I heard Taylor Swift sing this song a few (6) years ago and was instantly drawn to the lyrics. At first I thought about my son and some of the troubles he was going through, but a friend just reminded me today about the perception of a smile. More to the point, a fake smile.
I posted a picture of myself and my husband over the weekend, and needless to say got a lot of “likes” on Facebook and Instagram. The perceived notion that we were happy was evident. I mean, we look happy in the picture, so we must be, right?
These days we can edit the shit out of our pictures, covering up our flaws and making an ordinary pictures look extraordinary. I honestly tried to edit that last sentence, removing shit, but guess what? There’s no other word I can put in there that means as much. Sorry.
I’ve been guilty of editing my pictures to appear to be entirely different than they started out. I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe they are very photogenic, so it takes me quite some time to play around with my pics, insuring that they have the right shadow, fade and coloring to do the impossible – make me look good.
My friend commented on the picture that I posted stating that she thought myself and my husband looked happy. That was not the case. We weren’t happy or unhappy. We just were. We are. We exist.
So how then is it possible to edit your life to appear happy? Can you fake smile your way through life, making people actually believe that you’re something you’re not? Apparently it IS possible. Who knew that I have a filter button on my life, and pressing that lil sucker in sends a message that is actually believable? I’m guessing that my husband has that same filter button, and it’s still working after all these years.
I remember an acquaintance of mine was at the same wedding as I, getting a drink at the bar when we struck up a conversation. I had been having an argument with my husband earlier, and I guess it spilled into my evening/conversation with her. She acted surprised as I spoke about splitting up, not being happy. Her reply, “Really? I thought you were like Barbie and Ken, perfect for each other”.
Barbie and Ken? Okay, she’s kind referring to our appearance a bit. Myself with a slight 80’s hairstyle, never really letting it go completely, and my husband with his rugged good looks and pleasant demeanor. But she was also speaking about our appearance of being perfectly in love, whenever she had seen us out.
My mother used to tell me, “don’t show your ass in public”, and all that really means is that you don’t air your dirty laundry for other people to see. Sorry mom, if you’re reading this, it’s mostly for perfect strangers to read, as I don’t make a habit of telling friends with about this blog.
So I don’t show my broken heart in public. I don’t let anyone see my pain. Friends get to hear me complain, sure.
It seems I’m tied together with a smile, but I’m coming undone.