Thursday, May 11, 2006

Questions of character

Rlh, in his inimitable way, gets to the nub of things:

I think I know her better because she tells a lot about herself.. or her personna, I think she is pretty honest. I don't know why anyone would want to reveal that much about themselves to idiots such as myself... Pretty Lady seems to be very complicated. I don't think I could figure her out. I am still trying to figure out her religeous beliefs. She is all over the place on that.
You see, dear, it is along the same lines as keeping an extremely candid journal, in a close-to-illegible scrawl. The more one expresses the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, the more inscrutable one becomes to others.

Pretty Lady decided many years ago that the cliché, "Honesty is the Best Policy" is Right On, no matter how much she hates clichés in general. After the usual tortured adolescence, complete with shameful skulking, attempted emotional manipulations, affected casualness, dissembling, and ultimately humiliating confessional breakdowns, Pretty Lady scrapped the whole procedure. For about the last decade, more or less, Pretty Lady has made a habit of telling it like it is. This does not reduce the complications in her life, but it at least assures that the complications are about things that actually exist.

This means, for example, that when Pretty Lady was having a doomed, passionate affair with one of the most notorious reprobates in town, the whole town knew about it. Of course, this was always the case when anyone in town had an illicit affair, but since Pretty Lady made a habit of candidly discussing her personal life with anybody who would sit still for long enough, the net result was that she was on the receiving end of considerably less malicious gossip.

Think about it. Pretty Lady enters the café one morning and is confronted by a Jealous, Catty Female, who says, "Did you know that Hector's German girlfriend is staying with him for a month?"

Pretty Lady replies, "Yes, indeed I do, and my heart is broken, broken, broken."

What can a Jealous, Catty Female say, then, in response to that? Not terribly much. Conversation then moves along to the subject of tequila and going out dancing.

Contrast this scenario with one wherein a female, perhaps this selfsame catty and jealous one, is having an illicit affair with Hector that no-one is supposed to know about. In response to the above probing question, she must reply, "Hmm. How interesting," and cast about desperately for a change of subject, concealing her personal misery under an aura of studied casualness.

How exhausting.

In general, Pretty Lady adopts this attitude of Complete Disclosure largely because she feels she has nothing much to be ashamed of. She feels this way, truthfully, because God created her. Isn't that amazing? That God should have gone to the trouble? And God being God, she believes most fervently that he could not have done such a terrible job on her that she needs to be running around constantly, trying to improve upon His labors.

When one considers this for long enough, one eventually comes to the unavoidable conclusion that if God created Pretty Lady, He must have created everybody else, too. Which means that everybody else is an equally amazing phenomenon, placed upon earth to be cherished and admired. Pretty Lady then feels that her primary task is in understanding just what it is about each of these, God's creations, that makes them worthy of such admiration.

Sometimes this is a difficult task, there is no denying it. But that's what makes it such fun. Pretty Lady has always loved a challenge; no doubt God is responsible for this aspect of her character as well.


Anonymous said...

Ummm.... Call me thick headed, but did you say that you are trying to be an honest, good person? A person that when they give their word, they stick to it kind of person?

And tries to expect the same from other people? I dunno about a lot of people, but I know people that would slit your throat just because they like to see the funny experssion someone makes when their throat is slit...

I shouldn't have said that.. But I have met people like that. Gives me the creeps.sorry.

You have a positive look on thing, but that was one of the things about you that intrigued me. I read a lot of your posts and I find you interesting. I think I knew someone like you in the past. I can't remember her name, but she was something else. very interesting...

btw, were you picking on me?

Pretty Lady said...

Picking on you? Heavens, no.

Indeed, when I give my word, I move heaven and earth to stick to it, and I do not give my word lightly. But this is only part of it.

I am a person who does my best to see myself clearly, and to see others clearly as well. I expect the best of people, but this is tempered with an increasingly strong dose of realism.

What I have no use for is shame. Shame obfuscates; it gets in the way of communication, of love, of everything, really.

Plus you always get found out in the long run, anyway.

Pretty Lady said...

BillyD! I am so honored. Given your insights yesterday upon Morgan's blog, a stereotypical reading of your character would have led me to expect you to tell me I was going to hell, for having relations with a man to whom I was not married. It just goes to show that people are all more complicated than we think. Blessedly so.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Pretty Lady. I wish I'd met you as a teenager. I probably would've written you off as a flake, being such a deep and tortured Goth my own self, but still. I could have used the positive influence ;)