Superficial: appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely

Facebook is what came to mind when I saw today’s prompt. It reminded me of the time someone said to me “you’re always smiling and so happy!!” Well yeah, do you really want to see a post of me yelling at my husband, or perhaps a great capture of me washing the kitchen floor and cursing under my breath? Sure there are the occasional posts of people overcoming challenges they are faced with. Like just this morning when I saw a friend of mine from High School, smiling, with a post under her smiling photo that said: I have adjusted to living with Parkinson’s Disease but miss dancing, with the hashtag “new normal” and #rocksteady. Yes, Facebook can be a place to share one’s trials and triumphs and get positive feedback in the comments that can help boost one’s moral, but at the end of the day she is still living with her new normal and no amount of posting her smiling face is going to change that. I am pretty sure she must have her dark moments, but no one really wants to hear or see them.

To the outside world we present a superficial appearance, putting on the smiles, speaking in soft tones, speaking politely (usually). My true colors appear now and then and people are so surprised to find out I am not that patient, kind person they thought I was. They have met my sharp tongue and ability to fly off the handle with little notice. Hard as I try to maintain that superficial exterior, it crumbles away now and then.

While cleaning out a box of old photos recently, I came across two that made me laugh, that most likely would not have made it to Facebook had it been around in 1974 and 1978.

Here is my mother in 1974 at the age of 42, in a stance quite familiar to her children, but usually not the outside world.

She had returned something she bought in a local camera shop that had broken, and the guy snapped her photo before giving her a new whatever it was. You didn’t want to start up with my mother when she had been “wronged” a trait I seem to have inherited from her. # attitude

The following photo was taken in 1978, when I was 21. Who knows what I was brooding about, but I was a pro at it through my teenage years and early 20’s. This is the kitchen in the home I grew up, and I have no idea who took the photo. Another that most likely would not have made it onto my Facebook or Instagram feed. #brooding

I suppose we all need to maintain a certain degree of superficiality (?) to those we do not want to be privy to our innermost thoughts and who we really are. It’s all smiles and thumbs up. # superficial