Wearing white collared tips and a black bandana around my neck, I check my appearance in the mirror. The mirror dirtied from old powder and the dust of laziness, I look at my ghostly reflection: Bags under my eyes, oversized clothing and a desperate need of coffee, I grimace at the sight. “I look like an Olsen on one of their off days”, I think to myself as I grab my bag and exit my room.
I am meeting my old friends Jen and Will for lunch. The two have been together for just over three years now, and at first sight, the couple looks incredibly perfect, add a golden retriever to the mix and they would look like a J-Crew ad. With the illusion that they have their shit together, it is little known that the two did undergo a rough patch in the middle stages of their relationship. As the topic came about, Jen spoke to me about how she and Will overcame that difficult time, and that was through continuous honesty. Being honest with one another about their needs sexually, mentally, and emotionally, the two found themselves bonding closer with a deeper understanding of one another. Taking a bite of her eggs Benedict, Jen says, “Without being honest, we wouldn’t know what each other was thinking let alone what we were thinking to ourselves. By telling each other everything, we prevented arguments and awkward silences, because after all, the truth does set you free”.
Was Jen right? Does the truth really set us free, or does it only show a reality that we may or may not be ready for?
As children, we were told to always tell the truth yet as adults a sense of ambiguity is placed on the concept. This poses a new question: when is the truth not acceptable? and is the truth always right? When thinking about times that I was completely truthful with my partner or even just an acquaintance, the truth often led to tears, anger and ultimately a breakup. While I understand that I have a bitchy attitude and can be quite blunt, the complete truth did nothing but add an unnecessary layer of transparency.
Ears filled with the melancholic folk, I take a break from the busyness around me.
The bridge of communication has been laced with obstacles. Dropped transmissions and network errors, we faced a pause in correspondence. With a wandering mind and no occupying force, I am left to my thoughts. Painting my sight with black and setting fire to the truth, manipulated vision takes full control. I find myself puncturing holes in my perspective, noting the inconsistency in my perceptions and falling victim to a misconstrued and desecrated version of reality.
I begin searching wineries in Ontario. In less than four months, I will not be alone in my travels for I will have a companion. As Francophone hymns play through the halls I think of Owen, and I begin to think of the adventures we will soon be having.
I can’t decide if I try on this sentiment of total honesty, but I can definitely think of several repercussions that can come from it. It seems as if there is large double negative that runs synonymously with lying, for some consider “white lies” to be okay while others are condemned. For those who are not familiar with the term, a white lie is described as a lie told to someone as means to spare their feelings. Ex. “Wow Jan, that side-mullet looks fantastic!” The one issue that I have with white lies is that many people do not know where to draw the line.
Unfortunately, there is no rule book for lying, for there are no guidelines to govern what can be accepted and what is condemned. I think that lies are all based circumstantially, for what may be seen as necessary to some accounts may not apply to all. For example, Calling into work requesting a deadline extension because you are “ill and bed-ridden” while you were really at the Rudsak sample sale, is definitely circumstantial… without lying you would miss a once a year sale. On the contrary, lying to your partner about your whereabouts because it would upset them seems to breach personal ethics and compromise effective communication. While white lies may be acceptable in many situations, lies in a relationship just seems to further a downfall.
In the past, I have faced complete honesty and have not liked the results. While the truth may set some free, it can cause you to see a situation or a relationship with a new set of eyes. It is in the moments when we are hit with a sudden and unexpected moment of truth that we are forced to take a step back and reevaluate. When you hit a barrier, a wall that prevents us from knowing what we feel, the undiscovered sentiment that hinders what we can say prevails. This ideology seems to be a “Liar, Liar, The World Is On Fire” mindset, for one spark can cause the whole situation to go up in flames.
With Jen and Will in mind, I continue on with my day. Will I keep honest about all my day to day doings, or do I keep it circumstantial? Whether you keep honest or let a fib slide, make sure to pick your battles; Don’t let the fear of impossibility guide your decision.