. I get your need for the right clothes to make socializing with the world easier. I don’t think that buying a new outfit is a way of faking it, I see it more as a way of making yourself confident, like you said.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m going to a potluck tonight; just a few of the neighbor ladies I walk with and you know I’m going to be ever so consciencious about what I wear and what I say, and more observant about who is playing up after this post! Well, I won’t over dress! That’s a start. 🙂 I’ll probably brag up about my Grandsons and kids though, I can’t just can’t help myself!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As an introvert I’ll admit that in some social situations with a small group of close friends I like to hear people play up. I’m rooting for them so I want to hear about their successes, BUT overall I tend to roll my eyes when I’m around people who are expert humble braggers. Have fun tonight and enjoy your friends!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we all make, take, and fake at different times depending on the circumstances, how we feel, and who we’re with. Then of course there are the preconceived opinions we already have of those who are doing the making, taking, or faking.

    Maggie nailed it with her comment that we’re all trying to downplay our vulnerabilities. I’m at a point now where the ‘braggier’ a person is, the more I consider them insecure.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Joanne, well said. I completely agree with all you wrote here, especially about how the more a person brags, needs attention, the more I see them as insecure and weak. This was the upshot of acquaintance’s experience, btw.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think we all play up to some extent, if for no other reason than to be in the conversation. We may not make stuff up, but we choose which stories to share and maybe we concentrate the image a bit better than the average. I found that having hobbies that weren’t common in the business circle kept me at a natural distance where it wasn’t necessary to embellish.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, both the humblebrag and the outright brag often look like inept attempts to prove one’s worth. But on the other, our society does not always value those who do not value themselves. So often I’ve seen incredibly competent women or men of color NOT list their accomplishments, while white men talk a great game, get promotions, and make an utter hash of projects (or entire companies…or maybe even countries…).

    Like

  9. Oh Ally! It’s like you read my journal. I definitely do this! I remember pledging a sorority in college just to look like I belonged to a group. (I de-pledged months later, realizing I didn’t like many people in the sorority.)

    So yep. Been there. Done that. I say, “I’m working on four novels” to people when I haven’t written a word on three of them in weeks. Or I’ll act like I know about a show on TV I’ve never seen. Hee hee. 😀 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. L. Marie, you got farther along in the sorority thing than I did! I tried to want to belong to one but couldn’t quite walk through the doors to do rush. Not sorry about that now, but at the time I wondered.

      I’d say you’re working on 4 novels in the sense that your subconscious mind is doing its thing and will prompt you to write when the time is right. That’s not a fake in my world view.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I would bet that every human is a mixed bag of all three Ally Bean. We may not want to admit it for any number of reasons, but we’ve all been there, done that. I attempt to steer clear of the ones who fall to the play up end most of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I agree. I know I’ve been all three along the way. It’s no big deal when there is balance, but when you’re socializing with a group of people who all play up… it can get on my very last nerve. I think that’s what happened with acquaintance.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a great post for friendly conversation and fun thoughts to share, Alley Bean! I absolutely love the way you lay out the inquiry!! There’s such an easy going, innocent childlike self awareness of the human self and kind empathy for other human in just a few words you choose that you actually amaze me with your writing. ❣️

    Now, to your inquiry. Does everyone play up? It is my observation that our society teaches that one must play up to survive while others play up even more attempting to achieve success in whatever form they vision and quantify success.

    Is playing up a fact of human nature? No, it is not human nature from my perspective, but society rules to construct order avoiding pure chaos…

    Am I a maker or a faker? Both. 95% of the time, I make my own rules without thoughts of what others would think of me. (Dances to a different drummer because I am innately creative.) The other 10% of the time, I follow society rules (laws) with thoughts of fear that I don’t want my 95% of following my own rules taken away from me by society. 🎻🎨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TD, thanks for the kind words about my writing. You get what I was thinking about when I wrote this. I’m not looking to be a grouch about human nature, just observing and wondering about said.

      Very interesting perspective that our society teaches us to play up in order to survive. I hadn’t thought of that and you are onto something there. It does beg the question of what is our innate human nature and how are we changed by the world in which we live. No answer, of course. Rhetorical question.

      I tend to do my own thing, too. I can understand your awareness of how you do your own thing– and how other people may or may not look so kindly on it! Ain’t life a pip?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. An interesting topic. My mother used to call it putting one’s best foot forward. Sometimes we project what we want to be feeling even if we are not, and this often makes us feel a little better, like when you are feeling like crap but have to be upbeat around the kids. Pretty soon, you realize you actually are feeling more positive. However, there is a point where we cross over the line sometimes, and I think about this as I push the carrot closer to the kale when taking a shot for the food blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dorothy, my mother used to say that too and I’d forgotten it. I agree with all you said here, there is a moment when the act of making yourself crosses the line into faking yourself. Your analogy with the carrot and kale is priceless. Well said, my dear.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s a tough one. I suppose we’re all guilty of it at one time or another… job interviews come to mind. Yes, I really AM that wonderful. Now hire me! I imagine the blogosphere is rife with it as well.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m sure I don’t know.
            I never did Insta, or Snapchat. I started with Twitter at the beginning but never liked it enough to stay. I blog and stay in touch with old friends on FB. That’s enough social media for me!

