My friend, Anna, who is on an online dating service discovered my
friend, Peggy’s boyfriend on it. I entitled that post, “Moral Dilemma.”
The follow up is going to include an update on that situation along
with all the meanings of the word “denial” and how, in one way or
another, we all are in some form of denial. That is just my opinion,
The four meanings of the word “denial” can be found in my home copy of
the Brittanica hardback version of a dictionary. It has a “gold leaf” edge
to the pages and golden embossed letters on the front cover, establishing
its “importance”and significance. I used this throughout my college years,
(received it from an English teacher when I graduated from high school).
This came in handy during my child rearing years, and finally, my brother,
Randy and I use it often while we play either Boggle or Scrabble.
This second meaning encompasses Peggy’s situation, “refusal to admit
the truth of a statement.” When faced with her boyfriend’s photograph
on the website, Peggy first denied it was even him! There was his birthday
and horoscope, his work or occupation, and even his income was accurate.
She admitted the facts were correct but here were her first three “excuses”
given for the situation.
First, Peggy said, “Anyone can cut and paste a picture of Tim and put it
on a dating website.”
Second, Peggy said, “Tim doesn’t have that much interest in dating but
maybe he paid to look at some of the local single women. It is better
than finding out he was on a porn site!”
Thirdly, Peggy said, “My sister Patty put me on match.com last year,
I didn’t do much but look, maybe his mother or sister put Tim on it?”
When we showed her the fact that the person, (whoever it may be??)
was “Active this week” and “Could be contacted on email or IM” she
was sure that if Anna set up a date, he would not come or answer her.
We did not press the issue. Peggy’s denial was in refusing to see that
there may be a possibility of a problem.
At least we felt we had done our “duty” as a friend, telling her we
would want to knowif someone we had dated and lived with for over
fifteen years… Maybe those who said to mind our own “bee’s wax”
The first choice definition in my dictionary for “denial,” happens quite
often in families. This meaning is the “refusal to grant something asked
for.” Well, that happened two Fridays ago to my grandkids who were
in “hot water” and facing “punishment” of being grounded. They could
not go to the Splash Pad with Nana! Permission denied! (Due to the
extreme severity of removal of Nana priveleges, I pleaded with the
grandkids to be very good the following week.) Thus was able to have
a splendid afternoon, with Mommy and Nana at Powell, Ohio.
The third definition of denial is a little sketchy, as far as, how many
of you will fall into this category. But I am trying to “build my case”
(not in a court of law, mind you!) that we are all in denial, in one way
or other! This is “refusal to acknowledge something. A state of disbelief,
My biggest example I could think of, not in the dictionary, was how our
society as a whole has embraced the term, “Mid Life Crisis” as a real and
serious conflict to be met at varying times in our life. Some think it will
occur at age 40 and some think anytime a man or woman goes out to the
automobile showroom and drives off with a flashy red car, they are in a
mid life crisis! I have had many of my friends, in “denial” of their aging.
They are still wearing cute and appropriate clothes, moving gracefully
along into their firties and sixties.
The last and fourth meaning of “denial” is more often met during the
after holidays’ season of January through the rest of winter until we
unveil our lighter and healthier selves in the summer… “Denial” means
“cutting back or restricting or limiting” something…. like calories or
appetite. I am not too great at denial of chocolate, donuts, cake, pie,
chips, pizza, or almost any other things that should be limited after the
holidays. I am blessed with a great job that is like running a marathon
every day, that the calories don’t stick. But going back to that mid life
crisis, I had a doozy of one, gained almost 40 pounds and that has been
covered, I am sure somewhere else in this blog!
Denial never seems to be a positive word, whether a person is denying
their children from fun with their Nana (ha ha! Just teasing, Trista, my
dear daughter in law!) or if one is denying that the spouse or partner
has changed their habits drastically. Denial of a promotion is also a big
“bummer.” Denying there are shortages of water in the world, pollution, or
global warming (to me) are serious choices that could amount to limited
resources for our generations that follow us.
Denial can have serious repercussions or consequences when taken to
I would like to ban the practice of denial! Does this sound a little like Peter Pan?
In his words, “I won’t grow up!”
Yes, you are correct, we need to accept denial as part of all our lives. Hopefully,
in moderation or in limited amounts!