Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who are you and who let you in here?

It was a crisis in confidence--an unplanned, unforeseen, oh-my-God-
I'm-about-to-be-exposed really scary moment.

So she called me.

I can't imagine why she would think I might know anything at all about slipping up and letting the whole world get a really good look at my raggedy underwear.

We talked for a while--not long--and she calmed down. Eventually, she saw that she was in no real danger of flashing her panties at the unsuspecting, general public. She shouldn't worry, I've seen her drawers and trust me, they aren't as bad as all that.

It was her first real flim-flam scare. And don't even pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.

I suppose men must indulge in the flim-flam as well, although I've never asked. But almost all the successful women I know suffer from a deep-seated fear that they will be one day found out; the jig will be up.

Because in order to do what you gotta do, you first have to convince yourself that you're capable of pulling the whole thing off. Sometimes, for girls, that's a tall order. Then, when you're sure you've got what it takes, you can go about convincing the rest of the world. But if you cut corners on that first step, if you aren't absolutely positive that you're convinced--well, you've build your house upon the sand. Worse than that--you've built a house of cards on sand. And each and every day of your life, you're waiting for that sucker to fall. Cause you know--it's not if, but when.

I was really astounded, many years ago, when my mother told me that some part of her was always afraid that someone, somewhere, would see her for what she truly was. Now you don't know her, but I can tell you that before my mother lost her mind, she was one of the most intelligent, accomplished, and well-read people alive. But then she got her Ph.D., and now she can't remember where she's parked the car. It's not her fault--it's an occupational hazard, as I understand it.

My point (and yes, I know you've been waiting patiently) is that if the world's experts--the Dr. Whozits, the scientists, the college professors, the think tankers--if they live in dread of the day when everyone else sees through them, then what hope do the rest of us have for pulling the wool over the collective eyes of the world?

Absolutely none. So, we'd better be making our own reality.

And that's my plan. I'm working on buying my entire bill of goods. That way, when it all comes down and I'm finally exposed, they won't be adding "intentional misrepresentation" to my list of sins.

They'll just shake their heads and say, "Yeah, she always did think she was all that."

photo, Jack Delano, 1941

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jane, I don't think men do suffer from the flim flam. They have had too many centuries of women telling them how great they are so now they universally believe it. Your mother sounds like a great lady. I wish I could remember what she was like while she still had her mind.
Mums

Anonymous said...

Jane/Deb

Mums is wrong. Men do suffer from the flam and the flim. At least the one I know best does.

John G.

Jane who? said...

Well that settles it. If John's bothered by the flim-flam then no one is safe.

deb/jane