            Liked by 1 person

  14. I find it very funny how this inquiry went into a topic of Christmas cards and newsletter! Answers are pulling up all sorts of ways to think about this. Very interesting conversations. It’s fun!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your martini glass with the marble is gorgeous creativity working with light and reflection and color and shapes, and the symbolism is outrageously hard on textures as a martini truly is, yet I already fear the nightmares that I might have tonight swallowing that marble!

        Your photo? I have doubts that you thought about all of this when taking that shoot. Absolutely marvelous art! The energy is in the mix!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for noticing the photo. I happened to be in our kitchen in late afternoon and realized the sun was shining through the windows into the hutch now that the leaves are off the trees. Thought this would be a fun pic but had no idea what I’d do with it– which is how I tend to use my camera. Just for the heck of it.

          Liked by 2 people

  15. This is a great topic. My eyes glaze over when people start to brag about their lives, but you know, underneath that is likely a different story. So I try to see the bigger picture. But it can be overbearing. Some people just have to promote themselves and pretend that everything is great. I wonder if it’s a survival instinct from early civilization?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Barbara, good question. My eyes glaze over too, but you could be right. For those people who have a huge need to belong playing up may be second nature. Trying to see the big picture is a smart way to endure such conversations. I usually just smile and nod my head while trying not to yawn!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Good post, Ally. I’ve touched upon (and skirted around) this topic many times on SLTW. If you type “reputation” into the search bar, you’ll find several of the posts.

    An excerpt from one:

    When our motivation for action arises from a desire to Feed Ego with accolades, approval, acclaim, acknowledgment, applause, admiration, etc., etc., etc., we are always worried about falling short of the bar (or flat on our face). We are concerned about what “they” think of us. We act (and re-act) to protect Ego’s fragile reputation.

    Only Ego doesn’t really exist.

    Once we see that Ego is imaginary, our ego-driven motivation (i.e., the desire to impress) and self-doubt fall by the wayside. We become more confident in the steps we’re taking. Fear of failure dissipates because it no longer matters whether others are impressed with us or not.

    Our locus of control shifts.
    We reclaim our power.
    We trust ourselves again.

    Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.

    From another:

    Once we accept that our reputations vary from person to person, and even day-to-day (depending upon the topic under discussion), we stop getting so caught up in the opinions of others which tend to be based more on who they are than on who we are. Instead, we strive to do our best while focusing on our reputation with the “man in the mirror.”

    Quotes to Ponder:

    * The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. ~ Dan Zadra

    * When we stop hiding who we are, we have more energy to become more fully who we want to be.

    * Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nancy, thanks for all the wisdom! You know I agree with you, especially: “Fear of failure dissipates because it no longer matters whether others are impressed with us or not.”. If there was ever a better formula for writing & maintaining a good blog I don’t know of it.

      The idea that our reputations vary in each situation is an important one to contemplate. I’m not sure I realized that when I was younger but along the way it’s become a reality that I embrace. I’m me, but who you think I am is all about you!

      As usual you’ve brought some great ideas to the conversation and made me smile in the process. Thanks for chiming in today.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Well, I don’t know if buying a new dress can be considered playing up. What’s wrong with wanting to look nice? Now say if it was a designer dress you couldn’t actually afford, and you were planning on returning it after the event that could be considered “playing up” by the definition of trying to appear better off in order to impress someone else.
    To me playing up is deliberately misleading someone by either omitting information or inferring you are something you are not, in order to give a false impression of wealth or importance. I don’t know many people in my circle who do that. Most likely because I will immediately shy away. People like that I find spend too much time comparing you to them and trying to put you down if they think you are above them. Like the recently engaged woman I met at an event who decided to compare our engagement rings (why???). Since my diamond was larger, she then felt she had to tell me that her fingers were too petite and delicate to sport such a large stone, inferring that I had man hands, I suppose? 😉 (I don’t – I have piano player hands, with long slender fingers). I smiled and congratulated her on her beautiful ring and moved on. Life is too short to be spent with people that insecure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, you nailed it with your definition of playing up, especially the idea of “deliberately misleading someone… in order to give a false impression of wealth or importance.”. Amen, sister. Been around that sort of personality often in my life.

      I adore your story of the insecure woman comparing engagement rings with you. What a hoot, but also what a sad insight into her self-worth and priorities. I cannot imagine ever caring about such things other than to compliment someone on her ring, not to attempt to diminish someone else. Like I often say, people be weird.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. I’m self depreciating by nature (it’s a big part of my sense of humor), so playing myself up to be awed by others wouldn’t fit in with that at all. That said, I do treat myself to the occasional brag from time to time. How many times have I mentioned on my blog that I was a semi-contestant on Millionaire? Or took a bit too much pride in one of my unique squirrel photos. As much as I don’t want to believe so, I’m a person of many contradictions just like everyone else…

    Liked by 2 people

  19. evilsquirrel13, for those of us with self-deprecating senses of humor it can be difficult to figure out how to play up. However, as you mention we all do in certain ways in certain situations. As long as it’s true and not what you’re known for, I’d suggest that it’s normal for all of us to do this. There, I said it, you are normal. Ha!

    Like

  20. “Playing up” is the whole game of looking for a new job, in which there are makers (people talking about what they achieved) and fakers (people talking about things they might have had a little experience doing). That’s the whole game of consulting, where the rule is “tell them you can do x, then learn how to do x when you get the job.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John, yes I’m sure you’re right about your take on playing up. It’s the old “fake it until you make it” maxim come to life. In a job interview it’s one thing, but in a social event it is just plain tedious. Especially if you’re an introvert who’d just rather not talk with anyone there.

