‘Skeletons in the closet’ is a conversational phrase and idiom used to describe an undisclosed fact about someone that would damage the person’s perception if revealed. In other words, it is a discreditable, damaging, shameful or embarrassing fact that someone wishes to keep a secret.
The phrase was coined in England in the nineteenth century – ‘Allusion to an apparently irreproachable person or family having a guilty secret waiting to be uncovered.’
We have three types of life – social life, personal life and SECRET LIFE. It is the secret life that fosters skeletons in closets.
We all have secrets – come on—we do have them – don’t we? Some secrets we dread to share even with ourselves. Certain misgivings, behaviors, actions, and plans keep formulating in our lives, and we just don’t want to expose them to anyone else.
The most exciting and intriguing aspect of this phrase is seen in virtually every Presidential election in the United States of America. The aspiring candidates are daggers drawn and toil hard to sneak into their opponent’s closets, searching for hidden, stinking and stacked skeletons from past. Many a time, the candidates have been ousted because interesting skeletons fell out of their closets at the wrong time.
It’s a human tendency to get consumed and passionate about discovering and exposing everyone’s skeletons – they, however, forget that their closets have few of their own.
The saying goes – “Don’t pick a bone with someone who knows all the skeletons in your closet.”
The Hindi version comes from the famous Hindi movie –” Jinke Mahal Sheeshe Ke Hote Hain, Wo Doosron Par Paththar Nahi Phenkte Hain.”
People are nave and keep stacking skeletons thinking that they can safeguard them throughout their lives. But the irony is that too many skeletons can’t survive the enclosure and eventually tumble out at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and in front of the wrong people. As we say – “ Kaanch Aur Paap Ka Ghada Phoot-taa Zaroor Hai.” No matter how deep the closet burial is and how hard one differs from exhuming, the skeletons creep out. No matter how firmly you try for a reversal – The milk is spilt, and the riddles are out — nothing is left except the concluding verdict and the eventual sentence.
Like cleaning the cluttering and trash from your house, frequently open your closets to dust the skeletons. Often it’s what you hold onto that holds you back. Give a pleasant look to all the skeletons individually, understand them with a new perspective, cover them up and contemplate how to take care of them. Improperly kept skeletons may emerge one dark night and strangulate you to death.
Try to come out of the secret enclosure and find a friend who is non-judgmental and supportive and can tolerate the stench and the ghastliness of your hidden skeletons. That person is undoubtedly your most trustworthy who loves you despite the knowledge of the treasured bounty.
I may have a full cemetery of skeletons in my closet, but I let it go with a dash of humor. I know that no one is perfect. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. No matter how hard you try, you can’t conceal. On the lighter side – “what is the height of the noise?” – ‘Two skeletons making love on the tin shed.’ The more the skeletons in the closet, the more chances of spilling out and creating a noisy stir.
Each night before hitting the bed, I open my closet and stand vis-a-vis my skeleton collection. I look straight into their eyes one by one and, with a smile, thank them for being a part of my valuable collection. I know that besides that, my closet is also adorned with treasures. I am contented because I know that my friend’s closet has some of these skeletons too. I know that I was not born with them as my legacy. I started collecting them as a kid, and by reaching adulthood, I had a load of them dancing in my closet. Well, I don’t take responsibility for what happened to me in my childhood, but I do have full accountability for what I do to tackle it now.
The biggest cliche is that those who scream to pass judgement to people at the drop of a hat have a whole lot of skeletons in their custody — dancing and making noise. While they were busy adjudicating, a bunch of skeletons fell from their closet, leaving them red-faced.
A great man once refused to advise a youngster against smoking because he wanted to quit his own smoking habits first. The greatest thing was that the man wanted to clean his closet of skeletons before peeping into the youngster’s privacy.
If you have worked hard to take care of your skeletons, then let anyone peep in your closet. There is no fear or fright of being exposed. Keep a pair of shoes in the closet to hit the unwanted sneakers hard on the arse.
“Be an honest sinner, instead of a lying hypocrite.”