The Defenseless Pretenseless

You’re a fraud.  You heard me right.  I said you’re a fraud.  I’m a fraud, too.  We’re all frauds.

This is the conclusion I recently came to when I saw the viral video below.  You’ve probably seen it in various forms.  It’s several subjects with 4 photos each with ever increasing glasses of wine in their system.

At first glance it’s amusing to watch people get goofier and goofier as you work through the series.  But you know what jumped out to me?

Picture #1, no wine in the system.

We all get that alcohol loosens you up and lowers your inhibitions, your defenses….but think about that for a second.  That means that we are all walking around pretending, positioning, posing, perpetrating a fraud!

We are not who we say we are!!!

…and the pictures in this study support that.  Take a close look at who those folks want you to believe they are in picture #1.  Then juxtapose that with who they seem to be as wine pulls the curtain back.

I think this is why roommate situations between longtime friends so predictably go bad at such a high rate.  I think it may have something to do with the high divorce rate as well.  It’s really a question of authenticity, right?  You don’t really know or get the authentic truth……until you do.

I remember when I first met my wife, Kat.  We were both working for Whataburger.  She was the boss.  As we worked together we got more and more friendly, more and more flirty, etc.

Then one day, after many hours of burger flippin’, I pulled off my plastic apron and paper hat and turned around to a stunned Kat.  As it turns out, she had never seen me without my hat and was fixated on my (at that time mostly) bald head.

There was an awkward pause….and then we both burst out in laughter that went on for awhile!

And THAT was probably the first truly authentic moment I had with my future wife.  It can be the glue of human relations…..or the end of them.

Powerful stuff this authenticity…you fraud.

(If you care to defend or make a public confession regarding your fraudulent life….please use the comment section below!)

8 Replies to “The Defenseless Pretenseless”

  1. I remember a very similar moment when my husband took off his shirt for the first time and he had hair EVERYWHERE! However he was so confident in the love he knew I had for him and although I was a bit in awe of it at that moment, I found myself realizing how much I loved him even more because I just did not care. No matter where we go on vacation I never think twice of him taking off his shirt and enjoying the activities no matter what the stares may be… a few years back when I had to go through chemo and lost all my beautiful hair he treated me just the same everywhere we went since it was too hot to wear a wig that summer! It made me know that we could just be US at any given time…may be too much information in this comment but I am smiling while typing it!

    1. Very liberating feeling for sure, is curious that we don’t always live in this moment. Older I get this becomes more clear, likely as care much less what others think or perceive.

      Thanks for sharing Ken.

    2. That’s a GREAT share, Angela. For me, it captures one of the things about authenticity that I really like. That being that in some ways it sorts things out. Once you get to the authentic truth of a matter you find out where everybody stands….what is important to each individual. I say that without judgment. All I mean to say is that you find out what the priorities are for each individual. In my wife’s case she has an undeniable attraction to bald freckled heads…….thank goodness. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It’s kind of interesting to wonder to what extent wine uncovers a “real” self or adds a different layer. Or colorizes a layer. Sometimes I feel we are many selves quarreling in one head. (Very profound of me — just like that cartoon Inside Out!)

  3. I was having a conversation with a coworker who made the same observation… my take is that it’s a mixed bag I guess. One could argue that we are all “ids” and that it’s the values and beliefs that constrain the id that make us who we are…? That leads me to the question of where do these values and beliefs originate from? If they are internal that might suggest choice or genetic predisposition. If they are external than maybe there is no choice….

    Man, my head is starting to hurt….;)

    1. have you ever tried meditating? Boy that is one fascinating window into all the craziness going on inside your head and body. But as that craziness quiets down, you do discover a sort of calm awareness behind it all, an awareness that is nothing like an id and also not much like the chattery anxious desiring “monkey mind” buddhists talk about (I’ve been reading about apes and “monkey mind” is so apt! we are SUCH MONKEYS in so many ways–all the craving for status and wanting people to like us etc is straight monkey-instinct.) ANYWAY my very long-winded way of saying I don’t think we’re just ids at bottom, but I do think that other awareness I’m talking about requires some cultivation.

      1. Freud and Darwin are having lunch somewhere discussing your comment here. I am not familiar with the Buddhist “monkey mind” concept…but you have successfully peaked my interest! I have been fascinated by the number of people who have read this post and have been drawn to this idea of what constitutes our “authentic” selves. It’s really a much deeper question than the one I posed….and that counts as a win!

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