From a very early age, you’re told by your elders- especially one’s parents- that you’re judged by the company you keep- mainly those you choose to be your friends as, often, they have a marked bearing on how you wish to live your life.
As life moves on, this saying also comes to the fore with regards to whom you date or are seen out with and even the person you marry while that “company you keep” grows and intensifies and sweep you up and spits you out on some empty shore when the time to stop living a lie arrives.
Through this entire journey, the “You’re always judged by the company you keep” mantra plays a key role in the workplace, in business, in finding that special One and in simply socializing- and not in any of this false social media romanticism way where nothing is real and there’s nothing to get hung up about as there is nothing tangible there- except for a very empty illusion.
It’s why, few can write great love songs anymore. It’s not because they have all been written.
It’s because many today have no idea about real love and passion and courting and feeling the beauty of pain and putting it all down in a song.
Today’s love songs are empty words written around some formulaic chord progressions and with no start, middle or cliff hanger.
It’s lazy “riffing” that can fool those who deal in cliches and have never really lived which is why so many of these television singing contests have winners going nowhere as they don’t cut it while those doing the “voting” don’t know music whereas celebrity judges are one of the worst abominations and which should be drummed outta the music industry.
Jennifer Lopez- a judge- when she can’t even sing?
She’s just a richer, better looking version of Paula Abdul who also couldn’t sing- but was just a “cost effective” washed up celebrity who grabbed the only gig offered to her in a long time. It could have been Charo.
Where’s Paula Abdul today? Probably gigging in a shopping mall with Jason Castro.
As for real life in the real world and finding this “right company”, is elitism involved? Racism? Class distinction? Yes, yes, yes and another yes for good measure.
So, when one goes out- especially in class conscious Hong Kong- would you wish to frequent a bar, restaurant or club where there are “uncool” people?
Seriously now, “uncool people” belong with other “uncool people” and “cool people” gravitate towards other “cool people” like all those showbiz marriages and carrying on while jumping around Oprah’s sofa.
Sure, some “uncool people” might try to get past that velvet rope and be with the “cool people”, but they’re quickly sniffed out and shown the door.
In today’s over-polite world, this need to “upgrade” one’s self from economy class on the social ladder to business and then First Class is called “aspiration”.
Don’t ask me why, but it’s the “aspiration” of some to walk into Sevva in Prince’s Building in Hong Kong and have socialite Bonnie Gokson blow air kisses your way or to be at a cheesy and winey cocktail party and have hairdresser to the elite- Kim Robinson- wave and call you “darling” though he wouldn’t know you from a bar of cheap Camay Soap.
This, folks, is, of course, the shee shee world of Sevva, The Pawn, The China Club, the Hong Kong Club, the Country Club, and less pukka members clubs that are motley, dated meeting places with archaic rules for their equally motley members who one can run into at the Ladies Recreation Club, the Foreign Correspondents Club or the Hong Kong Cricket Club with its “no hats, no jeans” dress code.
But, for some, THIS is having made it in Hong Kong- no matter how ridiculously superficial and fake it all is.
One can put the above down to having reached a certain age and just hanging about playing with the pixies until the Grim Reaper appears along with the sudden realization that, like marrying for money and security, your gig’s up and you’re leaving having lived half a life- and a blissfully ignorant one- while being comfortably numb. It’s the Prozac Generation.
Meanwhile, in the social ladder of Business Class, the craving to be In with The In Crowd continues with heaving needs to make “strategic alliances”.
Yes, you’re judged by the company you keep and being seen with “second tier” people can easily impact your “brand” and appeal.
Men need good wing men and females need girlfriends when going out and going out OUT when single or divorced, means doing The Dance Of Salome, mentally, to attract the opposite of the species.
Of course, be with uncool or fugly friends, and you’re put into the same box, labeled “Loser” and, whoops, there goes another rubber tree plant.
Same with where you’re seen.
Be seen at the Blue Bar of the Four Season or the MO Bar at the Mandarin Landmark and this is a HUGE difference to ending up at Marouche or Feather Boa- which has its own “class system” and not even up there in Business Class.
And so, planning a night out in Hong Kong means figuring out the company you keep, weighing out the options plus wondering if Rayne down Wyndham Street is cool enough- and, GOOD GAWD- what if there is no table and you’re asked to STAND at the bar???- then planning how to invite yourself to a party going on which you know will be fucking boring, but how ” EVERYBODY” will be there.
However, this then suddenly causes shrinkage.
This is when you realize the mano to mano competition that will be there and how you just won’t be able to compete against, let’s say, quasi-celebrity Michael Wong, below, or some French or Italian musician/artist/chef with their hair in a pony tail and hung like a horse, or some bloke who can salsa like Michael Jackson could Moonwalk- and also hung like Mandingo.
How reliable are the tools of YOUR trade- and will they wilt under pressure?
Okay, so, let’s say, you get lucky and score.
But, wait, what have you scored and what would your friends think of her?
Plain? Boring? Plain boring? A scrubber? That you’re losing your mojo? That you’re getting DESPERATE??? That you’re going mad?
Hell, fuck the friends: What will your CARETAKER think- the guy who’s seen you with much better types and has watched your moves in the elevator while he got his jollies off watching this 4am peep show on his closed-circuit television screens?
The lesson to be learnt from this fandango is to keep your private life private and learn to be your best friend.
Bending over to please others and gain some weird sense of “acceptance” and “belonging” can easily make one lose sight of life’s priorities.
Life’s way too short to play that game and bother learning the steps to a dance made up of all the wrong moves.
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