      Like

  21. I associate ‘playing up’ in the sense you mean with online marketers… not ‘real people’ (well, I guess some are real people but not real real people, if you know what I mean) and I loathe their attitute. But in the UK (England at any rate, which is where I’m originally from) ‘playing up’ has a different meaning: it usually refers to children who are behaving in a way that’s a bit too much to take… like a kid that’s been behaving itsel and then suddenly ‘plays up’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Val, I hadn’t thought of online marketers playing up but you’re right, they do that. It’s advertising to them I suppose. I didn’t know about the meaning of this phrase in UK but I can understand it. Here we’d say acting out, but it’s the same behaviors.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I think it’s human nature to want to present yourself in a good light, but whether I’d call that “playing up” or not, I don’t know. For me, it’s offensive and unnecessary when people make more of themselves that is real, or pretend to be something other than they are. The “look how great I am” thing – something we see on TV on a daily basis these days. THAT is offensive to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, I agree that presenting yourself in a good way is a positive. I tend to think of playing up in the “look how great I am” way you mention. That can get to be a bit much. I’m not sure if people who do that regularly even realize that they’re doing it. TV has desensitized us all to the nuances of humility.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Nuances of humility” is an excellent phrase. Our culture seems to place less and less value on humility (or keeping our yaps shut about accomplishments, possessions, status, and so on, whether they are true or not). It’s almost considered a failure of character not to self-promote and self-sell.

        Like

  23. I don’t know about playing up, but I do try to find commonality with people at parties or get them to talk about themselves–just to keep the conversation going and to feel comfortable. I’m not as social as I used to be, nor am I at very many parties. However, I’ve met several boyfriends’ families and friends, which has necessitated some people interaction and getting acquainted behavior. It’s a lot of effort!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Margaret, I do the same thing with people at parties, in that I’d prefer that they talk about themselves rather than me. But the playing up behavior goes beyond prattling on about yourself, it’s when lies and boasting enter the conversation. You’ve made a good point about how when you meet new people it takes effort, even more so if they’re putting on airs.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Playing up just sounds like another way of saying put your best foot forward, only ‘playing up’ sound negative where ‘put your best foot forward’ is more positive. That’s my impression right or wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean R, that’s a good interpretation of the phrase. Acquaintance’s point was leaning more to the negative than the positive. These people were overdoing their worth while attempting to put their best foot forward.

      Like

  25. Okay, so to be honest, when I read the initial part about the kids playing basketball, I thought about playing up as trying to play to the level of the best player on the team. I know that my husband always says he golfs better when he is out with good golfers because he tries harder to play up to their level. I don’t think that is being a faker, I think that is giving your total best effort. I try not to be a faker, but I do hold back on personal information at times. Some family secrets need to stay secret. Another interesting post, Ally. I applaud all those who send Christmas cards (or cards for any occasion for that matter) and I happen to know where you can find some really cute ones – says the maker – LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, your assumption about what I was writing about makes sense to me. I guess I could have left off the details about acquaintance’s party then it’d be clearer here. I agree that when you’re around people who positively challenge you, you’ll play up to meet them.

      There’s a line between fake and discreet. I don’t share all there is to know about me so I get why we all just let some topics slide by, perhaps faking that all is well… when it might not be.

      Your cards are cute. Nice plug for them. Love it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan, I agree that being liked is part and parcel of the human experience, but when it takes over your psyche [ego?] I find some people get less real about who they are. Hence the topic of playing up. I try not to be too much of a taker either, leaning more toward the maker end of things, but occasionally drifting into faker… as we all do!

      Like

  26. What a splendidly thought provoking question, thank you for bringing it up, and doing it in such an intriguing way! I started with your first question first: is playing up part of human nature, is imposed on us by our cultural norms … or is it a thing (period)?

    There are examples of animals playing up across many species: playing dead (“playing possum” came from somewhere 🙂 And this “playing up” exists in mammals, in insects, reptiles, birds, for a variety of reasons, but “why” is part of your second question), making oneself appear bigger, pretending to be injured, etc.

    So it seems like we’ve evolved to “play up”, it’s part of human nature. Now I’m going to go work out and think about your second question 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Endless Weekend, your examples of animals playing up are spot on. That’s a great way to answer this question and one that I never thought about. Well done! I tell you, this topic of make-take-fake and how it dovetails into playing up has been fascinating today. The comments have been all over the place and enlightening. I never know what to expect when I post anything, but this topic has been the catalyst for an interesting conversation that’s still going on.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, Ms. Bean! I agree, this is an extremely thought (and discussion!) provoking question. I started to read the (many!!!) comments and my first impression was that most people take “playing up” as a negative thing. I wonder if that’s the case, or if there are quite a few positive or at least not negative reasons the do it.

        Take clothes, for example. Sure, a $100k dress is on the negative side of it. But I wear clothes for a variety of reasons that I believe are positive: (1) keep me from being cold, (2) save me from the evil UV rays from the sun, (3) very importantly, protect me from the bites of zombies that escaped the Walking Dead, and more reasons that I would consider survival-based (especially the zombie one 🙂 ). Choosing colors/designs for those clothes that I find attractive does not turn that into a negative aspect of “playing it up”, does it? How about an EMT or police officer that wears their uniform to differentiate themselves? I wonder if we imbued the term “playing up” with negative connotations or if I’m going down a rabbit hole? Will continue reading!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had no idea this question would elicit so many varied comments about the term. I’m loving it, mind you, but surprised.

