I think everyone wears a mask of sorts when they’re around other people. Maybe you pretend to be more social and outgoing than you really, maybe you pretend to be less social and outgoing than you really are. Maybe you pretend to be smarter than you really are. I know someone who’s like that. She’s not the most astute individual in the world, and by that I don’t mean she’s stupid, far from it. It’s just that politics, current events, things like that….she just doesn’t care much about it. Whenever a bunch of us get together to catch up, I can tell when she’s faking understanding of what some people are talking about. I tell her she doesn’t need to do that, that if she doesn’t give a damn about the subject, she should just say so, but she’s afraid of being thought of as ignorant or apathetic, which I can understand. I have that same fear too. You can think I’m ugly, you can think I’m fat, you can think I’m a total piece of shit — just don’t think I’m stupid. I don’t know why that one thing bothers me more than the others, as I know there are people who’d much rather be thought of as stupid than ugly or a piece of shit, but one of the few things I can really hang my hat on in this life is I’m smart. Not MENSA-level smart, but I know stuff. Unlike my friend, I could never pretend to be knowledgeable about a subject that’s way over my head because I’m not that good of an actress, and they’d see through it.
I think my most common mask is that of confidence. I’m very good at pretending to be more comfortable and self-assured than I actually am, and sometimes it scares me. I’m always afraid that one of these days, I’m going to get myself in a pickle because of that. Well, maybe not. I’m too much of a pussy to really take any risks, so maybe I’ll get lucky.