Saturday, August 22, 2009

How to protect your secret identity

Years ago, I heard a theory that we compare our inner self with the outer self of others. I have found this to be true, especially for women. We know EVERYTHING about ourselves but we only see our peers at church or the store or a kids baseball game. We only get glimpses of them. We don't know what is going on "behind the scenes".

Some women work very hard at protecting this image. They actually live in fear that someone might find out that they are human. Others, like me, try to maintain the image people have of us without being too deceptive.

For example, I have never been able to make brownies from scratch. They always turn out dry and hard. So if I bring brownies to a function they are probably from a mix. But I don't advertise that fact. If someone comes up to me and says, "These brownies are really good." I just smile and say "Thank you."

This might seem dishonest but it isn't. I did buy the mix, follow the directions, and bring the very tasty and edible brownies to the event. Not everyone can do that. You probably know someone who ruins everything they touch, including brownies from a mix. So I am deserving of the praise.

Now, if someone asked my for the recipe, I would have to confess the whole truth. My conscience wouldn't allow me to take FULL credit for the brownies. Sometimes people are disappointed, sometimes they are thrilled. The idea that yummy, moist brownies can be theirs so easily is a relief.

Another example came a few years ago at Thanksgiving. We had invited another family over who also had a bunch of little kids. The frazzled mother looked around our tidy house and said sadly, "How do you do it?" Now if it had been some career woman with one child and a housekeeper, I would have let her think I was some amazing person who could do everything. But I knew immediately that she needed the truth.

"I have been cleaning for a week!" I said "And my husband and kids helped. I mean, this is Thanksgiving and we knew you were coming. Of course we cleaned. It doesn't look like this everyday." Her shoulders relaxed and she smiled. "I guess your right." she said brightly. "Our house is this clean sometimes too."

The point is that while our friends may not need to know everything about us, sometimes they need the truth. It's okay to "reveal" ourselves from time to time. Sometimes it makes us even more "Super".


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Diann R. said...

This is so true! You know what I have found makes the perfect brownies from a box even better is cooking it in a pampered chef stone for a little less time then it says. MMMM! Yummy! Also, my house is clean lately on very rare occasions. Someday, I will be able to devote more time to it I have to remind myself.

amy c said...

I love your blog so far!! please continue to impart your wisdom on the rest of us!!

Michelle Z. said...


This blog helps me not miss your company as much as I have been since we moved from BE. I think this is wonderful that you are finally able to put all this "wisdom" in writing. I will return often to remind myself that it is not so difficult to have a home with more than "2.3 kids and a dog". Miss you so much!!!