          I don’t think of how you dress as playing up. I think of it as being respectful of the situation and, as you mentioned, keeping you safe from zombies. In my world view what you wear is your own way of negotiating the labyrinth of social niceties and work obligations.

          I take playing up to be how you talk about yourself. In that are you exaggerating your successes? Implying you’re more than you are? Pretending to do big important things? Seen that way playing up, in my mind, is negative. But I guess if you think lying is ok, then playing up is just how it is. 🤷‍♀️

          Like

          1. Ah. Different question. I was thinking about it in the animal kingdom (think puffer fish survival mechanism) way of “playing up.” Yes, the puffer fish is lying about its size and shape. But that’s how it survives (plus warns predators that eating it may cause death, even if it’s by poisoning). If you’re talking about those people that have not only the earth but also the sun revolve around them, that’s a different story, almost as appealing as a puffer fish 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  27. Wow – got time for another comment? Short version, very few people if any are 100% anything. So as a few have already suggested we all have a little of all in us, but in varying proportions. Because we are human. One should consider one’s primary trait and personality – the fact that you may be a “faker” at any point in time does not disqualify you to be primarily a “maker,” for instance.

    So where do the mermaids stand?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zen-Den, you’re talking sense here. I agree we should consider a person’s primary traits, values, personality– then decide who they are overall. It’s about patterns of behavior.

      As for where the mermaids stand… I’ve been thinking about that for years… still not sure where they stand but I know I’m one of them!

      Like

  28. Nope, I do not think I “play up” – what you see is what you get and I’ve decided since being alone, with no one to say “really?!” or question my judgment, that I’ve become a person who beats to a different drum. I like being a little offbeat or quirky, but can’t say I’ve ever strayed that far from the “real deal” even when I had my other persona (a worker bee who went to work and actually associated with other worker bees). My mother would drum into my head not to be like others and be yourself because you try to be something you are not, what if you forget what you said or lied about as it will come back to haunt you. Might as well just be me. I will tell you that I have known some outlandishly ostentatious attorneys in my time – the B.S. just flows from them depending on the situation. It was amusing to listen them brag or try to one-up whomever they were conversing with, be it on the phone or in person.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. linda, you said:“Might as well just be me.”. I feel the same way. I’m quirky but kind and I figure that’s who I am so go with it. That being said I know I’ve played up in some situations before it dawned on me to just be me.

      As for ostentatious attorneys… oy vey! I’ve been around them all my life and you’re right, some of them who lust for status will say ridiculously self-important crap. 🙄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it is an age thing as well Ally. The older you get, you are free to be eccentric and people don’t care as much what you do or say. This quote has been attributed to Oscar Wilde but there are many variations of it: “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” I really like the thoughts of Dr. Seuss which mirror my thoughts on life as well.

        Liked by 2 people

  29. Because I’m on the road and just listened to a Malcolm Gladwell podcast, that’s where I’m going with this.
    He calls it agreeableness vs diagreeableness. Being agreeable means you are concerned about social standing with regard to your behavior (the golden retriever end of the scale). Being disagreeable means you act purely on logic without concern for social standing or acceptance (the Mr. Spock end of the scale).

    I’m not quite sure where I fall, but certainly closer to Spock! Especially as I feel and look older these days. I can’t imagine why I’d even want to try and impress anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Eilene, this is an interesting way to think about social standing and a person’s need for it. I’m no golden retriever at this point in life; at one time I’m sure I was more like that. While I’m not yet as harsh as Mr. Spock, I’m finding that as I age I’m heading that way. And apparently so are you! Don’t you just love this freedom?

      Liked by 3 people

    2. The golden retriever vs Spock analogy is interesting. But even Mr Spock needed to keep his job! Or perhaps the degree to which someone can be disagreeable is directly related to how valuable they are to others (unless they are independently wealthy but even then they’d need to be agreeable enough to keep good help!) or alternatively, how little they *need* others.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Ally, I have not heard the phrase, makers, takers and fakers, before, yet, it makes sense. This time of year more social (obligations) present themselves. You remind me how much I dreaded Christmas work parties especially for my husband’s work. Feigning status, pretentious, name dropping. I think under the category of “fakers.” I always remember a saying when dealing with people in general, ‘everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time, the same as everyone else.’ Interesting post🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Erica/Erika, I don’t know where or when I first heard the makers-takers-fakers idea but it stuck with me. I totally get your dread of Christmas work-related events. [And any other work-related ceremony-type events.] I don’t do well with pretentious uptight people and the foregoing is where they all seem to be.
      Your saying is a good one to remember, especially in situations when the status-y people are doing their thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  31. Oooh, a tough question. I’d say human nature demands we fill all these roles depending on the situation. Take the faker — there’ve been plenty of times when I’ve thought “I can do anything for an hour” and faked my way through a kiddy event or business gathering or sports thingamajig. Survival and such.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura, I agree that we all do all three of these behaviors depending on the situation. I wouldn’t call buying a new outfit playing up, but I’d suggest that social anxiety and a need to belong often drives some people to fake it more often than just being themselves. Survival, however you do it, is a tricky thing, but a worthy goal nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Brain stretching questions – o and heart bending too. One thing I do realise is that it’s best just to be me in whatever social situation – warts and all. Have I faked it till I make it? Yes, when I am pre-anxious about a social situation because I know my ear will be bent about how great everything is … but then when I get there and all are in their finery, I enjoy listening because I seldom get a chance to say anything .. which sorta suits me? Even though I’m aware of the brittleness of it all … thanks Ally Bean – you could write a dissertation on this ..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan, thanks for joining in here. This is a topic that has turned out to be an endless source of thoughtfulness among my readers. *Yay* I often find myself in a similar situation as you do. I’m a good listener and able to ask good probing questions, soooo I don’t say much about me which is fine by me.

