Friday, October 24, 2014

Faking It by Carrie Mesrobian


Most of being an adult for me involves faking it.

Faking that I'm interested in what my kid's teacher is telling me about her test scores at conferences.

Faking that I really want to go select paint swatches for my house.

Faking that I know what's going on when it comes to my mortgage, my tax situation, my overall health and well-being, my personal goals and dreams, the political issues that affect my generation.

Faking that I have any clue that things will turn out okay.

I don't really have an issue with this, though. It doesn't feel false, necessarily, either. It doesn’t feel like lying. Maybe because I like writing fiction and all of fiction involves faking it too? Faking that I'm a 17-year-old boy. Faking that I've ever gone snowboarding or deer-hunting. Faking that I am a male virgin, that I enjoy smoking pot, that I have a brother, that my parents have divorced, that my mother is dead, that I know what it's like to make cupcakes from scratch.

Maybe other people are fully grown up and don't fake it. Maybe other people will read this and think I'm an idiot. Maybe other people find themselves in their 40th year and feel solid and expert and competent. But I don't. I still feel uncertain about 75% of what's going on in my life. (The other 25% is me being certain that I will fail.)

I wonder sometimes if growing up is just a matter of being accustomed to faking it?




To amuse myself when I'm not writing, I often fantasize. Conversations With My Fake Boyfriend is one such forum that I curate. There is something so ridiculous and delightful about that which will never happen to me. 

The theme this month is masks and fears and I love this theme. I love this time of year. Halloween is the wonderful holiday that contends with both; a purely fun holiday that pairs children with adults, happens in the dark, with strangers and favors and reveling in indulgence and frippery and faking it.

The nice thing about fiction is that it encourages faking it. It encourages questions and counterfactuals. Fiction reckons with a delicious uncertainty that plays out across a fanciful timeline, in a place that never quite exists, spanning multiple viewpoints. Asking these questions, making these fake people, posing and plotting and embellishing on what will never be reality is probably the one responsibility I feel honest about accepting. 



4 comments:

  1. I love this post. I love your fake boyfriend stories. I love the word frippery. And I'm pretty much faking everything in my life too. Except for my writing.

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  2. I spent most of my young adulthood assuming everyone else knew more than I did. Now, I realize we're ALL just bumbling our way through...

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  3. Love your closing line:

    "Asking these questions, making these fake people, posing and plotting and embellishing on what will never be reality is probably the one responsibility I feel honest about accepting."

    So well said!

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  4. Great post! My favorite faking has to do with writing and getting into the heads of my characters, pretending we're them.

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