I was sitting in the sauna at my health club on a Sunday morning when I overheard two women having a conversation. Although I wasn’t actively listening, it was impossible not to overhear as one of them described how an acquaintance over a period of many years talked about her husband and his day-to-day impact on her life.
“She said that he loved sweets so she had to eat dessert too. It wasn’t fair for him to eat dessert without her and it was about indulging, so she could never get her weight down.”
“Yes, so?” The second woman asked.
“And she went on an on about what a gentlemen he was, never getting annoyed with the waiter when the steak was too well done. She talked about him all the time. I got daily reports on the places they went and the things they did. It was always something special.”
Her tone of voice made it clear that she’d been a little jealous, but, given the context of the health club, I thought she was going to launch into a typical diet or body image rant, but I was wrong.
“And then what happened?”
“I met some people that lived in the same building. They told me he’d been dead for ten years! She was making up stories about him…”
“You’d be surprised how many people are like that. Not just widows, just people making things up, living delusions…”
Lies and liars and delusions and daydreams abound. I choose to take what people tell me on face value, but, like characters in a novel, people are rarely entirely truthful, and are often deceptive.
Something to think about — in the sauna, outside it and definitely when crafting characters in fiction.