      I like your description of situations like these as being brittle. That’s it exactly. You watch as the insecure people fake it while you stand there wondering what might break them. And hoping it doesn’t happen right in front of you.

      Liked by 2 people

  33. I think I may have been more like this when I was younger, Ally, but as I have gotten older, I’ve realized that life is short and I don’t have time to be a poser. I don’t usually play up when it comes to me because that kind of stuff embarrasses me, but I think I do sometimes when it comes to my kids because I’m just so dang proud of them. ;0)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam, I adore this: “I’ve realized that life is short and I don’t have time to be a poser.” Amen sister, me too. I also agree that we probably each have some area in our lives that we feel compelled to play up because of pride. Don’t know that I think that’s a bad thing as long as it’s truthful and not your only source of self-worth.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. GM AB! I work for a consulting firm so there are moments when I have to play up – but I don’t do that well!! I have a tendency to go against the grain – surprised I still have a job! However, because I am a situational introvert AND getting older, I have reduced my need for social interaction with too many ‘New” people unless I HAVE to. When I do, it’s usually me asking all the questions, which is totally fine. Being the center of attention isn’t my bag. I can say, if someone asks me a question about something for which I am proud, I’ll let it rip! Luckily life has thrown some really great things my way so I have a few things to share when asked. I have this friend who always volunteers she’s a lawyer (she got her JD), but she earns her money as a Pharma rep and has for over 15 years. It drives me nuts – we actually aren’t friends anymore…I can’t stand it – especially for someone in their 50’s. Sad really. UGH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. pam, you and I are two peas in a pod on this topic. I like your term “situational introvert” because I am one who has gotten less social as I’ve gotten older. I’m good at keeping any conversation going by asking other people questions, so like you, I try to not be the center of attention. I wouldn’t like being around the woman you describe for the reason you mention. Just be who you are now, not who you were then. Seems obvious to me, but hey… people who play up gotta hang onto their status I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Ha! I am in no way a play-up person. I put on make-up and decent clothes for social events and go. And when I’m there, I simply enjoy engaging with people…not usually there to make something more of myself than what I already am. I guess I believe in being open and honest about who I am. Getting older has made me care less about putting on an image or playing up to people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, you and me both. I am me, for better or worse– especially in social situations which, as an introvert, I try to avoid. But I did understand what acquaintance was getting at. There are some people who just have to try to impress you with how great they are [in their own minds?]. People be like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. One of my dearest friends does those tedious Christmas letters. It’s a litany of everything she and her family did that year. Most of it doesn’t interest me because I don’t know Cousin Frank and little Mary. I often wished she’d just keep it real and personal and of course SHORT! I always threaten to send her (not to her of course) a litany of everything my 4 cats did all year. Yep it would be a snooze for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kate, Christmas newsletters that explain who everyone is and why they did what they did I like, but the ones that are a litany of playing up stuff are tedious. I think you should send out a newsletter about your cats to certain people who need to know! It’d be fun to see what happens the next year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some can be fun. I had a neighbor that did one and I always looked forward to it. This friend that I talked about, literally said, “On July 7 we traveled to blah blah to see blah blah. We stayed at blah, blah.” Well…you get the gist. I love her dearly but I would often not read it when I got it and scan it when I had time. This year she lost her husband so I don’t know what to expect.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We’ve received a few newsletter like the one describe. We’ve also received one that talked about a huge successful party these people had. It was for all their dear friends here in town. We weren’t invited to it, but got to read all about it. 🙄

          Liked by 1 person

  37. Great question, Ally. My dad had a similar refrain. He always said in his mantra-like voice, “There are two kinds of people, “takers” and “givers; don’t be a taker.” Of course, I got tired of hearing it as a kid because he said it too much. But it did, thankfully, leave a mark on me for all the right reasons. I suppose there have been times in my life when I’ve played to the crowd, as it were. It’s hard to avoid in a long career, whether it’s interacting with one’s colleagues or maybe being involved in a professional association. But I at least choose to think those moments were short in duration. I hope so anyway. Great post. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, I can imagine how your father’s mantra stuck with you. It’s good advice, but like you said there are times in everyone’s life when you end up not being your most ideal self. I figure that’s normal, but the idea of playing up all the time to impress other people seems unhinged to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. You have collected a remarkably thoughtful group of followers to your blog, Ally. I imagine much of that is because you pose intriguing questions. I loved the early responses about Christmas letters; it reminded me of one I’d heard about when I first got into a 12-Step program. The women were laughing about the christmas letter someone in the program had sent — all about how their teenage son had done well in rehab, the husband had lost his job but was dealing, no family vacation this year, etc. etc. I thought, ow that’d be a fun letter to send. I’ve never sent out a Christmas letter and I actually have been getting only one each year, from a family member; we mostly laugh about it. It is all so “we are so great.” And I know better. 🙂 As for your comment about buying the new dress for the occasion — I remember an era in my life when I’d have done that. And for the reason you posed — wanting people to like me and thinking it’d be the dress that would clinch it. Oh my. But I live in Vermont now and absolutely no one cares what you wear. I’ve long thought that how I dress for an event is a reflection of how much respect I want to offer the occasion. That’s all. Weddings and funerals call for a bit more thought and care. Playing up: a concept I’ve not thought of before. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I’m grateful to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my blog. I realize no one has to do so and I’m pleased when I get lots of comments– and the ones on this post are especially thoughtful.

