Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

Colossal Acts of Denial: Why Are You Always Shouting?

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on May 26, 2010

[FYI, reader participation for part 2 is encouraged. See not at the bottom for details]

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far 1

–Theodore Roosevelt

Most of us have seen that ridiculous commercial “Declaration”, the one with the couple in random location in Europe. It’s the one where the guy starts screaming out “I LOVE THIS WOMAN!” He then, of course, follows this up with jewelry. [Ladies, just because he went to Jared doesn’t mean a thing. I mean, look at Kobe Bryant23]

If I could ask that guy one question, it would be this: Why the hell are you shouting? Who are you trying to convince? [To the Europeans in the commercial, his shouting is the equivalent of “burning rubber’ in your muscle car…both signs of a small penis].

For those people who feel compelled to shout out certain things in their lives, here is an important life maxim that you need to tattoo on your forehead [or at least apply to your arms with a Sharpie]:

Shouting it out doesn’t make it true. In fact, it often means the opposite is true.

MY RELATIONSHIP IS FINE…NO REALLY IT IS!

The most common location for random acts of shouting is a troubled relationship. Few people want to admit that their relationship is either falling apart or already on life support. Since there is a commonly held belief that if you say it loud enough, even you will believe it, many of these people emote publically as proof of their relationship’s viability. In the Facebook era, this comes in the form of repeated status updates which say essentially the same thing.

To illustrate, here is a series of status updates from the same Facebook friend [typos included for your entertainment]:

  • Tiger4 and I are getting closer everyday! I totally have the man of my dreams.
  • Life is grand and no one can bring me down or ruin what I have.
  • Thank God it’s my day off! Loving my life and how it’s going. I couldn’t ask for more.
  • But I must say that I’m happy with my life and who I have in it. I have Tiger the man I love, my boys, and my family and friends.
  • I have my love in my life, my children, and my guys and family. I love you guys I am truly blessed in my life right now! And it’s only getting better.

Before you call me a killjoy or cynic, you need to know a few key facts [If you read about Recycled Junk, you already recognize this person]:

  1. This is all from the month of May and I have omitted many posts that are almost identical. How many times do you need to say this in ONE MONTH?
  2. This has been going on…nonstop…for months.
  3. TWICE Tiger left for another woman [not the same one either] and abandoned his marriage and kids. So, she has some pretty low standards for the “man of her dreams” and “greatest man I’ve ever known” [Have you realized when most people say that, it’s hard to listen with a straight face].5
  4. The last time they were together, she was shouting like this too. How well did that work out?
  5. In between phases with Tiger, she was talking about how amazing being single was and, “I LOVE MY LIFE AND EVERYONE IN IT!”

 

Why Do They Do It?

Where does this behavior come from? At its core, it is an attempt to accomplish two things, one of which is practically impossible [The other actually is impossible].

For the outside world, it is our attempt to convince them that our relationship is OK. We know they have doubts, questions, and criticisms. We know they think our partner is a complete clusterfuck [which he/she probably is]. Heck, the probably think we are a complete clusterfuck [which we most definitely are]. Thus, if we shout loud and long enough, people might believe we are truly happy.

Unless your friends are complete morons, they usually know different. You are a hot mess and your relationship is a dumpster fire.

Self-Assessment: I was guilty of this. I used to regale my friends with stories about how wonderful my ex-wife was…a lot…especially in the last year of our marriage. Nobody was fooled, I found out afterwards. Everybody knew we weren’t OK and I, specifically, was not doing well in the marriage.6

For our sanity [or lack thereof], we are trying desperately to convince ourselves that everything will be OK. In certain situations, self-talk can be positive and helpful. In a relatively dysfunctional and rapidly disintegrating relationship, it is a clear attempt at subjugating reality. The longer you can maintain the illusion that things are OK in your own mind, the longer you can avoid dealing with the reality of potential loss. Or better yet, we can avoid dealing with ourselves too.7

This, of course, is absolutely impossible. At best, we can achieve a surface-level belief that things are good. This façade is easily shattered when the relationship comes apart, which it usually does. Deep down we always knew it was coming.

Going back to my own marriage, within days of the initial break, reality irradiated my consciousness. This wasn’t a new poison. It was a cancer that was always there, just dormant until it was far too late.

