What Quaint Doesn’t Know…

…just might not do anything.

While yesterday we looked at the twisted practice of qualifying the good with the bad to preclude and temper judgment, today we look at the equally common, but more recognizable, qualifying the bad.

Hello. My name is Mud. I am self-deprecating.

Start with your name.

Anyone who knows anyone who has ever been to a 12-step meeting know this line. The first step to rectifying a problem is identifying it. There is a world of difference between admitting something in healing and admitting something when you are introduced to someone new.


Keeping it private.

All of us would like to enjoy some modicum of privacy. In the advanced age of databases, frankly, there is very little which is truly private any longer…even if you did not post every bowl of cereal to Facebook.

We keep some actions private out of modesty (thank you very much) and others out on the principle of need to know, but the vast majority out of guilt, shame and self-defense.

The Veil of Intrigue

Most of these secrets are the self-defense kind. They are the things in our past which society considers mistakes, but netted us a boatload of guts, charisma or character. We allude to them when someone compliments us, but wait until Quaint has made a faux pas before we share all of the gory details, removing the veil.

This is not Golden Gloves.

Yeah, but…

The shameful secret is the most qualified. In case you did not know, all “but”s are cracked. This game of societal stick-and-move is backward because we slam Quaint with the roundhouse of secret and follow with a flurry of light jabbing excuses.

Lost Upriver in Egypt

These are the monsters who go bump in our nightmares. We come to a point where we realize there is no escaping those behaviors which make us feel truly guilty. When we finally embrace them as acts which changed us at a fundamental level, they become freeing.

Jumping the tracks can be painful.

However, when we meet someone new, we often fall into a trap. We know this act is going to garner negative judgment the moment it is revealed, especially if it is revealed in a way which makes us look like we were hiding it. To switch tracks before the inevitable train wreck, we blurt out our admission to Quaint.

Holy TMI, Batman!

Quaint knows nothing about you upon which to form an opinion. Dropping a nuclear bomb to assuage possible future guilt is wholly selfish. Before you decide to tell your darkest secret (and the myriad excuses to mitigate it), ask yourself the following:

  • Do I intend to build a long lasting relationship with Quaint?
  • Is this the place to reveal such a secret?
  • Am I willing to be judged for a total lack of foundation?
  • Is this information going to edify my relationship with Quaint?
  • Could this information trigger an unexpected, negative emotional response for Quaint?
  • Do I need preemptive forgiveness from Quaint for this action or am I looking for forgiveness I have refused to give myself?
  • Would I want to know something of this magnitude from a total stranger?
  • By admitting this, will Quaint judge me more favorably for my minor indiscretions?
The time and place for your revelation is likely not your first, second and sometimes not even your third meeting. It is far fairer of you to allow Quaint to discover your qualities through natural friendship building than by ambush.

Are you sure you want to do this?

Have you considered telling Quaint you are a child of rape may stir unhealed memories of a sister’s assault? Or that coming clean about your vandalism days may sink Quaint back into a recent depression about the arson of the family home which claimed the life of a companion?

Seeking preemptive forgiveness is asking someone who does not know you to enter the past, judge you on events to which one was not party and assess your successful survival which in no way bears on Quaint.

Before you admit the heinous to make yourself look and feel better or make your more mundane misbehavior more palatable, consider carefully how the information may strike a complete stranger.


If you have missed any of the first six installments of the Identity Series, please visit the posts below:

Who Are You?

My Answer

Hated to Do It

Diamonds, Q-Beams & Rednecks

Quaint is a blonde.

So, how do you like this weather?

The comments are always key to how we get to next post. Feel free to comment on the past posts as well as this one. This series will go on hiatus in the interest of covering other subjects, but will return in the New Year to cover some of the questions spawned in the comments thus far and to this post.


Have you ever admitted something to an acquaintance and gotten an unexpected result? Does admitting your largest slayed demon change your perception of yourself? What is something you would not want to know about Quaint at first meeting?


