Tuesday, October 16, 2012


As the years have ticked by, I've become rather shocked at the accumulation of secrets I have stashed away.  Somehow I once believed that grown-ups were much more unconstrained.  As a child, I suppose I had so many rules--endless, they seemed--that the fantasy of one day living in my own house, buying my own food, and staying up until dawn shredded the night with her glorious golden fingers....how beautifully liberating this would be!  Ahhh, at last as adulthood enveloped my world, I became well versed in the tango between freedom and responsibility.  These two dance partners swing you from one set of arms to another, back and forth.  One's embrace light and fragranced with violets and spring rain; the other's fevered touch makes your heart pound with possible discovery, the bouquet darker...a musk of surreptitiousness and clandestine thoughts.

That which we hide.  The silly and the desperate.  What you really think or feel, what you wish....though my mother's voice echoes in my mind, "if wishes were fishes, we'd walk upon the sea."  Expectations and predilections and longing.  Appearances and impressions and the battle for authenticity in an increasingly two dimensional world filled with photoshop and spell check.  Yet--I've found several friends who do indeed share all, tell all, reveal all.  There is a certain...missing.  These are the ones addicted to soap operas and talkshows well-stocked with melodrama and theatricals.  Perhaps lacking in their own closet space they seek out other's.....then again, perhaps I am merely unaware of how deep their closet goes. 


I've recently acquired a nightgown that I love so much I abhor taking it off in the morning.  Some day there will be a knock at the door at noon and I'll pay for this.

I have gotten up after the house slept, crept downstairs and warmed a slice of brie....and ate it with a knife and fork.  Cheese enslaves me.

I fantasize about making love in an elevator. 

I paint to Damien Rice's "O" all the time.

I often eat ice-cream in the shower.  Something about the icy treat while under a scalding waterfall is a sizzling contradiction. (I've also been known to take a Guiness in--the perfect ending to an exhausting day)

I have extreme nail-envy of several of my close friends who have lovely, long fingernails....with no work at all. *sigh*

I was once mistaken as a boy in my young teens when I had short hair.  This has led to decades of long tresses, clogged drains, and wayward strands baked into cakes.  I no longer bake cakes.  And I will DIE with long, tangled grey hair.

Sometimes I think the most terrible things....they should make bleach for the brain.

I flip off my coffee maker when it's empty.


The sunless sky mocks me this morning.  Whispering that it isn't nearly as late as the clock proclaims....that I don't have to get dressed quite yet. (mind you, it's not as if I'm lounging--I've stripped the bedsheets, done two loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, shooed children out the door with lunches packed and the appropriate paperwork signed and tucked into pockets, swept the steps, fed the dog, and set out the bread dough to rise...all while wearing my Marilyn Monroe nightgown.)

Secrets.....does confession change them?


Pearl said...

Holy nightgown, batman! I'd never take that thing off either -- especially if I looked that good in it!

Brain Bleach: You may be on to something there.


Dee said...

Dear Chantel, thank you for stopping by my blog "coming home to myself." Part of that coming home is the kind of honesty you've shown in this posting. I'm doing an on-line memoir and I'm finding that I've begun to see threads and patterns and motifs in my life that I haven't been aware of before.

As to secrets and showers: well, I'm not a dedicated house keeper and so before I got the dishwasher, I used to let the dishes sit in the sink for days, getting moldy. One day a friend called and wanted to stop by in about 10 minutes. "Okay!" I said, eager to see her. Then I scooped up all the dishes from the kitchen sink and placed them in the bathtub. Dishes. Bowls. Silverware. Pots. Pans. Then I drew the shower curtain. Problem handled.

My friend came and went and I forgot those helter-skelter dishes. A day later, I drew back the shower curtain, singing at the top of my lungs and lifting my face to the heavens, and stepped into the tub--right onto a mixing bowl!!!

The dishes came tumbling down within the bathtub, rattling, breaking into shards. Fortunately, I was able to step back out of the tub without cutting my feet. Ah, memory and loss. Peace.

terlee said...

Secrets are like vampires: they feed on our minds until we pull back the curtains and let the blazing sun fry them to ash.

Having said that...some secrets just can't be told for whatever reason. Maybe they're not ours to tell or are too painful for another to hear. More often though, they're deep and dark enough to cut our tongues if we dared to utter the words.

Robbie Grey said...

