fraudI am a fraud.

If you look closely, you’ll see it.

My rosacea showing through my tinted moisturizer.
My gray roots starting to show on the sides of my hairline.
My muffin top hidden by the expensive shirt I got from Anthropologie.
That someone else paid for.
The $13.95 sticker on the bottom of the sandals bought at Marshalls.

My house isn’t what it seems either.
It looks nice on the outside.
Sky blue with a front porch and a red bench.
But inside, it’s mostly filled with old furniture.
The ugly dining room table that was never mine.
An old, scratched up Bombay Co. coffee table.
The tea cart from my ex-inlaws’ old house.
Photographs of fruit received as presents two weddings ago.

And after 14 years, the wear and tear is showing.
A refrigerator with a broken ice maker.
Laminate floors with water stains and deep grooved pock marks.
Baseboards that are dinged up.
Holes in the sliding doors’ screens.
Bathroom towels that are stained and ripped.
Kids’ closets with clothes strewn about.
Age-old paperwork thrown in to a laundry basket.

My writing isn’t always honest either.
Not full of lies but one-sided.
It’s mostly funny, self-deprecating stories.
Because I love making people smile and laugh.
And giving them a little jolt.
The un-funny tales are too hard to tell.
Too personal.
Too painful.

What’s not fraudulent?
The love of my children.
That’s real and runs deep.
All the way to my core.
Growing as they grow.
My pride and my joy.

And my marriage.
Also not fraudulent.
I truly love my husband.
Down to his smelly, chickeny, bleachy core.
And I know his love for me is unconditional.
He’s my biggest fan.
And my biggest supporter.

But it’s not all fun and games.
And trips to Las Vegas.
Blending families isn’t easy.
Even after 6 years of marriage.
My kids, his kid.
Trying to make them our kids.

Contrary to what others think,
We don’t sit around the table singing Kumbaya.
We try to sit around the table.
But sometimes, we snap at each other, we yell and we fight.

And we’re not having mad, passionate sex every night.

But this is how it really is.
This is how real people live.
And our lives are oh-so-very real.
We’re doing the best we can.
But it could be better.

I’ll keep trying.
Because I love my husband.
I love my kids.
And for better or for worse, I love my life.
No sham there.

But I no longer think that I am Happier Than Most.

And that’s okay.
I’m happy most of the time.
And that just feels right.