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How not to brag

May 12, 2003 |


Dear Garrison,
Last Spring a group of friends and I graduated with degrees in English. Since then, we have all gone our separate ways and set out on different paths. I was fortunate enough to be the only one to find employment in which I am able to read and write creatively every day. In a few weeks, I'm going back home to visit. I'm afraid that if I discuss my job with them, they might perceive it as "bragging." What should I do?

Yours,
Holly

Holly, don't rush to tell them about your job, and if asked, tell them that you doubt it'll last for more than a few months. Invent some reasons why this may be true. Perhaps the company is tottering on the verge, perhaps there is a weird airborne virus, perhaps a mold you're allergic to. A high-pitched hum that's driving you crazy. Find some way to make this terrific piece of luck look like an attractive trap. I do this all the time with my friends, complain about how busy I am with the radio show, and my friends, who are starting to retire, say, "Why not hang it up, Old Scout?" I tell them I can't afford to. I hint at old gambling debts, blackmail payments, etc. In fact, I'm as lucky as you, but I don't want this to become an irritant to people I know.

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