April 3, 2010

The Stranger

Though we share so many secrets,
There are some we never tell.
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger?
Did you ever let your lover
see the stranger in yourself?

-Billy Joel, "The Stranger"

By nature of what we do, most of us are liars. I know I wore several faces in the beginning of this journey, even went so far as to play a switch (which by nature I am not). To borrow, once again, from Billy Joel: "some are satin, some are steel/ some are silk and some are leather/ they're the faces of a stranger but we love to try them on."

Driving to the store today, "The Stranger" shuffled through my ipod and I was surprised to find such personal meaning in the lyrics. Billy wasn't foreseeing the online dating world, was he? Certainly, people wear their masks in person, but this internet thing makes it so easy, so tempting, to stretch the truth, to create a persona more in line with who we want to be or what is expected of us. Younger, older, thinner, stronger, more accomplished, more dominant, more submissive, single, male, female. Some are more harmless than others, but they all erode the delicate nature of trust.

So do we ever know who we are really talking to? And even after meeting, are those masks so firmly in place that the truth is inscrutable?

And while I may have stretched the truth a time or two, more recently I've been committed to full disclosure. What is to be gained by the masks we wear? Aside from the momentary escape, the ability to be someone who we aspire to be, in the long-run we do ourselves no favors living in the fantastical roles we create.

I want to be wanted for myself: my desires, my needs, my age, my size, my imperfections, my story. And the person I choose should have enough respect for himself to demand the same.

No more pretending. I've had too many strangers in my life. Strangers are disposable, far too easy to leave but harder to forget. My trash can is full and my heart is bruised. But I'm not afraid to try again, in fact I am happily and eagerly doing so.


  1. Good for you BP :) Well said...

  2. You've seen me through most of the good & the bad, FH. Thank you!

  3. So I have, my dear... ;) Well, not through as much as I might have liked, because I haven't always been around or nearby. And I wish you'd had more good and less bad, I wish it as much for you as I do for myself. :) But I love that you're feeling more empowered these days, that you caught some wind under your own wings. You were, are, and will always be beautiful, inside and out. m.

  4. barely.pink, these are fabulous insights... I love Billy Joel and that song, btw, but I've never before thought of it as applied to our online endeavors -- how very well it fits! *hugs* Glad to hear that you are finding yourself amongst all the masks :D

  5. Here here. Full disclosure is essential, if trust is to built over time. The unfortunate thing I guess is that sometimes we end up in a place where we believe that over the longer term, full disclosure can actullly hurt if the individual isn't ready to hear it


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