We have all been victimized by this involuntary act. And frequently at the most inopportune moments. I haven’t blushed in years. Or if I have I most certainly denied it, as all who blush are bound to do. Whatever the age, whenever it is pointed out, the armor goes up and recriminations run riot.
“I did not”, you hear them cry. “It’s just hot in here!”
Yes, I’ve told that lie too, knowing all the while how ludicrous it sounds. But you stick to your guns when your dignity is so very clearly in harm’s way. You handily debase yourself without hesitation. Looking the fool is, after all, far better than owning up to even the faintest flush of authentic emotion.
The alternative of course is too grim to consider. No one in a civilized society wants a thing to do with any weasel who so obviously wears their emotions on their sleeve, let alone parades around in them like a holiday hat. Admission to a blush is tantamount to pariah status – at least that’s the internal spin we give it.
In point of fact there is a sweetness in a blush, in even the most unattractive among us. It is one of the great ironical stigmas of the modern era. A reddening of the features betrays the facade of staunch and worldly confidence that has taken decades to command. To lose one’s social footing would be horrific on so many levels. God, please don’t let it happen in a business environment!
And while I am a fan of the blush, a keen and effective reminder that a tiny breath of innocence and purity still hides in all of us, I am of two minds about it. No one contests that it has its charm. But when you fall in love at my age, it’s rather like being sea sick – you think you’re going to die but everyone else just thinks it’s funny.
The blush may be the great betrayer. But it is also one of the finer points of being truly human.