Cherry Trees & White House Interns
By Tom Ďsuch a lonely wordí Waters†
June 1 , 2006
Is honesty such a hard policy to maintain? I really donít think so. Whatís the worst thing thatís going to happen? You hurt someoneís feelings for a brief time. Tough nooky. Itís better than insulting someoneís intelligence by expecting them to go along with your story about how your grandmother died while you got a flat tire on the way to your friendís house and caught a case of the whooping cough.
Itís unfortunate that a good portion of the people I know are pathological liars. Iím frequently baffled by the thinly veiled fictions that my friends and family members drum up on the fly to get out of social engagements, blow off work, or bullshit their way out of doing something they donít want to do. It amazes me. Iíve made a concerted effort over the last ten years to exercise a form of directness that delivers the same results that a gigantic mound of horseshit will, only with less embarrassment all around. I wish that others could do the same.
I may not be Sicilian, but I can always spot someoneís Ďtellí or figure out when theyíre trying to pull one over on me. If someone stammers, pauses for no good reason, or looks in another direction, oftentimes they are telling you anything but the truth. It doesnít take a keen observer of the human condition to discern that a person who fidgets or canít make eye contact when they talk to you is incapable of being honest with themselves or others. What baffles me is the total lack of effort that goes into their falsehoods. Iíd be a lot more likely to believe that your car blew up and that you canít make it to the ice cream social if you had some pieces of the car embedded in your face. Back it up at least.
Some of my friends have been lying to me for so long that I refrain from calling them out on it because it would incite Rain Man style conniptions. Most pathological liars are in such a deep state of denial that they take personal offense when you attempt to draw them out of their own web. Theyíve been living in a world of their own false design for years and the smallest crack in a story will send them spiraling into a defensive position. It really boggles my mind, because it takes no effort to be honest and say that you canít get together, youíre too tired, or that you actually have other plans. Itís an insult to my intelligence to even try and make shit up. Donít bother.
This is one of the five million reasons why I donít cheat on my girlfriend. Itís too much work and I prefer honesty above all else. There was a time (about eight years ago) when I dated three girls at once, and it was exhausting. The alibis, the backtracking, trying to fill in the blanks after the lies when challenged on my whereabouts; all of these things were too much for me and I ended up telling all of them anyway, and they were fine with it. This is also another reason why Iím not a serial killer. After years of problem drinking, I often canít remember what I did five minutes ago. Trying to reconstruct what I was doing on the night of fill in the blank would be impossible. I would end up on the six oíclock news with fifty eight heads in my freezer in the first month.
People tell me Iím a horrible liar, and Iím fine with that, because when they tell me that, Iím trying to get caught. I donít have much practice with it, because Iíve taken the other road. The behavioral road less traveled, if you will. I am 100% direct with people at all times despite how swift and merciless it may be on their psyche or their long term mental health. I tell people exactly how I feel and whether I can or canít do something all the time, regardless of the consequences. I can go to sleep at night without worrying about my actions. I can go to my grave and honestly say that Iíve been open and up front with the majority of the people Iíve dealt with in my life.
Is honesty such a hard policy to maintain? I really donít think so. Whatís the worst thing thatís going to happen? You hurt someoneís feelings for a brief time. Tough nooky. Theyíll get over it. Itís better than insulting someoneís intelligence by expecting them to go along with your story about how your grandmother died while you got a flat tire on the way to your friendís house and caught a case of the whooping cough. Give everyone a break and save your breath. You all know who you are, so cease and desist this instant and grow the fuck up. Stop lying to yourself and others and see if you canít get by on a clear conscience and a new set of rules for living. Itís not that difficult. Start today.
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