Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Martha Stewart Burps

It's so hard to be honest in personal writing. It may just be impossible.

After I write posts like my last one -- any time I write about fatherhood or about my daily life -- I look back and I ask myself: "Is that you? Really?"

Don't get me wrong: The stories I tell are true. But, when presenting them, I am required to create characters. They are characters who actually exist, but I have limited time and space in which to flesh them out. If I mention one of my sons, I am sketching a person about whom my knowledge and impressions run deep; as deep as they go. Same thing goes if I mention my wife. How do I give you a picture of the person to whom my soul has been bound for a few decades within the confines of  a 500 word post?

And what about me? It struck me that Monday's post might be the most thoroughly honest one I have done, regarding fatherhood. It's true and it's accurate and it shows me warts-and-all. At least I think so.

But sometimes I look back and think: "Okay, you laid down too cool of a vibe for yourself, Matarazzo." What this generally means is that, if I seem cool and collected in a story, maybe, in reality, I was just collected -- a few marks short of cool. In other words, James Bond's tuxedo has to be wrinkled from all the time under that wet-suit...but, with a little editing, voila! Crisp, from collar to cuff-links.

In short, if I really did kill ten Ninja minions while hopping across the wine-dark sea on a wave-runner, I want to tell you about it, but, I'm wary of editing out the shirt-wrinkles.

With that in mind, I think we, as a culture that turns to the Internet and sundry media for answers, need to be careful about the standards to which we compare ourselves. I think of women who follow Martha Stewart. The woman simply does not glow like a moonlit night and do ballet moves between the kitchen and the living room. She knows stuff, sure, but she still trips and burps and gets pimples. We all do.

I guess we need to be wary about snapshots, whether the photographic kind or the kind of snapshots we get on a personal blog. They don't extend in the endless, sunburst directions that our reading imaginations sketch .

In the future, if I neglect to mention it, I probably wasn't as cool as I made myself sound. There -- I'm covered. Now for a few stories about my shark-wrestling days...

No comments:

Post a Comment