My sister's kids can tell when she's on the phone with me. Sugarplum can tell when I'm on the phone with Iss. I can tell when Chris is talking to some guy I've never met who lives in London.
We're not posers, we're just different with different people. I dare say we all do this.
I am very polite when I am around a) churchy people, b) my friend Giselle and c) people I've just met. I do polite very convincingly, despite my lack of practice. I cannot keep it up for long.
Then there's the rest of the time. I thought the version of me that's in frequent rotation was pretty much just ME, but I would be wrong about that. Because of the phone thing, you see. It's all where you put the emphasis.
Which is why it's such a problem when you can't figure out how you know someone. You know when someone has no idea who you are, no matter how hard they try to fake it.
A friend of mine called my work the other day - a work that I don't usually show up at. It's okay, they like it that way. I mean, I'm scheduled that way. I mean...oh nevermind. So this friend didn't know it was me on the phone and very politely asked for my boss. He sounded so strange. Was he mad at me? Under the weather? Was his boss watching? He works for himself, so I guess his boss was watching. That's it, then.
Except it's not. He just didn't know it was me, so he didn't know to use the "for use with Susan" voice.
Which has nothing to do with anything. It's just a long shot at explaining my latest and greatest identity crisis, as follows.
This morning Sugarplum wore a jumper that I had knit for her to school. It's a silly little thing that looks more like a piñata than a jumper. I don't knit very well. Sugarplum's teacher asked if I had made her jumper and I thought well duh, do you think someone would actually buy that? but I just said "yes" because she falls halfway into the "people I'm polite to" category. It depends on the day and if there are other parents around.
When I said yes she made some comment about the chickens and the knitting and... well then she made this gross overstatement about the kind of person I am. I can't remember her exact words, but it made me sound like the love child of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Martha Stewart.
Which I am not. I don't think. I just, I just don't know anymore.
Torture the facts and they'll show you whatever you want to see. So I guess the question is, who do I want to be now?
Who do YOU want to be now? Or do you act the same with everyone (please say no)?