I’ve decided being “smarmy” is in. Well, maybe it’s always been in, but I’m slow to catch on to fads. When platform shoes were in during the 70s, I was wearing boots. When boots were in, I was wearing loafers. When it was cool to hate the new kid, I was eating lunch with him. You get the picture. I’m just plain dumb.
But now that I’m past the half century mark and could care less about fashion, who’s cool and who’s not and the myriad other banalities that get the majority of people out of bed, I’ve made a discovery. The masses love smarmy. You know, like when Whoopi Goldberg purses her lips, looks over the top of her tinted glasses and gives someone that look that says, “I’m Whoopi, and you’re not. Sad to be you.” Smarmy.
Smarmy people can be intimidating. After all, they always have that look that suggests they know something you don’t, and we’re all mentally scrambling, wondering what it is and oh please, please, please, are they going to share it with us? You know — the little people. They never do. And do you know why? Because they don’t know diddly. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
I’ve already mentioned Whoopi, but I could spend hours adding to the list: Barack O’Bama, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Ann Coulter, Laura Bush (But not her husband. You have to have at least a modicum of intelligence to be smarmy.), Princess Anne, Clair Huxtable (she was a master of smarmy), the lady who works at my bank and who gives me the look every time she looks at my balance, fashion designers, Cher, everyone in the Junior League … oh god, I could go on for days.
When I think of smarmy people, I recall a high school “friend.” Doreen was in choir, drama club and was the biggest whore since Madame de Pompadour. We all knew Doreen was easy, but she made it appear sophisticated and cosmopolitan. After all, she spent two weeks in Europe during summer vacation.
Doreen walked the halls like she was Cleopatra, her eyes not falling on anyone because no one was worthy of a glance. She knew “things.” Cool things. Things city people know but hicks like us don’t. So we thought. Now I realize Doreen just loved dick, couldn’t get enough of it and had figured out a long time ago, probably when she was two, that if you act smarmy you can get away with anything. You can even become president. Smarmy is powerful.
I’ve tried to be smarmy, but it didn’t work. Everyone already knows I don’t know squat about anything, and when I tried to half close my eyes and give the look of patient disdain, it looked like I was just high. Which I was wasn’t. I’m not smarmy enough to do even that.
Yes, smarmy will open doors, legs and wallets. All you have to do is act like you know something that everyone else doesn’t, and they’re following you around, hanging on your every word. And smarmy people don’t debate or argue. They’re above that because, after all, everyone else is stupid, misinformed and not worthy of their time. Their groupies, bless their hearts, take that as a sign of the smarmy person’s intellectual superiority and fall more deeply in love with them.
They’ll even vote for you. Scary.