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
Reblogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters is expressly forbidden.
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  1. The truth always comes out, so yes, one should be tempted to tell all–but good grief, Red, in my best guess, most difficult stuff should be ion a ‘need to know’ basis for new acquaintances.
    Why? Exactly.
    Why bare the soul to Quaint, who doesn’t know you (generic you) –and won’t help you solve the problem or bear the hurt and burden of blab?
    You (generic you) don’t know Quaint at all, you (generic again) don’t know what Quaint will do with that information, whether Quaint will bury it smugly, pass it on to all of her (his) friends, only to dig it up and toss it into your cookie-jar factory at the first opportunity for personal gain or simply to be cruel and manipulative.
    Perhaps some will counter, saying disclosing a ‘revelation’ to Quaint is a cleansing of the soul, –but unfortunately it also reveals the insecurity and low self-esteem of the disclosing party, which, again, can be used against you.
    Upon first introduction, I would NOT want to find out Quaint was abusive to partner and children, otherwise I would have to give them a rather serious introductory smack and a ride out of town on a rail .

    • Your honest reaction is just the type I was looking to see. Getting the deep, dark secret of a stranger can be largely disturbing. Whether it triggers depression or immense anger, it is disturbing.

  2. From past experience I have to say I’ve blundered several times, discussing past events with entirely the wrong person, but without permanent damage – I just ended up listening to their train wreck experience and tried the impossible task of fixing them up.

    Eventually they felt better and left for pastures new, but a couple of times I’ve tried to help people and been taken advantage off in the worst way possible!!!

    Now I’m pretty much unable to get involved in relationships because of my medication and, to be honest, I don’t miss it – but being honest from the start has made me a LOT of friends…

    Love and hugs!


    • Friendship is where it begins, Pren. And honesty pays big dividends. {HUGZ} Red.

    • You make an excellent point about information being used against you. Some people are truly manipulative and spiteful. They generally have a keen ability to twist the truth into a shape which benefits them.
      {HUGZ} Red

  3. Well as I am such an innocent in the art of wickedness and have no hidden secrets I will have to base my answer on guesswork 🙂

    Obviously offering a stranger one’s deepest and most darkest secrets would depend on where the said liaison was heading, I mean if it is just a night out, say a chance meeting or carnal delight (Kidding :)) then why mention anything, as the meeting of this stranger is in its infancy, now if at a later juncture the acquaintance was to be more significant then surely truthfulness is the only possible route, as without the trust and sincerity of the two what is the point in any kind of relationship?

    I like your postings Red as they are always
    very interesting, and so wickedly thought out 🙂

    Have a wonderful rest of afternoon and a lovely evening also 🙂

    • Yes it was me…

      Androgoth XXx

      • And your picture gives you away 😉

        Note to self:

        Dear Self,
        When out being wicked, stay shy of the camera.

    • Without trust and sincerity there truly is no relationship. Knowing when and where to reveal is important, even to people other than flashers 😉

      Thank you, Andro. Have a very fine night, yourself. Red.

      • Yes there is always a glut on the sales
        of those creepy Mac’s around the New Year
        so beware any Phantom Flashers Red 🙁

        Have a delightful afternoon and
        equally a wonderfully sweet evening
        my fine and great friend 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

  4. I don’t want to know every negative thing they have going on in their life or head….not off the bat. It is quite uncomfortable and I am not prepared to counsel a stranger.

  5. Good points for discussion Red. We also need to trust the other person and recognize that they may look at what we deem as a negative attribute of our pasts in a completely different way. Their experiences shape the way they view our pasts. As well, the past is just that: the past. The present is more important and a way for us to make amends with ourselves and with others.

    • I can look back at some of the things people were sure I would think as negative and see how I found the silver lining in the catastrophe. After all, it brought them to a place where we could meet. Happy New Year, Christy! Red.

  6. There are a whole lot of things I would consider TMI for a first meeting (and several more). How much I tell about something depends on how deep the relationship (and what kind). Some information is only for a select few.

    However, when the time and person is right, I find opening up often has good results.

    • That is a good compromise. Timing is everything, especially when you expect (or desire) the relationship to deepen. Red.

  7. I have to admit I have done this, usually with the intent of breaking the ice about the elephant in the room in a mistaken need to protect myself. What a load off when I no longer have to do this!


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