Sunday, April 1, 2012

4/2/12—Making The Sale

Today's Draw: The Blowoff (Judgment) from the Sideshow Tarot. Are you up front with the people in your life? Do you have things that no one will ever know about you? Is there someone you're painting a deceptively pretty picture for right now, whether it's intentionally or unintentionally?

In the sideshow world, the blowoff is when, at the end of a show, a carney calls out to the group and reveals that there's really something even more shocking to see. It will cost extra, but it will be worth it. For example, after seeing the tattooed lady, they might offer to show you more of her body. In everyday life, it's commonly called a follow-on sale. In the carney world, it earns the carnies extra money because it's all under the table.

This kind of reminds me how people reveal themselves to others. They reveal themselves in layers, with each layer ever more "shocking" than the last. And at each "point of sale" you have the option of whether or not to move forward.

This has probably happened to everyone in a love relationship at one time or another. And not necessarily intentionally or with ill intent. It makes sense that you would show your best side first, then slowly reveal the muddier corners. In fact, we are so socialized to that kind of reveal that we'd be horrified if we met someone who, on the first date, said "I have herpes, was once arrested for shoplifting and enjoy watching porn. What are you thinking of ordering? Because I'm thinking veal...even though it makes me a little gassy."

Now, none of those things may be deal breakers when revealed slowly over time by a person who is otherwise warm, supportive, smart, funny and kind. So it makes sense to reveal stuff like that over time. If we all showed our ugly side first, the human race would all die out in a generation or two because nobody would be having sex.

The same kind of thing happens in friendships. You know someone for a long time, but then a situation comes up that never presented itself before and you learn something new about them. It might be a good thing...that they're really supportive during tough times. Or it could be the opposite...that they make themselves scarce when you need them the most.

We always talk about how we hate it when people play games, but "games" includes behaviors along this line. It's not always nefarious, misleading, infantile or even intentional. Some of it's just the way we're socialized to be, whether it's pretty or not. We dislike the thought of misleading people, but in a way that's what we do when we put our best foot forward. We're all guilty of it.

The problem comes when it's less about the way people reveal themselves to each other and it's more about intentionally misleading someone about who you are. Worse yet when the person you're misleading is yourself. So give a little thought to this today. Where do you know you're holding back with someone in your life and what are your true intentions behind it?

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