Over time, I have realized the importance of flaunting in my culture (read extended family). When I was younger, I did not quite get this game of one-upmanship. The things I valued most were my books, my education, my skills etc. Not that I did not value clothes, as I said here, I always loved wearing good clothes. But they were never a matter of supreme importance. Now, I have come to the conclusion that despite all those “educational” qualifications, I have to flaunt a lot of other things. It’s got to be subtle (not very subtle, of course) but it’s got to be done! Because, then they don’t accord you the requisite degree of respect. It has to be done to maintain “status” in the eyes of the world.
Since I live in the US, it is very difficult for me to flaunt my super-fabulous lifestyle such that my extended family gets to know (not that such a lifestyle exists). I mean, they still don’t know I have a gorgeous 46” LCD television, while they are stuck with measly 32” ones. How do I tell them? Or that I eat the most fabulous foods from over the world? Or go on exotic vacations (which I don’t, but even a random beach in SFO looks good in pictures).
Once, I called up an aunt to wish Diwali. And was inundated with descriptions of the fantabulous Diwali they celebrated, with the entire colony getting together to dance and make merry. Of the great “Chinese” food that was served in the party. Another call, to wish my cousin a happy birthday and asking what he was doing, resulted in a description of the private farm house he was partying in at the moment. A third call ended with another aunt discussing the relative merits of Italian vs. Indian marble for their new mansion (Duh! Of course Italian). Another one was about the fabulous Chocolate Chiffon cake at the birthday party (you think you get such stuff only in Amreeka!). Another was about my aunt’s favorite perfume : Poison, of course. And she could buy it anytime in her boondock town.
(Image source: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/i/if_you_ve_got_it_flaunt_it_gifts.asp)