I decided to watch HBO’s “Big Little Lies” tonight, and I was instantly hooked. Drawn in to the smooth, burning mystery that sort of crept along and seeped into the sand of the beach it was filmed on. And it nags at the old, yet profound question–How well do we really know someone?
I can honestly say I don’t even know who the hell I am some days. It’s safe to assume that I am more than a little skeptical of those fancy FBI profiling shows, since I think most of us don’t even know what our own capabilities are, let alone figuring out someone we just met. To be fair, those FBI agents are usually tracking down some pretty creepy people, and when a fourty-something male is living with his grandma and two cats named Snowball and Princess, I suppose a quick profile comes easy for them.
But in real life, can you look across the dinner table at your spouse, the person you promised to love through sickness and health, good times and bad; even through their annoying habits, morning breath and bald spots, and sincerely say that you know them inside and out? Sure, I know what my husband is going to say before the first word of the sentence is even uttered, and I know each minute of his routine so well that in his moments of middle-aged memory loss, I can remind him. But do I really know how he would react in a certain situation or how he actually feels about something? I always find myself stating the obvious–duh, of course I know. However, if I truly listen to myself, I would also know that statement is just an arrogant form of assumption with a giant spoonful of denial.
Another accidental gift of entering in to my 40’s is that I truly don’t need or want to judge others. No room for it. No time. If you’re looking to be judged, don’t be knocking on my door. Of course, if you have vodka and snacks, by all means, come on in! Let’s sit and drink – I mean chat. Learning that my friends (many whom I have had since grade school) are just as fucked up as I am is a wonderful surprise. Okay, so the fucked up part might not be wonderful, but you get my point. At the end of the day, what we learn about people, even the ones we have known all our lives, is that they are just people. We are all screwed up and flawed and full of issues. Some of us hide it better.
And better yet, some of us go on to write novels and make excellent cable TV shows out of them.