Disclaimer: I’m all for civility. Without it, we would descend into a Lord of the Flies scenario of devolution.
That being said, sometimes civility sucks.
Like when life is falling apart and someone says, “hi, how are you?” and you have to reply, by social contract, “fine, and you?”
When someone says, “how’s the family?” and you say, “fine, and yours” and the family is anything but fine.
Comedians have riffed on this for ages and I would not dream of burdening anyone on such short notice with my trite life tragedies, but having to perform the civil lie makes the facade that we all have to keep up every day in order to perform in our various roles seem heavier and yet more fragile.
Houses can only have one facade and they have foundations and moorings and all sorts of structural underpinnings. We have feet and yet are expected to maintain multiple facades that flip and change, sometimes at a moment’s notice, without revealing any evidence of the competing faces.
Sanity, my friends, is a miracle. That is the only solution I can find to the existential quandry in which I find myself over this facade issue.
Unless I’ve stepped out of miracle and into the quotidien.