      I’ve sent a few Christmas newsletters and I found them difficult to write. I’m not one to humblebrag so my tone was silliness or sincerity– not playing up and implying we are special. I barely send any Christmas cards anymore so a formal newsletter would seem really pompous.

      As for buying a new dress for the occasion. Acquaintance is a practical woman who was being tongue in cheek about her way of playing up. Like you I remember when I worried myself into a frenzy about what to wear, thinking my entire reputation was based on that one style choice. But I’m over that now and dress to please myself in the situation I’m going to be in. If other people don’t like what I wear, tough darts.

      Like

  39. I’ve never heard the term ‘play up’ before, so I don’t know if I do it. I will buy a new dress or outfit for an event, but I don’t pretend to be different than I am, richer or smarter or prettier or nicer. I don’t see that lying gets you anywhere, because the truth will always come out eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thinking about blogs and social media, though…because of privacy for friends or family, if you’re not anonymous, you do have to lie a bit there, even if it’s just a lie of omission. I don’t tell every gory detail about my life, mostly the happier moments, or something funny or that I find important, but that family or friends would be OK with me sharing. Is that playing up?

      Like

      1. J, that’s an excellent question. I get what you’re saying and here’s how I think about it. Like you I don’t talk about everything that happens in my life so I’m sharing a slice of life here. When I do write about my life, because this is a personal blog & that is what we do, I write the truth as it is/was 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time I obscure/change the details so that I may feel safe.

        I don’t consider that as playing up because I am still who I am and I don’t change anything to imply that I have more status than I do. Is this a rationalization? Maybe. But that’s the way Ally Bean rolls.

        Like

    2. J, in my experience the idea of playing up is in the context of status wherein someone humblebrags, puts on airs. Like you, at this point in life I don’t pretend to be different from who I am, but will admit when I was younger and less secure in my sense of self I did occasionally, as they say, fake it until you make it.

      Like

    1. Luanne, you’re right about how quickly social codes are changing. I’d say that dressing nicely is respectful, but I suppose if you go overboard with it you could be accused of playing up, trying to appear to be more than you are. I dunno. I think of playing up more as what and how you talk about yourself in social situations.

      [Also, Siri… she does her own thing, doesn’t she?]

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Ally, when I first read your post I went away a bit puzzled as I didn’t understand what you meant by play up, think it equated to behaving badly or “acting up” as was helpfully translated via your exchange with another Brit. Now the comments about Christmas letter all make sense 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops – pressed send too quick! I was especially interested in your “makers, takers and fakers” expression however and will be going off to the Great Google to learn more about it, as it sounds right up my street. Thanks for a thought provoking post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. deb, I accidentally stumbled onto one of those phrases that is defined differently on each side of the pond. Had I realized that I would have defined it better early on. Sorry for the confusion, but yes, those Christmas newsletters seem to be a prime example of playing up.

      Like

  41. In my effort to making it, I usually wind up feeling like I’m faking it. I suffer from Imposter Syndrome. As well I’m an introverted introvert so I can never get away from the sense that I’m faking it more than making it. I engage in a lot of faking at work 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marie, I can understand what you’re saying here. I think there’s a fine line between faking it to be safe + productive and faking it to mislead people about your status. I know as an introvert how you feel. I often feel like I’m not being my true self when I talk with people I don’t know well because it all seems so awkward to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Ally,
    I shouldn’t have read this post during the wee hours of the night last night. But I did. The topic you bring up covers a variety of areas of what makes a person tick and why they do what they do. So we’ll just put your observations under the broad umbrella of the biopsychosocial, communications and evolutionary make up of humanity. Humans are social by nature. This is how we learn. This is how we thrive. We are an interdependent species. Evolution teaches that there is safety in numbers. Evolution and psychology and biology also teaches that there is predictability and comfort in those who are most like us. However, we also need stimulation and diversity or we stagnate and become bored and our “people” die off. Trust is important in deciding who we open up to and what and how much we open up to that person. Personality teaches us that those who are more extroverted tend (emphasis on tend) to be more popular and tend to be more successful (of course, we have to define “successful”) when looking at who has dominant traits of the big 5 (openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.)

    What’s important is that we learn what works in what setting (how assertive to be, how loud or quiet, when to speak up, when to remain silent, when to stand out, when to fit in, when to be sober, when to be humorous, when to step up, when to back down, etc.) and how able we are to adapt and learn to be appropriate in a number of different settings with regard to our individual strengths and challenges. In other words, it’s good to be able to get along with a wide variety of people and know how to act in different social situations. Don’t get me started on social constructs! It’s important to be able to adjust our approach in a one-on-one setting, in settings of a small groups, in settings of larger groups and in chaotic crowds. In a homogenous group and a diverse group. Our social acumen is equivalent to social currency. There’s more than one way to be rich.

