Sunday, May 14, 2006

Deal with the Real

We're selling our home. As we scrambled to prepare for the open house, it occurred to me how much this experience is like dating, or any other kinds of self-presentation.

Romance is grounded in illusion. No one would ever get married if they knew everything about their potential partner. Similarly, home-buying is a farce. You try to make your home look better than it is -- trying to fool unsuspecting buyers into a contract.

Why can't we just be honest? Why do we desperately cling to and hunger for the fantasy of the perfect (fill in the blank)? If dating, or real estate, or job interviews were based strictly on complete disclosure, they would grind to a halt. Is it the emotional thrill of romantic mirages that keep our eyes half open?

Perhaps I'm selling (pardon the pun) the aesthetic dimension of this experience short. Maybe I'm being too cold and rationalistic.

I once learned that there are three selves: the false self, the ideal self, and the real self. The false self is the person you portray to everyone else. The ideal self is the person you think you ought to be. The real self is, well, you -- as you truly are. Why can't we deal with the real?

The next time you go to a wedding, remember that what you see is not two real selves standing at the altar, but two false selves on the eve of a rude awakening.

2 Comments:

Blogger pastor david said...

So this Friday night, as I am standing before my sister and her fiancee, as well as about 400 of their friends and family, I should casually tell them that I see 2 false selves on the eve of a rude awakening?

Isn't there a chance that they've seen a bit of their other's real self in the weeks and days leading up to their ceremony?

Manhappiness will miss the Gadsden...

12:45 PM  
Blogger chris said...

OK, I was feeling a bit cynical last night. I'm really not that pessimistic. The Gadsden will miss the Lil' Apple and the Admiral.

5:02 PM  

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