birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Too Much Information

I'm struggling with this topic--maybe because I don't have a whole lot to confess (which makes me think I must be boring) or maybe because the things I should confess are too dark for me to bring them into the light of day. I can't say, and I won't say. So I'm going to write randomly about the theme of "confession" for the next 22 or so minutes, and I am confessing right up front that this may not be my best effort--or it may be my finest effort because I'm just letting words fly...

Here goes: random thoughts on the theme of "confession."

I grew up in a family where secrets were kept--not big, nasty secrets but little stupid secrets, like my parents hiding their alcohol (and cigarettes) from my grandmother or my mother not telling my father that she had spent way too much money at the veterinarian's office on some stray dog. I recall thinking that that was no way to live, always afraid you'd get caught in a lie, though I have to admit that I have told a few white lies or committed some lies of omission in my life, especially during high school when a lie was easier than the truth if I didn't want to go out with someone or during my first marriage when I did something stupid, like bounce a check, and I would try to hide it from my husband because if he found out he would tell me I was stupid.

By the time I was in my mid 30s and single again, though, I swore not to hide things from anyone. I mean anyone. For that reason I'd lay all my cards on the table on every first date and make sure any potential suitor knew I was a divorcee with three children and too many pets. Let them run away early, I thought. One time, when I realized I was falling for a particular guy and the kids and pets had not already frightened him away, I wrote him an entire letter confession to him all of my faults, which he found funny and endearing (though eventually the three kids were more than he was willing to embrace). I was told more than once--especially by my women friends--that there is a such thing as too much information, and I should keep some things to myself, if only to retain some air of mystery about myself. I'm not very good at mystery.

I have learned to share less and not confess all of my sins and flaws all of the time to almost anyone, but I am sticking to my guns about being genuine and upfront, and in that spirit, I am not sure if I like this topic or not but it sure has potential to be both funny and painful.

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

Pen Pals