    Also, we cannot be all things at all times. Just because I’m in an impulsive mood today, doesn’t mean that I can’t also be conscientious. Just because I’m more of an introvert doesn’t mean that I can’t be more extroverted at times. Just because I’m neurotic doesn’t mean that I can’t be open on occasion to doing something atypical without extraordinary worry. We can express our different sides in differing amounts in different situations, often in relation to how comfortable we feel and how positively or negatively responsive the people around us are. We operate on a continuum of effectiveness. I’m on top of my game today. Yesterday, nothing went the way I was wanting it to. Our ability to judge/discern a situation is key to how well we do. We sometimes screw up and learn not to do that again. Sometimes, we feel so embarrassed it prevents us from ever being in a situation where we might make that same mistake again. It just all depends. Multiply that by about 7 billion people all trying to do the same thing and is it any wonder any of us get along or can be fully confident or secure?

    An interaction involves at least two people. Ultimately, what you bring to the social table starts with how you interact with yourself. From a social interaction or any kind of interaction, there are questions that can go into infinite detail regarding what you are hoping to gain out of that interaction and whether you will actually get what you were hoping to, what’s the best way to ultimately attain your micro/mini/major goals in this situation and what your satisfaction level ends up being from the encounter. Different people have different ideas of what it means to be happy, for instance. The same goes with satisfaction. Different people have different values. Is it more important to be happy or is it more important to be of service even if this causes discomfort or suffering on the individual’s part? If it annoys them or it upsets them? Of course this is different for different people.

    When we choose to have families, what are we willing to do to ensure the survival and wellbeing of our family and offspring? Then you ask those same questions about the larger community around you and then outwards from there. The point is: we don’t tend to consciously think about every aspect of every encounter and what that means on a microcosm and macrocosm level. We allow the physiology of our brains to inform us based on prior encounters regarding what we should do and how we should play out a situation. We may or may not even understand why we have a visceral reaction to a situation, for instance, but it has to do with a previous encounter in our life that our brain has stored on an emotional basis (painful, pleasurable, safe, dangerous) but that we probably don’t have immediate or, perhaps, any recall about. The more primitive part of our brain, however, will immediately react to what it perceives as uncomfortable or dangerous or fine based upon our prior experiences. All of these things happen in a split second. Often when the logical part of our brain is at odds with our “gut reaction” and we encounter that incongruence, we will second-guess ourselves. This, btw, is how we learn to get over something. Or this is how we learn to judge based upon our gut reaction.

    PTSD is an extreme version of how our primitive brain/limbic system overrides our frontal lobe that houses logic and reason. If a noise sounds like the gunfire we encountered that put our lives at risk of death and/or we had friends/family die as a result, we are going to react, perhaps in a violent way, to that sound, even if the sound only turned out to be a doorknob being turned. Your brain is preparing for action without thinking. (This is a true story, btw.) It takes awhile for our prefrontal cortex to catch up (think through) once our amygdala has been activated. Our limbic system, however, is what helps to keep us alive. It also is what can cause great harm when we aren’t able to balance that out with a prefrontal cortex that is in good working order. On the opposite end, when we ignore our gut, we might end up putting ourselves in danger and may end up dead. We often don’t know whether we made a good judgment or we missed it until after the fact and we’re dealing with the consequences.

    There is also theory (I think it’s theory) that part of our personality may be linked to dna as well. Well, no question, there have been longitudinal studies done on groups of people who have endured natural disasters (floods, fire, landslides, disease) or human disaster (wars, economic depression, societal oppression) and how that has impacted their offspring generations down the line. Studies show that these harsh living conditions result in epigenetic changes to dna. So what we do and why we do it may not all be what we’ve learned through mirror neurons and “nurture.”

    Then, of course, there is the “nurture” angle. We are taught by caregivers (parents, authority figures, etc.) what is expected of us and we are “guided” to do what they expect of us. Some use trial and error to teach (natural consequences.) Some use stick and carrot to teach. Those long ago consequences we learned as children and how we learned them, and even now how we’ve been treated as we grow, make a huge difference in how we feel about doing anything; whether we give an “f u” response to a social situation or a gracious response or a tactful response or a perfunctory response or no response.

    Are we capable of being playfully teased or are we humiliated whenever we encounter teasing? All depends on what you’ve been taught and what your dominant traits are and the type of attachment that molded you (secure, avoidant, anxious, etc.) Basically, in your formative years were your needs met in a thoughtful, caring way that didn’t include the parent/caregiver’s foilables? Of course not. We’re all human, so our parents’ mistakes, our teachers’ mistakes, etc., they impact us even when they had the best of intentions. That’s parenting for ya, though. We often do our best and even that’s not good enough.

    Add in mental health issues, physical health issues, current circumstances in life and relationships, economic status and other demographic status and cultural and spiritual belief systems and holy cow…have you opened up a can of worms! All of this impacts what we do and why we do it.

    Also, this “factoid” may have changed since I learned it, but it is estimated that natural-born leaders make up about 20 percent of any population. These are people who lead but are not so easily led.

    See why I shouldn’t have read this while trying to go to sleep?

