Since turning forty I have made a few conscious changes in my life. I am eating healthier while also making a point of being open to new experiences and opportunities whenever possible. I have also made a point of eliminating negativity from my life as much as possible. I simply want to have a more positive life. With that in mind I can no longer tell ‘little lies’ to make other people feel good knowing that I won’t. From now on I’m telling the truth.
Perhaps this is why many older people seem so harsh. You know what I’m talking about. We all have or know of a great-aunt or uncle who take obvious pleasure in letting their ‘feelings’ known about everything and anything. Neither the occasion nor audience matters to these dear old relations. The filter between their mind and mouths eroded years ago (if they ever had such a filter) and they are obviously glad for the freedom.
Niece: “Aunt Martha, I want to introduce you to my new baby, Alison. Isn’t she sweet?”
Aunt Martha: “What an unfortunate looking child! Why the heck are you parading her around?”
My pledge to truth telling is not of the same sort as the ‘elders’. The approach I’m adopting is designed to save myself and others from harm.
How many times have you been a dinner guest and offered a dish you know is going to play havoc on your digestive system? How many times have eaten this dish with the host’s feelings being the primary – if not only – consideration? Let me tell you: TOO MANY TIMES!!!
Early one evening at a dinner party …
Host: “Hope you’re hungry! I’m trying a new recipe tonight.”
Guest: “Really? What are you making?”
Host: “Macaroni-cheese-baked beans with hot-peppers pie!”
Guest: “Mmmm… I can’t wait to try it.”
A little later that evening…
Host: “Thank-you again for coming. Before you go, tell me: did you like my pie?”
Guest: “Um, yeah! I liked it. That pie was something else.”
Much later that evening …
Doctor: “These are extremely violent cramps you seem to be experiencing. Do you remember when the
pain first started?”
Guest: “Yes, doctor, about 15 minutes after I leaving a dinner party…”
This situation could have been avoided simply by telling the truth. Why say you’re looking forward to tasting something that sounds like it was created in Frankenstein’s kitchen? What would have been wrong with saying nothing? If our Guest had simply smiled and said nothing after learning of the new dish, avoided eating it, then she would not have ended up in the hospital emergency room. Instead our Guest lied twice: first by saying she was looking forward to the dish; second: saying she had enjoyed it. Why not say nothing? Silence could have been the truth.
Instead, our Guest lied the moment she said she was looking forward to eating the meal, then later when she actually said it tasted good. Well, guess what? That foolishness will only encourage our Host to make that monstrosity again, eventually serving it to a less than diplomatic older relative…
Host: “Aunt Gertie, try this pie. I made it for a dinner party and everyone seemed to like it.”
Aunt Gertie gingerly takes a small forkful of the macaroni-cheese-baked beans and hot pepper pie then quickly spits it out along with these words, “What sort of *&%# are feeding people?!”
Minutes later, the Host is still hiding in the kitchen mortified by Auntie Gertie’s comments. Also, she notices that all her guests (all of whom are her relatives) are avoiding her pie. Meanwhile, with a smirk on her lips, Aunt Gertie reaches into her purse, takes out a stack of paper, strikes a red line through the name of the host, then mentally makes a note to inform her lawyer that he needs to update her Will to reflect its latest change.
Personally, I never want to be responsible for that kind of fallout in a family or knowingly sending myself to a hospital emergency room. Admittedly, the above examples were a bit extreme, but nevertheless could have been avoided by diplomatically telling the truth or just not telling a lie.
I am too old to risk my own well-being to lie to make another person feel good. So, as I said earlier, from now on I’m telling the truth.
Laters & G’Night,