Pretense

I was talking with my son on Saturday about his wreck of a car. He  had the passenger door torn apart trying to fix the lock.  He finally  got the lock to work but the inside  panel wouldn’t snap back on.  I joked that if he met someone who wanted to go out with him while he was  driving that car, then  she may be a keeper. 🙂

In the early 1990’s I had a young man named Dan  for me.    While were roofing my house  he began to open up.

He was  frustrated.

He said it was hard to establish a  relationship  not based just upon the physical.   Dan  was good-looking  and  had a great personality.

He said being too attractive was  a curse.

I’d never heard that from anyone before, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made to me.

I believe it is hard wired into the human heart to desire significant  relationships with people who  love and accept us  for who we are.

At the same time, we  have good reason to be guarded and skeptical when someone shows an interest in us.

 

Pretense:   Mere show without reality; outward appearance.  Something imagined or pretended.  The act of pretending; a false appearance or action intended to deceive.

I hate pretense.

Hate it.

Kevin contacts me about building a house.   We meet, he is all smiles, seemed  like I was his long-lost buddy. He picks my brain about everything from who  to recommend  to which materials to use.  Later  he attempts to hire my employee  behind my back to save himself a few buck on trimming.  By the end of the job, I felt like I’d been played like a fish.  He used me for what he needed and then moved on.

Bloggers write for a plethora of reasons.

I blog for three reasons.

First as a  way to release this stuff that rumbles around in my head.

Secondly,  as a way to meet and connect with people in a meaningful way.

Thirdly, I’m hoping that once in a while , my kids will read some of the stuff I’ve written and it will make a difference.

WordPress encourages me   to comment on  blogs to build traffic.  I’ve been actively blogging on WordPress since 2007.

Now I love comments just as much as the next guy, but at some point I began to feel like I was playing Monopoly with pretend relationship money.   It wasn’t real.   It felt  shallow and superficial so  I  backed off from commenting just to build “traffic” over at my blog.   If I leave a comment now, it’s because you said something worth noting. 😉

________________________

I leave you with two quotes by Emerson:

     “I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest thing we know.”         Emerson

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      “Our friendships hurry to short and poor conclusions, because we have made them a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the tough fibre of the human heart. The laws of friendship are austere and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals. But we have aimed at a swift and petty benefit, to suck a sudden sweetness. We snatch at the slowest fruit in the whole garden of God, which many summers and many winters must ripen.”
     Bashfulness and apathy are a tough husk, in which a delicate organization is protected from premature ripening. It would be lost if it knew itself before any of the best souls were yet ripe enough to know and own it. Respect the naturlangsamkeit which hardens the ruby in a million years, and works in duration.”
Naturlangsamkeit: a German word for a slow process of ripening
(DM’s translation:  Friendships take time to ripen…I  can’t  hurry the process….)
      “There are two elements that go to the composition of friendship, each so sovereign that I can detect no superiority in either, no reason why either should be first named. One is Truth. A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness .”
       “We parry and fend the approach of our fellow-man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements, by affairs. We cover up our thought from him under a hundred folds……
 

take the mask off

I am thankful for a handful of relationships that have taken root directly as a result of blogging the past 8 years.  DM

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9 thoughts on “Pretense

  1. I’m not sure this is relevant to your post–but here goes. I had been divorced for many years, had raised my son, and was hoping to meet a good man. I wasn’t about to make myself miserable over it, but my brother said “you’re not going to meet someone out there in the country.”
    I said, “If God wants me married, he can bring him to my door.” It wasn’t quite that way, but one day I was walking my dog the route I had taken for 13 years. I noticed a new man working in the yard of a house I always passed about a half mile up the road. It took three months before he talked to me, but one day he came to my door and invited me to go to the fair. He showed up in a beat-up old Suburu. I could see the road through the floorboards. Next time he asked me out I asked him if he minded if we took my car. He said, “Not at all.” No ego. I could have ditched him because he was poor, but I gave it time. He had gone through a hard time. Lost his farm. I waited, helped him some and he helped me with some things. We’ve been married nine years in May and I consider myself a very lucky woman to be married to him. As a bonus, I now drive a 2015 Suburu. Sometimes the exterior stuff tells us a lot, but other times we just have to stay tuned in until we discover the measure of a man–or woman.
    ______________________
    Martha, your story fit right in! To a tee. Thank you. Sounds like both of you have been blessed. Good to hear from you. DM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, here’s my rule of thumb for posting and for commenting: “If I don’t have anything to say, I won’t say it.” Meaningless words, just for the sake of words, are of little use to anyone, I’d think.

