I’ve always hated people who lie to me. Politicians, partners, the construction worker renovating my house. If I had known that small job was going to take half a year, I would have made other plans.
And as for those plastic people with over-sized sunglasses who give air kisses on both cheeks, emphatically insisting, “we must meet up soon,” knowing their intentions of doing so are zero. Yuck.
Liars suck. Right? Yeah, honesty is always the best policy.
Except…when it isn’t.
I don’t know, I’m starting to change my stance on the virtue of absolute truth. There’s a reason grandmother said ignorance is bliss and I’m starting to figure it out.
What You Don’t Need to Know Won’t Hurt You
Did I need to know, for example, that my mother had six months to live or that there might be a problem with my pregnancy? Or would I have been better off not dangling on a cliff-edge, lurching from day to day, waiting for that phone call?
Do I need to hear that I look tired or that my outfit makes me look fat? Probably not. I mean, I can figure that out for myself, I’m a big girl. I don’t really need to have it broadcasted to me over breakfast.
When you’re already a sensitive person, sometimes you need a little encouragement. Okay, maybe a bit of lying to. On occasion, simply being told you look nice, or that everything will be alright is enough to fuel you through the day. Fake sincerity rather than brutal truth.
It can be disappointing to find out that a person you thought you got on with really thought you were a dick. Or that your job application isn’t actually being considered, just tossed to the bottom of the pile along with the others, waiting on a rejection mail.
It’s sad when you plan a special event to have people back out, or get canceled on at the last minute. But, at least the letdown was soft.
The Truth Hurts
Brutal truth, as it sounds, is a harsh thing to absorb – brutal, in fact. Frankly, I think we have enough to deal with without the stabbing tongues of the truth crusaders. The people we all know who have an absolute compulsion – nigh, obligation – to overtly speak their minds. Some of us are a little more fragile.
As a writer, I open myself up to criticism every day. That’s part and parcel of the job and I accept it. Not everyone will like what you have to say. I don’t need to have the criticism buffered with a “we like this part but…” only to be followed by a slew of red ink, track changes and requests.
Tell it to me straight. I don’t have time to waste on your pampering my ego.
But, as a sensitive person, let me put my hand up and say, I don’t need to be advised of all my wrongdoings. I don’t need to be reminded that I’ll never be rich, or that there’s a slight possibility of everything going belly up.
Give Me Your Fake Sincerity
I didn’t really need to know before going to college that there was a lot of competition for being a journalist. That it was very hard to be a lawyer, or that medical school was reserved for a select few and I wouldn’t be among them.
Or that, as a child with aspirations of being an actor or a poet, these things were foolish fantasies and not careers for real people.
I probably could have figured that out when my applications were rejected or I was living on noodles from a cup, in an apartment smaller than a closet.
And what if my husband cheated on me? Would I feel better knowing that I wasn’t enough for him, fighting with an already low self-esteem and years of therapy? Or would ignorance indeed be bliss?
I think I could probably cope with a bit of sugarcoating. I wouldn’t really need to know.
Let me just clarify for all the sliver-tongued peddlers of BS that cross my path on a daily basis. Don’t think you’re insulting my intelligence. I do know that you have no intention of meeting up with me. That my ass looks huge in this unfortunate dress and that life is pretty hard.
But for now, if it’s alright with you, I’ll take an air kiss over a cutting rejection.