Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let's Pretend

Remember the days when your life turned out the way you wanted it to? Okay, if you're like me, you don't. I can't remember much in my life turning out exactly the way I planned it, that's for sure. But I do remember the days when I tried a lot harder to make things happen perfectly than I do now.

One of my favorite lines when I was younger was..."Let's pretend like..." and fill in the blank. As little girls it normally ended up something like, "I have twin boys and twin girls and my husband makes $500 every single minute" or "I have a house that's even bigger than the White House and everyone wants to come and stay there" or the infamous "We're trapped in a cave and incredibly fearless superheroes come and rescue us and we all live happily ever after..." you get the idea. I'm sure the boys have their own versions.

Somewhere along the line we got the idea that all the pretending stops when we become adults. But does it really? Seriously. How REAL are you?

I'd like to think I'm real. I'd like to think that what you see is what you get and that I'm straight up with everyone who knows me and that people who think they know me really do. But I'm afraid that isn't always the case. I'm afraid there are things inside of me people would be shocked to know about. Things I'm not proud of...and hopes and dreams I am.

I mean, how well can you ever know anyone? I know wives who thought they knew their husbands but after 25 years of marriage the guy drops them and runs off with a woman he met online. We hear of teachers all the time who fall into sexual relationships with their students that no one saw coming. Or how about the neighbor who commits a violent crime and those who live next door to him say they never would have thought he could have done such a thing!

Honestly, we all still pretend, and I think we pretend more often than we can bring ourselves to be real. But isn't that...well...lying?

I'll pretend what you said didn't just shake me to the core, and I'll roll my eyes and take it as a joke. After all, I wouldn't want to offend you with my reaction.

I'll pretend what happened last night didn't really mean anything to me just because I'm not sure it meant anything to you or not and I'm scared to ask about it and make things uncomfortable.

I'll pretend that I'm absolutely fine and that life is fabulous just so I don't have to answer anyone's questions. The house is spotless, the laundry is done, dinner is half-way cooked by noon and my husband thinks I'm the perfect wife. Is my smile pasted on straight?

I'll pretend that I didn't even see the sign that said 45 miles per hour just so when the cop pulls me over I can say, "Officer, I'm so sorry, I didn't even see a speed limit sign!"

I'll pretend I'm better than everyone else, because I know that's the pedestal people have placed me on, and they expect me to always have the solutions to their problems and be the perfect example for them to follow.

We all pretend.

But what if we quite pretending?  What if we were through putting up a facade for those who are "closest" to us...or for anone in general? What if the standard answers just all went away? What if we really began to dig deep and be who we know we are? What if we actually opened up to people so they could see the REAL us? Would they be shocked? Would they be angry? Would they run away? Would they come closer?

These are big questions. I don't know if I can. Can you?

After all, we all want what's real. Who wants the imitation Coach, when you can have the real one? Would you rather have orange juice from concentrate, or fresh-squeezed? Do you want the MP3 player from the drugstore, or an iPod?

Let's pretend like...or not.

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