Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Bragging Police

Remember how when we were kids we were taught not to brag? Older siblings and cousins would be the first to call you out on it, letting you know that what you said was, indeed, bragging. A few loud reminders like that, in front of other neighborhood kids was enough to remind us: nobody likes bragging.

 It must've been confusing for us back then, with all the praise our parents give us, to suddenly have to keep our awesomeness to ourselves. It reminds me of when I was a fifth grader in P.E. It meant a great deal to me to be good at sports back then (what? Is that surprising?) because my best friend and cousin, Jesse, was so athletic. I was always trying to impress him, so when a BYU basketball player came to visit our P.E. class and teach a few skills, I was anxious to show my stuff. After an hour of dribbling around cones and free throw shots, I felt pretty confident that I was the star I imagined myself to be. We lined up to head back to the classroom and the BYU player praised our class aloud to Mrs. Busco.

 "There was one boy and one girl that I noticed had a lot of ability out there on the court." he said, and then found Jesse in the boy line next to me. "There he is, what is your name?" he asked him. While Jesse answered, I waited, sure he'd point me out next. "I'm not sure which girl it was I noticed before, but you all did well." he said, casually. My mind raced. He was about to leave and I would never know if it was, indeed, me, who was so exceptional out there on the court. It had to be me, right? I had to know. I couldn't imagine always wondering. And I certainly needed Jesse to know that it was me. It wasn't enough if only I knew. I raised my hand.

"Was it me?" I questioned desperately.

Surprised, the BYU player looked at me with my hand raised, and having been put on the spot so suddenly said, "Uh yes, yes I think it was you."

It was at that moment that the reminding reprimands of my older cousins and neighbors came into my head "That's like bragging Jayne!" and I sheepishly put my hand back down.

I learned my lesson about bragging that day, (especially when it comes to basketball--I hate to make people feel bad because I'm so amazing) and it seemed for the most part, that most people around me did too.  But then the internet came and blurred everybody's vision and told everyone bragging was the new awesome.  In fact, it gave us multiple platforms where we could brag up and down about ourselves.  We can become friends with people we know and post the most flattering pictures of ourselves  and talk about our homemade items.  If we only have a little time, we can just write a sentence or two about our romantic vacation and send it out across the interwaves.  If our dinner was super awesome, we can take a quick pic (oh, that's picture guys) and then everyone can feel like they were there right at our side.  And if we want to, we can post videos about our big muscles,  how patient we are, and how much money we make.  And I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel like one of those lame-os who wasn't the one picked as being a star on the 5th grade basketball court (SO glad that wasn't me!) because, yikes, I can't do any of that awesome stuff!

I am just warning you: I've heard that the Bragging Police is out there.  He is trying to bust braggers and remind us of the good old fashioned lessons we learned back when we were kids: save your bragging for when a really important person is around and you want to look good in front of your athletic cousin.


Jed said...

I'm getting fatter every day!

bethanne said...

Oh wow, where will I post about my apple wood planked salmon and quinoa pilaf now. Not to mention the my most recent marathons, my romantic week in Paris with my husband, my six kids with their handmade frocks ( no there is no pattern to share but I do offer a tutorial on you tube.) but I have to be honest I was never the one the byu star noticed at wasatch! Haha

Paige said...

I would write more, but I have to go do some more pinterest crafts and post them on my fb page.

#sobusy #stillran27miles #crafter4life #mylifeisperfect

Lindsey said...

Little does Jesse know, but I am really the athletic cousin.

#ballsohard #utahutes #belikemike #firstrounddraftpick

jayniemoon said...

See how rad my cousins are? And Beth, you're not my cousin, but almost like one.

I wish I could play the hashtag game, but I'm so ignorant I'd ruin the amazing ones you made.

Shana said...

This has always been one of my favorite stories Jayne! Nicely done :).

Zach and Codi said...

Ha ha!! I totally remember that day! Not only because I heard you were the most amazing 5th grade basketball player around, but because during one of the exercises I bent down to tie my shoe and a loose ball came flying my way and smacked me in the nose giving me a huge bloody nose. I spent the rest of the time in the bathroom trying to make the gushing stop. Sadly, I missed all your killer moves that put everyone else to shame.

Anonymous said...

Your column reminded me of the time I was recognized in the London Times Green Sheet (sports page) as an American basketball star making 50 points in a basketball game. It was so embarrasing, I have never mentioned it since.
Love Gramps

Anonymous said...

I hardly know where to begin. It is overwhelming to look back on my sports days. I remember I was good at basketball, but Mrs. Murdock never chose me to be on the best team. I turned to writing poetry to save face and I still can't play basketball, except with Gabrial, who is two years old and a neighbor. We all have our strengths, but I never talk about mine. Love your story, Jaynie Moon. Grams

ali said... know what a hashtag is?

Jen said...

Ahhh, subtling bragging about your writing by writing this i see.