Faux-giveness: the act of pretending to let go of something that was done to you or done by you, simply so you don’t have to carry around the ugliness of guilt or anger every day. Because we all know, you don’t forgive Dumb Debbie Sue* for stealing away your boyfriend at recess that day, no matter how many years ago it was. Because we all know you’ll never forget the horrible feeling you had when a teacher accused you of cheating. Nothing ever came of it because (a) you didn’t cheat, and (b) he had no proof anyway. Because we all know when anything has happened to hurt your children, forgiveness is nearly impossible. From the parties where everyone was invited except your child, to the auditions where your kid isn’t chosen, to the girl that broke your son’s heart for the first time, there is no forgiveness there. There is only faux-giveness. I will tell myself that Dumb Debbie Sue deserved Stinky Pants Stuart* because in fact, he did have stinky pants and she was definitely dumb. I could rationalize that the accusatory teacher was having a bad day, but really, when Facebook suggests that teacher as someone I might know, I am immediately back in that moment (20 plus years ago) with him pointing his finger in my face, and no, I don’t forgive. I could explain that maybe the parents sent the invite to the wrong address and weren’t maliciously excluding my child, that the casting director doesn’t know true talent when she sees it, and that I know my son will love again, hopefully a hundred times over. This is all faux-giveness, because we have to go on, because we have to function, and if we didn’t let go of all the crap that mires us down on a daily basis, we would be a miserable society (well, more miserable anyway.) And no, I haven’t forgotten about myself and my own transgressions leading to my personal faux-giveness for the things I have done, not only to others, but to myself. I faux-give myself for letting those Peanut M&M’s fall out of the sealed bag that was tucked safely deep inside the closed pantry, and into my mouth. I faux-give myself for all the horribly inappropriate comments and jokes I’ve made at the expense of others because there was laughter involved and laughter makes everything better. I faux-give myself for cheating occasionally during Awkward Pose in Bikram class, and blaming my knee when I don’t go all the way down. I faux-give myself for all of it, because I am only human, and that little ounce of faux-giveness is what helps me make it through my day, every day. Forgiveness is hard, really hard, and I admire anyone who truly has given it and/or received it, but for me, for now, and for ever, I will faux-give, because I can’t ever for get.
*names have been changed to protect the not so innocent. 🙂
PS:I realize you might be wondering why “faux”, and besides the obvious lingual pleasure, the truth is that I will once again let M&M’s fall into my mouth, and I will not always complete the postures in Bikram, and so it’s not a total forgiveness because the behavior is repetitive.
PPS: The other component to this whole rant, is remorse. I think forgiveness may be easier to achieve and offer, if the offending party is actually sorry for their choices or their behavior, and that includes ourselves. I’m not sorry for the M&M’s. There I said it!