Perhaps you’ve heard the expression: “Nobody wants to read your diary except your mother,” but if that were true, why do so many of us love autobiographies? Is it because we feel less isolated when somebody else shares his or her secrets?

b2ap3_thumbnail_record-player.jpgIn Diane Keaton’s book: “Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty,” she revealed her insecurities. She described the “corrections” she employed to modify her youthful appearance, like the bangs she used to hide her “mile-long forehead.” She said her mother would have stopped it if she knew. She also clipped a clothespin to the end of her nose to reduce its “bulb.” Her stories made me laugh and recall that in tenth grade, I wore trendy, ill-fitted sandals, despite discomfort and my feet hanging off, just to avoid moving into the next size.

Childhood secrets can involve vengeance, like the time my brother threatened to destroy my Barry White album if I played my favorite song again. He shouted from the kitchen: “If I hear that song play one more time, I’ll smash that record into a million pieces!”

Indignant, I re-positioned the needle to the start of the song, and Barry sang Let the Music Play one more time. Well, not quite. When I heard my brother’s chair scrape away from the kitchen table, I removed the needle and plucked the record off the turntable, replacing it with his Michael Murphy album. He made a swift approach and I sped out the front door, inclining my ear to the racket of his Blue Sky Night Thunder album, shattering into “a million pieces.”

My sons laughed when they heard that story. “Mom, did you ever tell him that he smashed his own record?” No, I never did, I said. “You should, Mom. He’d probably laugh.” Forty years later, he still doesn't know. Perhaps I don’t want to conjure suspicion, like: Why are you telling me this now? Is it for the purpose of a confession, an admission, an apology, or do I just expect he’d think it was funny?

I’ll get back to you on that in some future post about admissions, confessions and apologies!

Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, what secret did you keep in childhood? For what purpose did you keep it secret?

Secrets can be categorized into social, personal, family, general, etc. Acknowledging your own secrets, can also provide valuable information and illustrates one of your strengths: candidness.