When Exactly Enough Is Enough?
I have no time for Steemit lately! Actually, I have no time for many things in my life right now, but I guess that's what happens when your New Year's resolutions contradict each other. I asked for more spare time, but at the same time I asked for more professional success and high-earning gigs too. These two wishes don't go hand by hand after all.
I am not complaining though. If things keep going as they go now, I will achieve goals that I wouldn't have imagined a few years (or even months) ago. Mama says, "Keep walking and the leisure time will follow sooner or later!"
That's not my problem though. Not that I have any real problems at the moment, but I have to confess that I am currently dealing with something that I don't know how to stop. I know it may sound funny to some of you, but I receive way too many gifts and I don't feel comfortable with it anymore.
Why I can't stop it you may be wondering now, right? Because truth is that I don't really know the people who send me these gifts. It's not like I can meet them in person and tell them to stop it. Who are these people? Well, other than your mamas (he he just playing)? It's people who feel an attachment to me through the things "I've written for them." Literally and metaphorically.
The Diva In Me
On the one hand you have the "sponsors" and on the other you have the fans. I don't mind the sponsors really, as they are always very balanced and wise with their choices! Plus, the sponsors of YouTubers, bloggers, freelancers with a big audience etc. are multi-millionaire/billionaire companies, so they can buy me a home if they want and I won't even blink. The problem is with everyday people who happen to love your work and feel the need to send you something to show their gratitude. Of course, I am very cool and grateful to EACH ONE of them, especially when they send little things as candies, cards and letters, but some of them can make you feel VERY obliged with their choices.
To sound even more "divo" (grande Italia!!!) than I really am, truth is that I don't really enjoy gifts from others. I buy myself EVERYTHING I ever wanted to the point I sell them on eBay after a while. I do the same for my son even though psychologists and all kinds of "experts" (my arse) out there suggest that spoiling a kid like this (especially when his parents are separated) is never good. I just can't help it though!!! In my mind it's better to be a brat or a "divo" (ah!!!) than a needy, 24/7 ass-kisser! Like with most things in life, it's a matter of perception after all!
How It All Started
Now that's a good question. I would ask the same thing if I was reading this piece from someone else. I claim to be semi-allergic to gifts but I am the one who caused all this mess to myself. Yes my friends, I allowed my glorified ego to get the best of me...once again!!! I wrote my first paid article back in 2012 as I have mentioned 4 million times before. I started writing full-time during the end of 2013. To think about it, for over four years I was a good boy. Too good for my own good.
All this changed when I started writing for a popular Greek website named provocateur and some peeps opened my eyes. One of those peeps was this dude right here. Veryyyyyyy cool guy, an amazing stand-up comedian and one of the most popular YouTubers in the country!!!
To make a long story short, I started to realize the "power" I had in my hands. While other peeps pay to publish a book that only their close friends and relatives will most likely read for example, I ended up having two contracts with two of the biggest Publishing Houses in Greece (why I haven't written my first Greek book yet is another story/post), VIP invitations for film premieres, festivals, events blah blah blah!
It was then when a co-worker at provocateur dropped the bomb/idea for the first time. She was like, "Man, why don't you add your home address at your blog or your byline at the foreign websites you're writing for. You have a vast international fan-base. Go for it." Without taking a breathe I replied, "Or maybe a naughty Gift List like porn stars do, right?" The deadly silence that followed my statement at the offices of the online magazine became even more awkward when they realized that I wasn't kidding.
Going For It
I would kindly ask from all of you to be open-minded and not judge me (I won't ask you to not be jealous since you can't help this one), but this is exactly what I had in mind when I generously "donated" my home address to my Amex and personal blog's readers. I was used to sponsors already; I have told you all about the free air-tickets to New York, summer holidays to Mykonos etc. and what I was dreaming of when I thought of "fans" was wet panties, sweaty satin bras, perfumed underwear mixed with gush and naughty letters written with red lipstick!
The very first "fan package" I received back in April of 2016 was from an American borderline gay dude (I am 110% sure he's gay but I try to be politically correct here) and made me realize that I ain't no rock star to receive arousal fluids of hot women on clothes or elegant bottles. After I cried for a couple of hours, I opened my first fan parcel and in my surprise it actually included most of the things I liked thanks to the "Amazon Gift-List" I provided: hats, books, American cookies, superhero apparel etc.
Many, many packages and gifts followed from sponsors, fans, companies I promote/work with, but nothing managed to shock me as I fully realize my greatness as a writer, human being, future spiritual/religious figure, so to me it's only natural for people to worship me.
Especially during Christmas things can get really WILD. So wild, to the point the manager of Corinth's post office can call you on Christmas Eve and kindly ask you to "Come and pick your fucking packages asshole or I will give them to the gypsies and pensioners who complain for their poor allowance." My son was here for Christmas, so it was a good chance to take him there and show him the idol his daddy is, especially after he said that he admires this fag Harry Kane better than his own daddy.
Too many packages....
Some of them too heavy....
Some of them too big....
Some not too big but still very cute....
Some were afraid to come alone....
While some were way too sweet....
I could keep going on and on, since I got a total of 32 packages for Christmas, but that's not the point. The point of this post - other than show off, of course - is to highlight that one moment I felt really uncomfortable. On January 9th, I received this phone-call from ACS Courier. "Are you sure you got the right guy?" I asked, since all the work related mail I receive is delivered by the national post office. "Weird," I thought!
What made things even spookier, the dude told me that I had to pay 49 Euros to get it as it was taxed by our custom service. "Feck NO!!!!" was my first reaction. However, I happen to be a curious cat, so I decided to go and see what's going on.
Poh-eh-ho, cutting loose the homie inside collapsed to 127 all but me, myself and I, the dude at ACS informs me when I get there that the package's from Japan. I wanted to know though why I had to pay 49 Euros to get it. It made no sense to me! He looks at me and goes, "Apparently it includes an Apple iMac that costs about 2,400 Euros bruh. Do you have a wife in Japan or something? Who sent you this?" My reply, even though honest made him smile, "I have no idea who sent me this. I joke you not."
The dilemma inside me lasted for about 1 nano-second but it felt like an eternity.... It was one of the toughest moments in my entire life. I kept asking myself,
Did I start writing for this? I feel like they try to buy my love for art, writing and educational enlightenment. When I collaborated with Gold Visa Japan, I never thought or imagined that a travel agent in Kyoto would see his summer packages for Greece go up 2000%. I never thought that over 140,000 Japanese people will visit Athens instead of Turkey or Italy in 2019 because of this special we did. Who am I to accept such gift? Especially when our Ministry of Tourism didn't even bother to give us an interview and ignored us like we didn't call them 70 times per day. What an immoral bastard I must be to treat my country like this when I don't have a governmental position to decide on such matters.
Where's my love for this country that I once promised to serve with actions and even my own blood if I have to? I didn't even go to the latest protest about Macedonia even though I love the souvlakia and sandwiches they sell on such gatherings! I must be a traitor! If I attended the protest maybe Tsipras and the rest 152 agents wouldn't vote for it! Shame on me!
Was It Accepted?
The battle inside me was intense and lasted for a few more minutes. I was thinking that accepting such a gift would make me immoral, corrupt and possibly I would never feel the same again. Having said all that, here's my new black mini-office at my new apartment. I have no idea what this iMac doing on top of it!
What I know, however, is that I will continue writing on my Agent K and my legendary light-woody office no matter what. I won't trade these two guys for NO GIFT! These two still loved me when I had nothing. We built everything together from scratch. I love you guys!!! Wait a minute what???