I am Bloody Mary-d and broken, thinking about the lies we tell. In no small part, I owe my recent obsession with what-are-you-thinking-really to this show I’ve been hooked on to called Lie To Me. Just like doctor shows make me yearn to be a doctor, shows about people who are human lie detectors make me peer deeper into people’s faces, often startling them, to see whether they really mean what they’re saying.
On the other hand, how much do I say that I really mean? How much do I soften a blow with my tone? How much do I use qualifiers like “seems” and “maybe” to avoid giving my absolute one hundred per cent honest opinion? How much truth is too much truth?
This is one thing JC and I argue about all the time. Yes, he is still in my life and we’re still figuring it out, we’re trying, for lack of a better word, even though that statement makes me cringe. It’s trying to keep trying.He believes in the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I believe in not saying anything if I can’t say something nice. I won’t lie to you, I’ll never lie to you, but I am skilled enough in my words that I can make you believe that I feel the same way you do about something that you like. This is lying, isn’t it? Yeah, I think it is.
What people don’t get about me, maybe what most people don’t do, is that I’m quite clued in, for an amateur, to the expressions on your face. If you’re hesitant, I can see it. If you don’t like something, I can see it. If you pause before you answer, I know why you’ve paused. Maybe it’s an only child thing, I learnt to be quite skilful at navigating my way around playgrounds, maybe it’s a writer thing, because I am always looking at people to come up with thoughts and phrases that I will use later. People have commented about my tendency to zone during parties, when I just sit there and watch people, watch the interactions and feel the ups and downs of their voices. It teaches me a lot, this little observer thing that I do. It may not make me the chick in the middle of the party, drawing all eyes to her, as I sometimes long to be, but I find the things I learn when I am the only silent being in a room full of chaos crop up later when I didn’t even know I had them.
Lying is weird, it seems no two people have one opinion on it. Most people will agree that to save someone’s feelings, they will lie or conceal the truth in one way or another. There is another school of thought that believes its for the better good of all mankind to be absolutely, radically honest in every way. Think of all the harm that would arise from that though. Think of your mind as an open window, think of all the petty or selfish thoughts you have, and think of using them to hurt your nearest and dearest. That doesn’t sound very nice at all, does it? I think absolute honesty would only work if you HONESTLY had no bad thoughts about anyone, ever. Therefore, you would have to genuinely believe that your best friend’s blue dress is the most delightful creation you’ve ever seen, that the meal your boyfriend’s painstakingly cooked you with so much love is DELICIOUS and you have to be prepared that the only excuse you might have to be late to a meeting is: I’m sorry, I was drinking last night and hungover today.
At the end of this very rambly post, I have to confess I have reached absolutely no conclusions. I want to be more honest—both for my sake and for others, but really, since we’re being more honest, honesty is REALLY for your own sake than anyone else’s, so let’s drop the “I’m doing you a favour” bullshit. What price though? Am I—by telling the truth, something that’s supposed to be always applauded—doomed to live a life friendless and loveless with no job? Maybe I should have a pact with someone—I’ll tell you the truth and you do the same. Tell me I’m being an ass and I’ll tell you that last thing you did was insensitive and selfish. We may wind up killing each other, but it’ll all be in the name of truth.