    As for pretense — I’m not sure it’s always bad. I can remember a few times in my life when I was utterly bored, wishing for nothing more than the end of an evening. But to have shown that would have been hurtful, and so I engaged in a little pretense: that of being interested. It didn’t kill me, and it didn’t end up offending or hurting someone else.

    And sometimes, pretense is just funny. Mom and I used to watch “Keeping Up Appearances” every week, and laugh ourselves silly at Hyacinth Bucket, who insisted on pronouncing her last name “Bouquet.” That program shows pretense at its hillarious best. If you’ve never seen it, here’s an episode.
    ____________________________________

    “Meaningless words, just for the sake of words, are of little use to anyone, I’d think.”
    Love it! Good to hear from you. DM

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I struggle on and off with a few people that refer to me as a good friend, this being because they are image conscious ( not to an extreme, but enough that I worry a little when our group gets together. They each have some wonderful qualities, I just want to always go deep with people — can’t do “chit-chat” and the whole “work the room thing. I like to say that I’m slow to warm up to people, but I know it’s just fear.
    _________________________
    You mention that you worry when your group get’s together because they are image conscious..could you unpack that a little more for me? Not sure I understand the connection. (I too have a hard timed “working a room” much rather sit for hours w/ someone sharing some deep meaningful conversation as well. DM

    Liked by 1 person

    • My personal experience with a few friends has been this: When I present myself in a more polished way, they are more drawn to engaging in conversation and staying connected during a social event. If I deliberately keep my conversation short, light and avoid depth, then I really have them. These are the same friends that smile gleefully when I show up ten pounds lighter then when they saw me last, friends that want to talk about recipes, recent shopping trips, or other people, but rarely ask about my family, my writing, or my health . As I sit here writing this, I’m starting to tear up because I have memories of having someone just walk away from me when I am in the middle of sharing something personal.
      I don’t know if I have unpacked anymore or if I’ve just found a new full suitcase in the hall closet.
      The most important thing is to tell you I do get the message of the post.
      Maybe I’m the pretentious one because I am worried about losing the label “friend” when I am not sure it applies anymore.
      DM, thanks for listening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan, based on the first comment you gave, I wouldn’t say you are pretentious as much as discerning….sounds like you love to connect on a deeper level, but some of the regular people in your life would prefer to keep it more superficial… Thanks for unpacking that suitcase 🙂 Let me know if that other suitcase that just fell out of the closet turns into a blog post. appreciate your heart. DM

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s funny how I am mentally in sync with this post. I read another post of similar nature on another blogging friend’s blog. Which then provokes me to ask myself why do I blog? Is it for popularity? Friendship? Community? If I’m honest, it’s for all three. But why popularity? Why after all the years I’ve been around do I still want lots and lots of people to like me? It’s a conundrum.

    Like

  5. But, but, but. Commenting if your goal is for traffic is silly BUT, the “howdy, I’m still here” stuff while not profound reminds us at these great distances that the other is still there. In the same way we say uh-huh while someone is talking. Finding an interesting link and sending it off is the Hallmark card of this century – when what we mean behind it (me at least) is “thinking about you” and heaven forbid “I love you man!” Because it is hard enough to recognize you feel that “fidelitas” or brotherly love and then attempt to express it. For me the big gestures pale in comparison to the little ones.

    So I leave you with this. Each day I pass a friend I give them a happy hello. This takes real effort for me because I stink at small talk, have never really understood colloquialisms or that when most people ask how you are doing they don’t really want to know. But the effort is my tribute to that person the best gift I can muster to keep a connection alive and even flourishing.

    Liked by 1 person

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