I was once accused of having a skull full of secrets. Then again, don't we all? Some used to like telling me things because I seemed to know secrets are meant to be kept; high school crushes between long-dead strangers shall follow me until the stars fall out of the sky because I promised to keep their confidence. Trivial and profound.

Beer in shower can be a nice respite, and, not that I'd ever encourage one's debauchery, try it with whiskey sometime...

Wow, that was awkward said...

We all have secrets. I try to be transparent but have found that spreading my secrets out amongst many friends is better than unloading it all on one poor sucker. And interestingly, sometimes it's easier to share a secret from way back in the closet with a relative stranger than it is a best friend. It's good to keep some mystery. Plus, when I tell all, I often end up justifying my blog moniker, WowThatWasAwkward.

Summer said...

The complexities of adulthood. I am learning to live in the silence. Sigh. I love your nightgown and this post.

Chantel said...

Pearl--lol, girl you should see it flare up when I spin! Yes, I twirled in front of a mirror...perhaps this is getting out of control?

Dee--kindred souls, you and I! :) I totally cracked up at the mental image of your foot in the bowl! I'm quite intrigued by this memoir of yours...

Terlee--I love the vampire comparison, such is the power of the sun. And those deep ones...sigh.

Robbie--I like a man who can keep his counsel! (and the whiskey is a grand idea now that the weather is cooling)

Brett--I agree about the stranger thing...I wonder if that's why I seem to find much honesty here? *chuckled at your moniker*

Summer--it's an adaptation, isn't it? And thanks!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh yes, we all have secrets. I would have to think long and hard before putting mine out there, because they are secrets, you know? I remember three bloggers who revealed a whole lot of their private lives. Apparently in each case a family member read what they'd written and-- well, those blogs no longer exist. They were memorable, though.

mobiuslife said...

The nightgown is brilliant. It looks so comfortable.

I don't think that those are secrets. Secrets are things that you keep to yourself for a reason, such as not wanting to hurt someone else, or because you are too embarrassed to share, or because it is private information that could compromise you in some manner. I feel like what you shared are interesting facts about yourself. Secrets would be more like the things that you shoplifted from the mall when you were in high school. Or the fact that you were the kid who, from the shelter of the trees, threw a rock at the town bully and cut his forehead above the eye requiring stitches. Or the advice that your grandfather gave you when he asked you to scatter his ashes in the river after he died. Or the tryst that you had involving two girls in the shower when you were in a serious relationship with another.

The other things are interesting facts, peculiarities, idiosyncrasies, and other atypical and aberrant features of your being.

I believe that cheese should be it's own food group.
There is always room for ice cream and it's ok to have it everyday. Even twice.
I tend to reheat things in the microwave in increments of prime numbers.
I've written two sestinas.
I have a two webbed toes on my right foot.
I modeled nude for an art class at Pitt -- Twice.
I fly in my dreams.
My first word was box.
I have ever been skinny dipping.

These are the things that make us fabulous. This is the inherent beauty hidden behind the patina of time. These are the things worthy of love.

Also, I have had sex in an elevator. It was very moving.

Anonymous said...

I'm not addicted to soap operas or the like, since I've not had a TV since about 2001, & I didn't watch much of it before that either. But revealing I have done a lot of since schizophrenia. I read books about "tormented schizophrenics" & "most of them live in group homes." I aim to present a very flawed schizophrenic...because I am very flawed...on my blog, but I don't think I can present the Real one without revealing me, turning me out at times.

I am flawed, but I work, take care of myself, enjoy life & sometimes go through hell ...just like everyone else. For me, I believe there would be unwisdom in holding things back, a disservice to others who share my illness or any illness.

I share secrets I thought I never would because I want other people to feel: Damn, I'm not the only person who thinks that, or goes through that..& judging from some emails I get, that is exactly what is happening. I've been told(more than a few times) that I make very different people feel the same thing when I reveal certain issues or problems(some on blog, some in email)..I think that it is because some of our supposed Secrets are universal concerns & paths often traveled, with very few people admitting to them publicly.

As a consequence of this, I feel I don't like to read middle-distance stare blog posts from anyone anymore. I want at the very least someone who will acknowledge the not acknowledging...at best I want to know what is lost & what is left.

Perhaps too tall an order for some, but when I find it & read it, it often helps me face down the problems I have in the outside world a bit better.~Mary

le Chef said...

I needed mental beauty, so I came by again. I've been gone for some time. Secrets are more a confession of ones humanity, I think... and I'm sort of holding a few of those myself. Everyone wants to be Wonder Woman.

