Contemplating the superficiality of some lives got me to thinking about Kimberly Raye’s Dead End Dating series. The protagonist, Lil, about whom I’ve written before, is certainly likable, but she’s not particularly deep. I wonder what her eulogy would sound like–she was sweet and she loved Prada? Because, honestly, there’s not much there, there. On the other hand, as my friend claims, maybe depth is highly overrated.
Many of us project our own inner screen onto others. If we are deep and interesting (as I know all of my readers are!), we assume the same about others and that we just haven’t uncovered it all yet. This creates a delicious challenge to uncover the buried treasure of someone’s hidden personality, one of my favorite activities. All of us want to know what’s behind the mask of the Phantom of the Opera, don’t we? Of course, sometimes we are disappointed or horrified when we pull that mask off, but what’s life without a little risk? And that is the promise that keeps me digging like a dog after a bone–I want to plumb others’ hidden depths. This insatiable and optimistic curiosity will incite me to buy another book in the Dead End Dating series in the hope that Lil’s creator will allow us to see further beneath her still waters.
I’m a wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve, don’t-try-to-play-poker-because-your-face-will-give-you-away kind of gal. As a result, I tend to project sagacity and iron-fisted control (which I admire) onto those who keep their thoughts and emotions to themselves (I also tend to want to poke such people till they bleed, which I’ve discussed here, but I digress). I figure that all of that silence and intensity is masking profundity. After all, if someone has the ability to look wise and contemplative in the face of titillating revelations and provocative rejoinders, there must be a plethora of activity occurring below that placid surface. If we could only get to it.
Unfortunately, I’ve had to (reluctantly) abandon this belief. Sometimes, it is ignorance and apathy that inspire silence and solemnity. Maybe that was the case with the recently deceased denim-wearing HVAC dude? Maybe, because sometimes those quiet types offer no supremacy of circumspection and authority of erudition to explain their measured, non-committal responses. Sometimes there really is no there there–no deep thoughts, no concern for the world at large There are people who just meander through their days wondering which questions they can answer on Jeopardy, or the size of Kim Kardashian’s butt , the next HVAC job or the latest Prada collection. Some folks create and inhabit worlds that are so small they have nothing to talk about and don’t leave people with anything to say about them at their funerals.
I don’t want to be like that poor dead man. And I don’t want to be like Lil, frankly, even though she is funny and entertaining and has a better wardrobe than I. I want to make sure there’s a lot of there there in me and in those with whom I hang . I don’t think depth is overrated – I think it’s highly underrated. I believe in buried treasure. So, if your waters are still – I will come digging… and maybe find something worthy of inclusion in a eulogy. I plan to leave people with a lot to say – hopefully most of it good.