Please don’t kid yourself – or me
As it turns out, I may be more naïve than had been previously believed.Don’t get me wrong – I work hard to proudly maintain the cynicism of a native New Yorker. But although I learned from the master skeptic – my dad (who’s been known on occasion to harbor a world view darker than Darth Vader at the end of “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith”) – there’s still a touch of “Little House on the Prairie” in me that occasionally peeks out from the shelter of my covered wagon, usually just long enough to get burned before retreating back under my bonnet, away from any lurking Nellie Olesons.I’ve definitely learned the hard way about believing in the longevity of celebrity couples. I swore by the multiple, months-long denials issued by the respective publicists of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, even after gossip columns whispered incessantly about the hanky panky during the filming of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” I had no doubts that Brad’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston was strong and pure enough to withstand the advances of a slimy, twice-divorced harlot.So imagine my shock (shock!) when I read not only did Braniston dissolve their union, but Brangelina was the real deal. (Then again, this coming from the person who didn’t so much as blink when Jennifer Aniston said last month that the recent surgery on her nose was simply to repair a deviated septum.)I take them for their words when ultra-thin actresses refute pregnancy rumors, despite their bulging bellies. I trust the couples who swear they aren’t getting married (and then scratch my head when the exclusive photos they’ve sold of their wedding receptions appear in supermarket tabloids). The ones who vehemently deny substance abuse get my heartfelt sympathy even after camera crews catch them ducking out of AA meetings and heading into the bars. I honestly thought Eminem’s second marriage to his first wife would last (at least longer than 41 days).Maybe it’s because I grew up in a home with happily married parents who don’t believe in keeping secrets that I generally take things that appear earnest at face value.One friend regales me on occasion me with stories of people she knows who’ve carried on affairs, or contemplated cheating on their partners, or married purely for money. It never fails to astound me that I know someone who knows people whose real lives play juicier than daytime soap operas.My first instinct is usually to blame the media when elected officials break promises or get caught lying. I still think there might have been weapons of mass destruction somewhere in Iraq. I mean, did we check under the beds in all of Saddam’s castles? Because I’m pretty sure he had a lot of them. And I’m still trying hard to understand what the definition of “is” is.Although I’d never really given it much thought before this month, I’ve generally had no trouble assuming every single one of the few dozen women in the world who have ever been in outer space were sane enough not to take diaper-wearing, cross-country stalking trips armed with pepper spray, steel mallets and loaded BB guns.And I’d like to imagine that Beyoncé, the woman who wrote the song “Bootylicious,” wouldn’t have knowingly allowed her Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover to be air-brushed.Fortunately, though, I take some small comfort in knowing there are others even more seemingly naïve. While having a drink with the visiting friend of a friend last week, an attempt was made to define the root of Aspen’s hard-partying reputation.”I bet there’s a lot of drinking,” the friend’s friend said, nodding her head knowingly.”And drugs,” I added.”Oh, like people here smoke pot?” she asked, her eyes darting around the pub, widening at the whiff of a scandal.”Yeah, and there’s a lot of blow,” I replied.”Ohhhh, cocaiiiiine,” she said slowly, her voice hushed, presumably so as to not disturb any loose-hanging bindles.And then there’s my dear friend Michele – bless her heart – who still insists the college from which she graduated awards straight A’s to students whose roommates commit suicide. She also absolutely knows someone who knows someone whose co-worker’s brother-in-law regained consciousness in a bathtub full of ice with a note alerting him to the fact his kidney had been stolen.I might have moments in which it appears as if I were born yesterday, but thankfully I have a few more breaths in me than at least one or two other people.E-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.
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COVID-19, along with other stressors, has led to an increase in domestic violence, and area nonprofits want anyone who needs help to know it is available.