my own personal simon

You will succeed by believing in your abilities.

The message came to me in a fortune cookie the other day. I guess it’s supposed to be motivating and inspiring, but of course it’s bullshit. Probably a lot of American Idol contestants got the same fortune. No wonder they all seemed confused when Simon told them they were the worst singers he’d ever heard. “But… the fortune, it said to believe and I would succeed. And I believed. So, you just can’t be sending me home! You have to crown me the ultimate winner. Do you want to see the fortune? I have it right here in my pocket. It might be a little damp. I get sweaty when I’m nervous.”

If believing was all it took, I would sit here and believe right now that I would win the lottery tomorrow night. I wouldn’t even have to buy a ticket. I could just believe right on my couch.

Not only is believing not enough, but a lot of the time, talent and hard work aren’t enough either. Generally speaking, success isn’t going to happen if you don’t have all three, but even if you have all that working for you, it’s no guarantee. Of course, sometimes success happens even if you sit around all day and eat cheetos, but Britney was pretty hot for a while, so she did have that advantage.

Tangent: we were watching a rerun of that Britney Spears concert last weekend in high definition. You might think this is perplexing, but honestly, we can’t look away from anything in high definition. I’m getting pretty pissed off at whoever does HD programming for the cable company because those bastards have made me sit through both Stuck on You and Starsky and Hutch in the last week and no one needs to see either movie in HD, especially more than once. Please, cable programming people, stop showing these two movies. I don’t want to have to watch them anymore!

But anyway. We were watching Britney in high-def, and we got to the part where the Onyx hotel security guards are spying on everyone masturbating in their rooms and Britney gets acquainted with her hand in the bath and then later hops down to have grubby sex with a guy who just five minutes earlier had been passionate with a bath towel. And P. said, “I’ve seen soft-core porn that’s less explicit than this.” And he was all repulsed by the creepy stalker security guard, dancing in his hat, and feeling ripped off that Britney wasn’t even pretending she wasn’t lip syncing. So, when we had to leave before it was over, of course we had to Tivo the rest.

The point being, Britney had some alluring slutty quality that made her successful, and you and I just don’t have that. So, all the believing in the world probably won’t be enough.

For a minute, I thought the fortune might work in the tradition fashion, in bed, but then I got to thinking about past experiences and realized that believing in your abilities doesn’t guarantee success in that area either. Sometimes too much confidence can work against you there, actually.

The believing thing is difficult, but doable, the hard work part sucks, because I’m lazy at heart. the talent? That’s the tricky part. How can you really know? Sometimes I wish I had my own personal Simon. He could be an objective voice telling me when it was worth it to work hard at something and when I should give it the hell up already. Plus, when I did something really well, he would smile at me and look really hot.

Those American Idol contestants don’t know how good they have it.

Instead of my own personal Simon, all I have to work with are bullshit fortune cookies and my own imperfect sense of my life. Maybe I should order Chinese food tonight. I can use all the help I can get.

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