The other day I was hanging out with my friend and her teenage daughter. Her daughter had just done something that made absolutely no sense and then walked away to go play with my kids.
I looked at my friend and braced myself, knowing that she would say something that completely horrified me yet cracked me up at the same time. She does this often. It’s truly a gift.
This time was no exception. She lowered her voice so only I could hear and said, “You know, sometimes I want to look at her and say, `You are so stupid!’”
I guess my horrified reaction showed on my face, because before I could get a laugh out she quickly continued. “Of course I never would. I mean, I can say that to you because that’s the sort of stuff I say to you. But I would never say that to her, because that would crush her. But sometimes, man, that’s all that comes to my mind. And so I just walk away.”
The rest of the visit went much the same way, with my friend saying the things that I would never have the guts to say. She calls it like she sees it. Always has, always will.
And I love her for it. Always have, always will.
The other day I was reading a blog post about how social media has created this weird tension and jealousy in our relationships with people because we tend to only post the best and brightest parts of our lives while keeping the grittier stuff safely hidden away.
And for the most part it’s true.
I mean, I will gladly post about the fact that my 4-year-old has an extraordinary gift for math. But I don’t usually tell people about the fact that this gift for math can often result in meltdowns because he knows that 12 divided by 4 is 3 and he only got two cookies so what’s up with that?
We post the pictures of the kids laughing and frolicking in the ocean, but we do not tell about the tears that come because my 6-year-old is rather fond of the copycat game but my 8-year-old can’t stand it.
I proudly share the quotes where my kids say some variation of, “My mom’s the greatest person in the world.” Not so much the ones where I’m a “meanie like the mean mom on TV.”
And I know that Facebook isn’t a diary (right, Bob?).
And I too scroll down past the posts from my friends who seem to only post the ugly grittiness of their lives.
But perhaps there is a happy medium. Perhaps there is a way to give a more honest and realistic idea of what is going on in our lives. A way to share the good and the bad without feeling the need to choose our posts and pictures like we are creating some sort of portfolio for a job interview.
Or maybe that sort of honesty and intimacy should be saved for our real-life, face to face, voice to voice, text to text relationships.
I don’t know.
But I do know that honesty is good. Openness is good. And there is something so refreshing about having a conversation with someone who says what she is thinking. No drama, no guessing, no reading between the lines. Just straight up truth – even if it hurts sometimes.
So I am going to try and be more like her.
More real. More honest. More open.
But maybe with less swearing.
See you soon.