Friday, May 2, 2014

Masking It By: Karen Pilarski

I was working on an article about cleaning restrooms. One of the wonderful consultants I spoke with mentioned sometimes when there is nasty odors a less ideal fix up is to use a scented spray.

The air smells fruity but it doesn't smell clean. The same can be said for dousing a body with perfume after an intense workout. It smells like flowers drenched in perspiration.

That got me thinking about how when faced with something unpleasant there is a tendency to try to mask the problem.

The foul denial hides away the truth for awhile. Our lives put on the facade that all is neat and tidy. However, the huge stain on the floor is covered with area rugs and furniture.

In my rec room/basement is a hideous patched up chair that is a million years old. It belongs to my husband. It now has a maroon colored blanket thrown over it. That is how ugly the chair appears. In full disclosure, the blanket also is my husband's and not in great condition. Two for two.

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The chair
I bet the chair could tell many stories of his family's history. In some regards I think it is a blessing the blanket conceals it.

Messes and damages are ever present but often ego stands in the way of admitting that everything isn't perfect.

As a writer I enjoy adding a sprinkle and dash of my own life experiences in what I create. However, I do self censor about off limit topics.

I'm afraid of hurting feelings and embarrassing myself. Writers have an ability to take disasters and heartache and change names and facts. We are not being dishonest, we are protecting privacy and relationships. In other cases reputation and careers.

Remember Pee-Wee's Big Adventure?

Pee-wee Herman:"There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand."
Pee-wee Herman: "You don't wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel."

 A bit over dramatic but appropriate.

Am I reserved and shy, yes. Although I do enjoy being sociable. A rebel? I'm not gun slinging or smoking cigarettes in the rain.

No one understands situations and relationships unless directly involved in the thick of it. We put up walls and shades so that innocent people don't get mixed in with our chaos.

Each person has darkness and turmoil that cleverly is shaded from the judgemental light of day. Similar to the character and rationale of Pee-Wee, there are aspects about things I or a loved one have experienced. The reality of what lurks under the blankets and rugs is too scary and so it is put out of sight.

Out of sight and out of mind is a saying used. Although, I don't agree with the phrase. It lingers out in the corners of the mind but pops out like a villain in a scary movie.

When you least expect it.

Until I can come to terms and make peace with those people, events, situations, than I shouldn't be discussing it. Although I do talk with other writers with similar strife.


Scars and blemishes on faces are smudged with creamy concealer. Yet the sores and lines are still felt. Deep down we know what is under the disguises.

I've been vocal about struggles with infertility, stepchildren, marriage, careers and contemplating infidelity. A creative mind crafts messages in an open and soul searching way.

If the afflictions and adversaries of my history uplifts someone than it is worth uncovering it.