I never knew what the word “charade” meant, only that it was a game for grownups, played after dinner, with brandy and cigars. It was a word that sounded so terribly sophisticated and intellectual to a shy little girl who baulked at the idea of standing up in front of strangers making a fool of herself. No, we had to be perfect, look perfect and perform perfectly before we were let loose. Some people enjoy being ridiculous to entertain the crowd so I wonder if their mothers thrust them to the forefront, telling them how wonderful they were.
My three-year-old granddaughter has no inhibitions and is nothing like her mother or grandmother. She mimics the teacher and shepherds the other children, showing them how it is to be done. So, the eternal question, are we born to it, or are we the product of our mothers (lack of) (ambitions)?
[…Oh, Billy Collins, this is not inspired, and not even a cigarette would help… this is not words flowing like a train track of glorious lines or a scroll of TV credits, it’s a meandering around my brain smashing into its toilet stalls one by one and finding them filled only with crap…! (Sorry, Writers!)]
Charades came into my life like a soap opera, and yes, it looked perfect, and behaved perfectly, but it was all a lie and I was the audience. Whoever said you mustn’t look back ignores the perspective of hindsight and all it has to teach you… about the meaning of charade: false, like facade, the iron mask that hid a whole other life.