My husband uses the term ‘open kimono’ to describe my transparent ways. It’s because I’m not physically able to tell you one thing and really mean another, even if I tried really hard. And why I would really suck as a salesperson selling anything that I didn’t believe in.
It explains why women who host home trunk show clothing parties, jewelry open houses, or cooking gear parties can’t stand it when I’m one of the guests. Because everyone there knows that I’ll tell you if you look 30 pounds heavier in the latest trendy vest or if you look like you’re drowning in the latest fashion-forward floor-length dress. Usually ten minutes in, guests realize that I’m someone who will give them an honest opinion despite its potential impact to a bottom line.
Urbandictionary.com defines the ‘open kimono’ phrase as: (adj.) – business marketing plan that allows consumers to know what’s behind the entire operation, with no secrets kept inside the proverbial kimono.
Some say the phrase dates back to feudal period of Japanese history, when warriors or adversaries would open their kimonos as an offering of trust to show they had no hidden weapons.
My open kimono explains why those who are friends with me know right where they stand with me at any given moment. I don’t attempt to hide joy, worry, appreciation or aggravation. (I’m actually not sure if I would be physically able to.) I’ll tell you if you’ve hurt my feelings or upset me and I will be completely honest about it. I’ll also make sure you know if you’ve touched my heart.
I cry at school plays, I cry at weddings, and I cry when I sing Amazing Grace because it reminds me of my grandmother who cried when she sang that song. I still cry when I say goodbye to my parents after a trip back home. And sometimes I cry when I tell a happy story that makes my heart swell. And I’m okay with all of it. Even though tears make stoic types uneasy, I know that letting my guard down allows me to tap into depths of emotion that left untapped could make me stale.
Sometimes I think about closing my kimono a little more often. But then I remember what a fleeting gift this life of mine is. So why waste time not getting to what’s real when it could all change tomorrow.
I realize this is who I am, open kimono and all. And for that I am grateful.