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly hope my friend’s marriage turns out OK, especially because there are kids involved. History is not on her side. However, it is possible. She hasn’t been shouting the last couple of days…

Wait, I just checked Facebook…

Nevermind…

Apparently the weather is nice

Oh… she also loves her life…

[Part 2 will feature all of the other areas people say it out loud, but aren’t fooling anyone. Feel free to tweet or DM me suggestions or examples (interactive blogging) Statements like: “I don’t believe in lying”]

Footnotes:

  1. Not that kind of stick. Dude, it’s Teddy Freakin Roosevelt. Get your mind out of the gutter.
  2. For Tiger Woods, I don’t think all the non-conflict diamonds in Africa are going to cut it.
  3. You know what else bothers me about this commercial…she doesn’t “love this man” until she gets her rock.
  4. No, this is not about Elan…but, it might as well be.
  5. The statement I find most amusing is “No one can bring me down or ruin what I have.” Well, already did that, twice…good call there Elan.
  6. But, boy, I sure thought I was putting on a good show.
  7. Self-awareness is always the elephant in the room!
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16 Responses

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  1. Tara said, on May 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I just found your blog on Twitter. I could not agree more on all these points. I am hopelessly in love with my husband but don’t shout it. In the last year of my former marriage to my ex, I absolutely did this; maybe not shouting but absolutely extoling his virtues. And when I see these overtly joyous updates on facebook it really does make me cringe. I used to think it was because I was jealous or perhaps my English upbringing did not allow me to be so happy, but I realize now that perhaps I recognize fakery when I see it. And the shouting diamond commercial makes me want to stab that guy. It’s like the opposite of romantic. The first time I saw it, I thought oh, he’s totally having an affair.

    What’s the Elan reference? Tesla?

    • theteacher174 said, on May 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      Wife of Tiger Woods (I figured, it was as good a name as any to illustrate the point humorously)

      • stineybean said, on May 27, 2010 at 9:12 am

        It was so good I wish I had thought of it first. Very funny.

    • theteacher174 said, on May 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks for the comment. In the demise of my marriage, I kept pointing to the 4 or 5 good points in our marriage and a handful of past moments. It sounded so good, I had myself almost fooled…almost!

  2. Anonymous said, on May 27, 2010 at 3:27 am

    GREAT BLOG

  3. alonewithcats said, on May 27, 2010 at 6:25 am

    You’re on to something here.

    The only time I shout it out is when I’m using my favorite stain remover on my clothes. Which is fairly frequently. But still.

    (Full disclosure: Shout has not compensated me for this ringing endorsement.)

  4. stineybean said, on May 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

    You promised there would be typos! I demand typos! Poor diction does not make entertaining typos!

    Part Two Suggestions:

    When people begin a sentence with the phrases, “I don’t want to offend you,” or “I don’t mean to be a jerk, but…” and other phrases in keeping with those that should be interrupted with a nice delivery of, “Then don’t.”

    I also really find it amusing when people accuse you of being what they are, or get mad at you for things they hate about themselves. Projection should be an Olympic sport.

    • theteacher174 said, on May 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm

      Yeah, It must have been the charitable side in me that called them typos. I was trying to be nice.

      Then again, she may LOVE HER LIFE, but she hates her English class…so, yeah, let’s go with poor diction instead!

  5. Anonymous said, on May 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    A much better way to show a woman that you love her is to simply NOT go to Jared.

    Jared… the Gonorrhea of Jewelry.

  6. evaroads said, on May 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Very eloquently put!

    A friend of mine posts status updates that mirror those of your friend, and not surprisingly, everyone in our group of friends is concerned about the health of her relationship.

    • theteacher174 said, on May 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks eva. Yes, it’s amazing how almost everyone else is unified in their concern.

  7. Kelly Seal said, on May 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I think this should teach us not to use Facebook to declare our love. Or Twitter. They are lethal…there is something so tempting about telling other people…like it will make what we think real.

    Anyway, interesting post—thanks!

  8. Lisa said, on May 28, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!!!! — Brick

  9. KLZ said, on May 29, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Ha! to the comment above.

    Anyway, I’ve recently taken to the idea that if you have to tell someone you’re powerful, you’re not. I think that applies to most things. Because when you’re happy and you know it, you don’t really need to clap your hands. People already know.

  10. chasingvenus said, on June 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I know what you mean… It comes across as highly exhibitionist. If you’re happy it really doesn’t matter who knows it. Using your happiness as a platform for seeking attention kind of undermines the idea that you’re really happy in the first place.

  11. […] all agree that most people, including ourselves, have been guilty of ‘shouting’ self-lies like “I LOVE MY LIFE AND EVERYONE IN IT!” For this behavior, the only person he/she is hurting is him/herself [For the rest of us, it […]


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