Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simulacrum . . .

A few days ago, while scrolling through Facebook, I happened across one of those anonymous memes, cutesy script on a purple background, extolling the virtues of what the unknown author -and by extension, the poster- claimed were the province of a "real woman."

In less words than are used to describe a pasta entree at the local franchised Italian restaurant, the nameless meme-maven stated that a real woman eschews drama and avoids wasting time on people that "don't matter." Noble attributes to be sure, but hardly sufficient proof of authenticity. But the Hallmark-lite pablum, composed by someone with a trial version of Photoshop and too much time on their hands, isn't what struck me.

I'm certain the mastermind of this web-based fortune cookie had the best intentions, maybe even splashed a few tears on the keyboard, but I believe each subsequent like and share diminished whatever sentiment this person originally meant to express.

Which brings us to the wall on which I found this gem.

It's understandable that the sharer, barely possessing the necessary language skills to slog through the spaghetti menu options, might view this as some sort of relationship Rosetta Stone, without comprehending the definition of "real." It's true that, lacking the emotional maturity of a Barney aficionado, the wall owner saw this as a proxy for seduction, a way to express feelings so foreign so as to defy explanation.

However, even this left-handed explanation gives more credit than is deserved.

It's a shot across the bow from a shooter so buried behind last year's flannel shirts and Bermuda shorts that they can't visualize the target. It's a claim of honesty from someone too afraid to acknowledge their wants & desires, and the lies they've told to acquire them. It's a billboard hung behind a wall covered by a smokescreen masked by a rampart, intended for a consumer who promises payment without ever intending to complete the purchase.

The antithesis of "real."

I experienced years of similar reality. I endured decades of pointless drama. I came to understand how little I mattered in the realm of the "real."

But now...

A forgery loses it's sheen when hung next to an original. A mimic fails when heard simultaneously with the real voice. And a lie crumbles into the dust of its creation when confronted by the truth.

And after what seems like a lifetime, I've encountered the real, the authentic and the truth, and I can't believe I ever let myself be fooled. I know a "real woman" and she doesn't have to cut and paste her words onto a pretty purple background. In fact, she doesn't have to say anything at all.

I won't hide this revelation behind a privacy setting that isn't fooling anyone. In fact, I'm tempted to shout it from the rooftops, acrophobia be damned, but that's a tale for later, once the manuscript is finished.

I'll settle for this, and ask you to do the same; I'll sign what I have to say.

But Then Again, You'll Have This . . .