Private – Keep Out

What you doing in there? Are you fixing your hat? Why are you fixing your hat? Why do you wear a hat anyway?

Hey everybody! We took a couple of weeks off and wow are we excited to be back! Too much? Yeah, well we’re back and that’s as far as the enthusiasm goes. This last year-plus of blogging is catching up and we need a nice, recharging vacation where we can bask in our love and let it all hang out. We’re not talking about nude sun bathing on some European beach (although if there is a European Resort who wants to sponsor that, we would definitely consider it). We feel a little like Greta Garbo right now. All dressed up in a snazzy hat with the back of a hand to our forehead moaning, ‘I want to be alone!’

Lee says: Privacy is something we all harp about and have no real concept of what it is. Many of us use the word to mean seclusion while others use it as a means to hide shame. Well, I’m here to be the bearer of bad news when I say that your definition and my definition will probably be very different and we will both be right and it doesn’t really matter because if you do privacy wrong you end up messing up your life and causing more problems than you would have had if you hadn’t gotten on this privacy kick to start out with…(breathe)!

Why the run on sentence created to give you temporary light headedness? Easy, we need to wake up to the myth of privacy. As relationship writers, we often are asked ‘how much privacy should I demand/get?’ This question is asked in regards to all types of relationships including marriage and parenting. Our answer usually is pretty shocking to all of our readers; none. The reason for this answer is because of how people define the word privacy.

If you take the definition to be ‘seclusion’ then that would entail your separation from your spouse and children. So in the case of your kids, if we give them privacy we are granting them seclusion. Or if we understand the word to mean ‘hiding of shame’ then we are granting our loved ones a vault to store some information that will ultimately hurt them. Shame and seclusion has no place in loving relationships.

No, I know there are a bunch of people reading this jumping up and down screaming ‘You’re full of shit, Lee!’ Just know you aren’t the first to say that. However, in this case, I know I am right. So many people live lives filled with shame and wear their privacy like a one ton badge of honor on their backs. They approach each relationship with the meta-message of ‘If you only knew what I hold private, you would never love me’. These are the big proponents of privacy, the locks on the bathroom/bedroom doors and diaries with locks on them. They raise their kids with similar ‘vault’ mentalities and teach them the need for a ‘public’ and ‘private’ face.

What I have to say to all these people is, ‘Who cares?’ Trust me when I say that nothing in your vault is that scary or unique. Unless you spent your summer killing one of your friends and then the next school semester being hunted down by someone for payback, your story is not very original. I am not belittling you. I am setting you free of the shame. Your stories of masturbation, bad thoughts, petty thefts, sexcapades, questionable behaviors, bad judgment and the general belief you are a shitty human being are as common as liking soup. Privacy is a sham meant not to keep us out but keep you from us. Woah, now that’s a twist!

Paul says: I’m back from vacation and I have nothing to say on the topic. I have no clue what privacy is. Usually I have one or more people in the bathroom with me and, if I do close the door, it is to shut out the constant questions of my two young boys. Plus, they laugh when I fart, then I start laughing, then I fart some more… It’s a never-ending cycle.

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