Stories Don’t Mean Anything If You’ve Got No One To Tell Them To
I recently discovered that my ex-husband reads my columns here.
He never seemed to have much interest in my writing while we were married, save the times when I’d complain about him and it was brought to his attention by friends who thought they were doing him a favor by telling him.
I’ll still never live down the time he went to Paris without me and I bitched about the “I LOVE PARIS!” scarf and awful sweater he brought back.
“But you never mentioned the expensive jewelry!” he said to me.
“That’s because it was ugly and I didn’t want to sound like a jerk,” I replied. “And I didn’t want you to sound like a complete fool with no taste.”
(Okay, so a little hyperbole there, but pretty much accurate in intention).
His ire about my writing only representing one side of my story was unrelenting, and even now that we’re divorced, it continues.
“You’re a phony. A public liar,” he texted me.
(Grammar and spelling corrected on his behalf).
In this case, he was referring to my 6-day trip to Hawaii, which I wrote had been the first time in ten years that I’d been away on vacation without the kids. Apparently, this “lie” upset him greatly, and he felt the need to yell at me for it.
I still stand by my calculations, which doesn’t include business trips I took away from my kids as “vacations.”
And let’s be honest here, this is a very small, silly matter, at least to me, anyway. Especially when there are more important things, like say our children’s well-being, to worry about.
Hey, let me pick out that piece of sawdust out of your eye while I walk around with a giant plank in mine.
(Yes, that’s a biblical reference. And one of my favorite ways to explain hypocrisy).
But I wonder, does it matter to you, Internet?
Of course, there is a belief by some that we bloggers embellish the truth or sometimes even make up stories and endings, maybe even beginnings, because they are more interesting and compelling.
We draw you in with our words that you believe to be 100% real, absolute fact as they happened because that would be awesome to read.
Can you imagine?
I can only speak for myself when I say that my stories here (and everywhere I write) are true. They are how I see things and live them and experience them, not how anyone else does, because writing about how someone else sees me would be well, weird, and challenging, and pretty disingenuous.
Writing someone else’s experience is what I consider “fiction.”
This is my art, my creative self-expression. But instead of pencils or paints, my medium is funny words and adjectives and carefully-crafted sentences so that you’ll want to read to the end.
It’s knowing the nuances of what to share and how to share it.
I’m not here to make you think I’m any better or worse than I actually am in person. In fact, I’m not here to make you think anything about me at all. You can form that opinion on your own, knowing, I’m sure because you’re smart, that you’re only getting part of my story.
There’s only so much I can tell you in one column a week. Only so much you’d want to know. Only so much I’m willing to share.
These columns are my words strung together into stories about my life that I hope you like to read and that evoke something within you that makes you want to come back for more.
I don’t think that makes me a phony. Or a liar.
But rather, a storyteller, where the characters are the people in my life.