Friends — You Gotta Love ‘Em

St Lawrence in AshevilleRecently I was talking with a friend. She told me that she felt I was putting up a facade. I’m not sure why she said that – I have my ideas though.

The important thing about the conversation and what she said wasn’t really that she thought I was putting up a false front, rather the important thing was she got me thinking. And for me, thinking is not always a good thing.

But back to facades.

The dictionary has several definitions of “facade”. The first one listed is:

The face of a building, especially the principal or front face showing its most prominent architectural features

So on the surface, a facade isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in buildings or in people. We all like to look our best to the world. None of us gets up in the morning and while grabbing that first cup of coffee and cigarette loudly proclaim, “I’m gonna show everyone all my faults today!” Nope, doesn’t happen.

We get up. Yawn. Stretch. Scratch. We pull out our cleanest clothes, maybe make sure there’s a shine on our shoes. And greet the morning.

Relationships develop slowly over time as we slowly peel back each others layers like an onion. Each layer peeled reveals more and more about the person sharing the relationship with us. We may like what we see as we go deeper – or we may not. But if we care enough about the relationship then somehow over time we place the faults into perspective and see the faults for what they are – part of the whole person, part of the whole package. And again, somehow, those faults become the very essence of what makes that person unique, interesting and someone we want to spend time with.

While building facades were originally used to put structures into a different light, we’ve somehow twisted the whole word into meaning something evil, sinister and wicked. We throw the word facade around to protect ourselves from getting too close to people that, many times at some level, we’re drawn to. It’s easier to pretend that someone is putting up a “facade” than stroll with that person through the cracks in the sidewalk called life.

I think what we do is change who we are, what we say and how we behave to match the company of the people we’re with. If you’re a student, then you probably show a more serious and studios side when you’re talking to the teacher than when you’re with your friends on Saturday night. The parent appears one way to the child and another way to the spouse. Call it code-switching.

The whole problem with the idea of a “facade” comes when we “code-switch” so much and so fast, that we lose track of our real selves.. When I’ve lost track of my real self, me and me alone is the one being truly deceived and short-changed.

I’m not real sure that there is any such thing as a facade. Maybe it’s really just a different side of ourselves that we show to others. Just like the moon with its different phases, like a full moon or a new moon, people show to others different sides to themselves. And to some degree as well, varying revelations about themselves to others.

Now, just to wrap this up…I’ve babbled longer than I intended. While a “facade” may give other folks a false view of how a person truly is, I don’t really believe it happens often. And when it does happen, maybe, just maybe it’s a way to protect yourself.

Yep…I think it’s a way to love and care for your loved ones when you’re among them too. But that’s for another article or another blog.

Me? Yah, I put up a facade. I do it everyday. I “code-switch” to better fit the person that I’m with – so that I can hear their story. I want to get under their skin. I want to see what makes them tick. I want to see the inner workings of their life and their selves.

But put up a facade to deceive? To make you like me? Nope. I’m too old and too tired to play games and try to be something I’m not just so you like me. Either like me or don’t like me ’cause of what you see; I’m ok with that.  In other words, if you don’t like the person you see infront of you when we meet, then I’ll take it kindly if you’ll kindly let me be.

So. If you want to know anything about me, just ask. I’ll tell. You can usually find me at Greenlife or Firestorm sipping on my favorite cup of coffee and trying to get under people’s skin.

NOTE: I’m kinda proud to say that Earthwalkers Magazine has recently picked up my article on The LaZoom Tour. Email me if you want the link and have a nice day!

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