You have one of THOSE nightgowns! Awesome! Every girl needs one, some of us more than one.
Wear it all day if you want. Secretly, I think the U.P.S. man likes it when us older babes answer the door looking like Marilyn.

Shea Goff said...

I won't tell anyone if you don't. As much as I try to avoid it, deny it, hate to admit it, I secretly care what people think of me.


As always, you are an inspiration, my friend. Stay in your nightgown as long as you desire.

Chantel said...

Bliss--I can only imagine the content of those, I suppose it's really about if it's your secret or someone else's....though often the best ones have a shared ownership.

Mobius--thank you! :) And I completely agree with your interpretation, I just believe that there are levels of secrets--for anything previously unknown would be secret...until revealed? lol The phrase "patina of time," I like this muchly. (and cheese? emphatically!)

Mary--my respect for you grows every time you comment. I didn't have a television until I was a teenager and thus have no love of it; I frustrate my family some with that. You make such a good point--which is the "why" of the telling of secrets. Most are so wrapped up in what the telling would mean for THEM--not the receiver. Yet you put yourself out there, revealing things that may be painful and awkward...secrets dark, because you're thinking of others. That shows much about your heart...the beauty that is the soul that actually cares more for others, than for the risks they take. I am so thankful for people like you.

Chef--my word, it's good to see you! My husband wants me to be Wonder Woman for halloween...lol And some day remind me to tell the tale of a warm summer morning, a UPS man, and a sundress with a cross-over cleavage thing...dammit, I didn't KNOW it was...*sigh* Yeah.

Shea--I know, right? I was actually thinking this morning, "I put a pic of myself in a NIGHTGOWN on blogger...I must be mad." lol Btw, I'm wearing it now....

Mary said...

You look great in that night gown, very pretty. I don't think I'd want to take it off either.

Secrets have a way of worming their way out and into the world whether we like it or not. Sometimes it's better just to let them go and let it all out there. Freedom.

Dr Zibbs said...


Out on the prairie said...

Secrets can be fun to look back at. i like staying in bed clothes, I went to a coffee the other day still in what I wear as jammies and nobody knew.i get a call a few times a week to join in and work 2nd shift.You would have been the envy with the ladies there.

Brian Miller said...

well that is a nice looking nightgown...so i can see why you might have a hard time taking it off...smiles...

guiness in the shower....done that...but not ice cream...i might need to try that one....

it feels good to let some of the secrets out you know...smiles.

Chantel said...

Mary--thank you! And you're right, some seem to seek the light no matter what you do.

Dr. Zibbs--lol! Thanks

Prairie--I've become more comfortable with some of my old secrets, but I'm not sure they will ever be fun...lol, you must have some good ones!

Brian--try the ice-cream, totally rocks. And I'll think about it... :)

Christine Macdonald said...

I always love stopping by. Your writing is smooth and poetic, always, with effortless thought provoking questions we find ourselves asking.

Secrets? I'm in the process of writing them all - sharing with whomever is interested.


Mel Heth said...

Ice cream and Guinness in the shower? You're my new best friend. ;) I'm totally going to have to try that.

I have a hard time keeping secrets. Usually they make for a funny story to recount, and I just can't keep it in. But the ones I have kept...they're locked up pretty tight. Maybe when I'm an old woman, I'll blurt them out to a niece or two.

Marita Abraham said...

I'm glad you bared your secrets. I find peace in betting to bare mine into the abyss that is the universe. Until you share a secret, it weighs on you like a ton of bricks. This is how I feel with most of mine, because most of mine are dark.

I love the nightdress! *giggle*

Chantel said...

Christine--can't wait to read more about yours!

Mel--I like the idea of letting go after time has lessened the cost of secrets....only who to share them with?

Marita--yes, those dark ones are heavier, aren't they? Perhaps I need to have a pajama party...close friends, the dark of night, wine and secrets?

The Empress said...

Are they secrets, when we let them go.

It's a beautiful gown, and love that it's askew: not perfectly in portrait, but askew.
And somehow, still looks perfect that way.

The Loerzels said...

I get the feeling we're in a similar place, unfortunately. Although, I don't eat ice cream in the shower. I adore that nightgown, but unfortunately I'm a comfort girl. But, it looks fabulous on you!

ND Mitchell said...

Loved reading this and all the amazing comments too. Agree that there are levels of secrets. On bbc radio a dj Simon Mayo invites his audience to reveal guilty secrets and then grants absolution or not. It's always interesting to hear what people have been up to :-)