Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guest Blog: Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies


Firstly, I hate Fleetwood Mac. Not to the level that I hate Journey, but still I cringe any time I hear "You Make Loving Fun," "Don't Stop," or the song mentioned in the following guest blog.

I like "Landslide." But, I'd like it a lot more if it were sung by Karen Carpenter or Phil Anselmo.

Secondly, I sleep a lot. Enough that I am occasionally mistaken for a house cat. Enough that coma victims need Lunesta to hang with me. And if there's a long gap in between my posts, assume that I'm doing something more entertaining than blogging during my few precious waking hours. Trust me, if my only choices were blogging or ironing, you'd get new blogposts from me more often than you get Tweets from Chad Ochocinco.

I'm out there in the world taking Rhianna's advice. No, not her dating advice. Her advice when she told me to "Live my Life, ay ay ay ay ay ay." And during some slow point in the future, perhaps when imprisoned or crippled, I will distill these moments into tidy blog bites for you to read when you are supposed to be working.

Here's a recent six day trip I took to Tokyo, distilled into a cinquain*

"Are you
sure about that
7Eleven brand
sushi?" - "Shit, it's still safer than
hot dogs."

*Armin, why wouldn't you describe Tokyo in the obvious form of the haiku instead of a cinquain? Because 7Eleven burns too many syllables right off the bat and I'm poor at paring down my words. That's why I'm going back to school.

Last thing, never click on my links. They add nothing to the blog and are just an opportunity for me to push my radical viewpoints and promote things I like that I know none of you like. Ooh look, a gila monster! Without further ado, here's the guest blog:


As always, there is a certain wisdom to Fleetwood Mac. Seriously. Think about it. I know some of you think thunder happens at times other than when it rains, but you're wrong. And yes ladies, players only love you when they're playing. Just ask Armin.

Even more important than the link between a static electricity induced atmospheric sonic boom and liquid precipitation is this little nugget: all of us want to hear lies. Yes, sweet little lies. And for the life of me, I never wanted to be a part of this behavior, but the older I get the more a part of it I am. I am not immune.

Of course, no one thinks they want to lie or be lied to. Most of us even choose to lie to ourselves. No one wants full honesty all of the time- even me, though I often claim I do.

Sometimes it is necessary to tell big lies for what we think is the greater good. Other times, which is most of the time, it's the sweet little lies. I will tell you your dilapidated dining room table is nice because I just met you and your wife asked me what I thought. I will tell my overweight mother the make-up she was forced to wear for a wedding looks beautiful when it really makes her look like a clown. I have smiled in pictures I was not happy in. I have occasionally said someone “meant well” or “has a good heart” when I know in truth they were intentionally self-serving and/or malicious.

I thought lying was patronizing and disrespectful. It is... but more importantly, it's necessary. I spent the last couple of years actively trying to be as honest as I could. Now, don't get me wrong. I still told many small lies (e.g. I sent that e-mail yesterday) and even some big ones (e.g. I am happy for you).

But my renewed commitment to honesty mostly translated into being direct, blunt, and, occasionally, a dick. I got good at making people upset, even people I didn't know. This new philosophy meant more awkward conversations with my girlfriend and angrier conversations with my boss.

In short, by disrupting the natural order of things, I screwed up. What's worse, there were plenty of times when people, unaware of my little experiment, assumed I maintained the normal level of discretion with my comments. That led many to conclude that if I said such upsetting things to their faces, that I must be saying much worse things behind their backs! It wasn't true, but I got told that a bit.

So, I learned something: don't screw with the natural order of things. Bad things will happen.

Your boss will want to fire you and will imply that the meager pay you receive is already too much.

Your girlfriend will know how much you lust after the girl who wipes down the coffee station in the cafeteria.

Your brother, who occasionally drives drunk, never pays taxes, and wrongly collects unemployment, will know just how much he has let you down.

Instead, understand the balance between truth and lies in every relationship. Each person is a little bit different. Some of us need a couple of lies a day. Others need mostly lies. From my experiment, I now know that understanding just how many lies each person in my life wants to hear is very important. It has now become my new goal... along with not eating the foods that make me gassy.

But really, why are we like this? Is it to give ourselves some temporary comfort from the constant insecurities we might have? Yes, that new dress does look good on you. No, I have never, ever thought about another woman when in bed with you. Armin definitely looks better with eyebrows. Give out lies like they are fun size Milky Ways on Halloween.

What if normal human interaction meant avoiding all lies at all costs? What if we learned that each lie took off one day of our lives? Aside from having a lot of honest old people, you would have an interesting situation. If the expectation became honesty every and all the time, I think people would adjust accordingly. If we had no lies and every one learned to live in that fashion, I think our reaction to raw, honest emotions would change. We would get used to it and save a lot of time. I think that a lot of the chronic, long term problems many family relationships have would go away. Stupid, unimportant behaviors would melt away. Instead of not talking to someone for three years because he sued your destitute mother for $20,000, just tell your abusive father you don't love him anymore and he's a phony. Understand that no matter how many little lies you tell yourself or your family, that there is nothing you can do to change the truth and make it better.

My guess is that your hatred would turn into acceptance and it would no longer consume you. You could spend each father's day like any other Sunday: working the night shift and falling asleep with your contacts in while reading about Oregon geology and singing the chorus from some Fleetwood Mac song.