Lately I find I am coming across an increasing number of things that fit in this category… I look at things, read things, see things and say:
“Man! I wish I would have thought of that!”
This is not a sentiment replete with envy, jealousy, avarice or possessiveness. I am going to chalk it up to real appreciation, in the imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery genre. One of the not so recent additions to this cranial category of mine is Post Secret. I have been a PS addict for a while and if you have not checked it out you should. Well, you should if you have voyeuristic, officious tendencies that need an outlet like I do. PS gives me a chance to read about all the [usually strange, idiosyncratic or bizarre, and sometimes scary, inappropriate or twisted, and once in a while just plain sweet] anonymous secrets from strangers all over the world. The premise is simple: people mail in a postcard to PS with their secret on it and it gets published. Simple, no? Say it with me: Why didn’t I think of that?
Frank, the man behind the project who did think of that, has created an entire cottage industry (books and print media) around the phenomenon of PS and I think that people have responded to it because most of us secretly harbor a desire to see where we fit in on the continuum of life’s weirdness. Or maybe it is just a way for people to literally get something off their chest. A modern confessional that does not require Hail Marys. Or maybe it is all just rubbish. I don’t really know… but I like it.
When I was maybe 6 years old, I drew a picture for my mom and it said: “People are people no matter how wierd (sic) they are.” I think I was on to something there, or at least I was already working out my personal world view. Since I feel like I have pretty much come to terms with my own weirdness I have a different thing I do when I go to PS: I “try on” all the secrets. I read them and I think okay, so now that is me. Sometimes the fit is so close I have to “take it off” right away and go read something else so I don’t lose sight of the fact that it is not my secret. Sometimes when I try them on I just laugh. Sometimes I imagine I know the person who wrote the secret. And then I wonder what it would feel like to see it published for all to consider.
And other times I pretend I am the person the secret is about.