    Anyway, I hope some of what I wrote, is helpful to your question. It’s cursory and — “incomplete” is the understatement of the year. However, there is a ton of research on all of the above, which pertains to the question you asked. Basically, all this boils down to is that people are fascinating in infinite ways, everyone has a reason for why they do what they do though you might not know or understand it and neither may they, and the answer to your question is going to be as varied as there are people and their interpretations IMHO. Fun post, though! Also, if you’re going to ask these kind of questions, I need to not read you at night! Ha! 🙂 Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mona, you’ve written a wonderfully complete explanation of the reasons, both learned and innate, that anyone does what he or she does in social situations. I like your line: “In other words, it’s good to be able to get along with a wide variety of people and know how to act in different social situations.” That’s the reasoning, I believe, that is behind thinking of human behavior as being maker-taker-faker. It’s all about your ability to comfortably understand the people around you– and I’d say more importantly, understand yourself.

      I agree with you that we all, to use your words again, “operate on a continuum of effectiveness.” And therein is where I find that people get confused about who they are. As Z-D said above, we all have a little of maker-taker-faker in us to varying proportions because we are human. If you’re hoping for consistent easily-explained behaviors, then studying human beings is going to make you go crazy.

      Thanks for your thoughtful and educational comment. Clearly you’ve explored the issues surrounding this question in depth.

      Like

  43. I can’t answer your questions. It’s 6:30 on a Friday morning and I just can’t think that deeply. However, your post does make me think of Tudor and Plantagenet history and how the nobility in those days just HATED anyone who rose to prominence from humble origins. If you weren’t born high up, you’d better stay down low where you belong!

    Liked by 3 people

  44. I bookmarked this post so I can come back and read more of true comments (as you know – so often you do get folks talking!!)
    And the first that came to my mind is how my son-one is like me in that we might play down As our default and we have to be mindful of how folks will perceive this or that- hard to explain – and it is Not intentional –
    I have learned to watch the default of that… And hope he will too-
    And you know a while ago you wrote about voting and the different church denominations? Well one of my pet peeves about most churches I have visited or gone to – too many social games and too much “playing up” in these Americanized country club churches

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette, I’ve been amazed [overwhelmed?] by the number of comments on this post and by the variety of ways of looking at this issue. I had no idea what I wrote about here, rather off the cuff, would elicit this response. I’m pleased, of course– but wow!

      I know what you mean about Americanized country club churches, a term that is perfect. I hadn’t thought of it in reference to playing up and you nailed it. Well said.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. There’s a bit of self-preservation at stake sometimes, hm? Adaptability is essential. At my most fake, I am being kind to people I despise. Not a crime, but far from authentic. Nearing that fake is the kind of fake I have to be around other mommies who are not like me. In fact, they are the expected mommies, the mommy norm, the ‘cool kids’ of motherhood. They don’t allow swearing, they fuss over grades, and they use the word ‘inappropriate’ as often as I drop F bombs. I am extremely quiet in the norm mommy environment. Fortunately, I look like them, and since my husband is as he is, it’s generally assumed I am some sort of saint. Me in a Christian church — the more recent the sect, the worse. Then there’s me in a suit, choking to death on my own vanity, seemingly polished, but really, I am too erratic to hold the cloth together, and itching to get out. See also, me speaking properly, with northern accent and rather pedantically to people who have presumed me daft or have tried to take advantage of me or mine. I very much dislike being in places and around people where I must verbally jog around questions directed to determine if I/we have money. Depending on the circumstance, I say I’m in law and he’s in finance or I literally tell them we’re working class civilians who live in a bungalow and can you believe how much it costs to have a tree felled? Often saying we’ve had four children is enough to deter further inquiry into our… “status’. Begone shallow people. I aim to avoid any situation listed above, but obligation or whatever. I will say, as time goes on these interactions are less frequent. I am grateful we left suburbia and our kids are almost grown 🙂
    Like all introverts, I see and hear it all, and when the environment is free of predators, I will safely make my way to the watering hole. My fake drink is the dirty martini, but if the evening is wretched, I’ll take bourbon. Neat.

    Like

    1. joey, you make a good case for times in which being fake is a way of staying safe. I agree with you and your point of view, of course. I’m pleasant/polite to people who really deserve to be slapped upside the head to get some sense into them. But I smile and nod.

      It’s interesting that you found the fake perfect moms in suburbia. I’ve had the opposite experience with the fake-y people being from urban environments while the suburban moms being much more relaxed. Different cities, different places, eh?

      Begone shallow people. Now that’s a mantra I can get behind. Brilliantly said and worthy of a blog post all of its own. I used to drink dirty martinis for the same reason you did, but now when I drink I go straight to bourbon neat. It’s much more soothing to my soul and appropriate for who I am. Authenticity doesn’t take a fancy glass or ice, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that term ‘playing up’ to mean dressing to impress, or bragging about what you did in a Christmas newsletter.
    We’ve only said that when the kids are acting naughty, roughhousing, talking back, fighting with other kids, as ‘playing up’. Interesting…
    Speaking of those newsletters – I bought some really old scrapbooks at an estate sale one time – probably from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and they were all Christmas cards and newsletters from friends of theirs. Fun to read them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara, apparently there are two different ways to define playing up. I’ve never heard the term used in reference to kids, but there you go. I bet those scrapbooks were a crazy fun glimpse back in time. A fascinating bit of history.

      Liked by 1 person

Cool kids leave comments. Be a cool kid.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.