The Big Reveal

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Click here for her website:

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures on the following dates, times, and locations:

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, (RSVP REQUIRED)

September 9, 2018, 3:15pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement,” THRIVE Expo –  sponsored by The Gazette newspaper, Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 (No RSVP Required)

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,  (RSVP REQUIRED)

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, (RSVP REQUIRED)

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, (RSVP REQUIRED)

Now, on to my blog:

Before & AfterWe all want to put our proverbial best foot forward when trying to attract a mate (or even friends).  In this highly competitive endeavor, many hedge their truths, puffing up their more desirable accomplishments or traits and downplaying the not-so-flattering aspects. After all, we don’t want to drive someone away before they even get a chance to learn to adore wonderful us.

The grumpy, negative person plasters on a happy face.  The older person chops a few years off their age.  The not quite-wealthy enough person adds a zero or two to their net worth, presenting his/her Mercedes as paid in full when it is really leased.  The not-quite-educated-enough person adds a degree or two.  Makeup, hair dye, clothing, and surgical enhancements all play their part to this end.  But, what happens when the sucker—ah, potential mate—learns the truth?

In lockstep with the above overt deceptions are the covert deceptions.  These take the form of “failing to mention.”  If you murdered your mother and just got out of prison, don’t mention it and the sucker—sorry, potential mate will never be the wiser, at least not in the beginning.

Many practitioners of the aforementioned arts eventually are forced into “the big reveal.”  After the sucker—ah, potential mate—is hooked and “in love,” a circumstance may occur where the hidden fact seeps out.  It could be something like guilt which propels the blurted-out truth or a situation where the practitioner is caught not knowing something he/she should in their purported position.

I remember many years ago where a co-worker told the others in the office that she had a PhD in anthropology.  Everyone believed her; after all, who would lie about a thing like that?  One day, the subject of Anthropologist Louis Leakey of Olduvai Gorge fame was the topic of conversation in the coffee room.  Our resident anthropology PhD didn’t know who he was, information that every student of that discipline learns in Anthropology 101.  Well, that started the entire staff questioning anything she had ever claimed about herself, a despicable situation to be in.

What happens when you and (fill in the blank) are married or at least have been significant others for years, and your secret comes out?  I know someone who was not quite as divorced as she had claimed to her live-in boyfriend of many years.  She was outed by a casual remark from a guest at a party they attended.  Their relationship began to unravel from there.

What about the stark check boxes on your online dating profile?  In this age of connection via internet, you only have a photo and some brief text to catch your fish.  It’s almost a given that years are shaved off ages, photos are out-of-date, and other data is tweaked.  There are even professional profile writers you can hire to help put that aforementioned best foot forward.

Eventually that shaving, tweaking, and other manners of deception will have its way.  It may take years, but it will.  I have one friend who did her “big reveal” of lying about her age after a few dates with a man she had met online.  He became very angry and walked out in a huff complete with swirling dust clouds.  This same friend subsequently met another man online, again lied about her age, eventually did the “big reveal,” and he didn’t care.  They are now happily living together.

So, there you go.  The big reveal can be malignant or benign.  Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.


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Photo #2 credit: susan402 via /  CC BY-SA


Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging, wellness

6 responses to “The Big Reveal

  1. Wendy Markel

    Have fun on your travels Wendy

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. interesting post — love the photo!

    • I either take my own photos, or I use photos from a photo website. Often, I will observe something that starts me thinking, and I’ll take a photo of it and build a blog around that photo.

  3. Roger Trammell

    Lies of commission or omission are still lies. I don’t think lies are helpful in relationships.

  4. Yet, so many people lie. What are they thinking?

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