relentlessly, she understands you

it’s a cynical little poem, i think, but that closing phrase lodged itself in my head sometime in high school, and it’s never really shaken free. i was thinking about it today, about how those two halves — relentlessly and understands — seem so dichotomous. we think of understanding, of being understood, as a good thing. and yet, don’t we all know someone (maybe a mother, maybe not) who just knows us too well? from whom we can’t hide, can’t placate, can’t brush away? they’re there — even when we want to simply crawl in a hole, away from the seeking light of that knowing gaze.

when i’m under stress, i find myself inventing excuses even when none are needed. it would be fine to just say, oh — i don’t have time. or, i just ate, sorry. i don’t actually think my friends would pour molten tar on my head and whack me with feather pillows.

well, the rational me doesn’t. i’m not responsible for what the other side whispers in the wee sma’s.

as much as i’m not a religious person, there are truths in the bible that i believe completely. one of these is be sure your sin will find you out. it’s not a statement of faith or dogma or any of that — it’s just an inconvenient, annoying, why-even-bother fact. it’s easier and simpler — not to mention more honorable — to just tell the truth in the first place, because a lie in act or a lie in words always comes to light at the most awkward moment possible. i know this.

and yet, what are excuses but one baby step away from lies? the reasons may be valid, but just because i really do have x, y, and z that i SHOULD be doing, does that mean that i’ll actually do them? or will i cite them when i beg out and then spend that stolen time sacked out on the couch (an equally important but much harder to justify previous engagement)?

you can tell co-workers you have a meeting or appointment that prevents you from working late, when really that appointment is with your husband and a dvd. you can blow off acquaintances with a non-specific reference to the “something” that came up. but once you hit a certain tier of friendship, there’s a certain level of mutual respect that demands you deal better with those you love. they deserve the truth.

the gamble is: will they still like you if they know it?



  1. freundlyfolk said,

    April 8, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    i read this last night, but i’ve put off answering for a bit, because i didn’t wanna nub up my answer to a post that i relate to so much. and i’m still not entirely sure i’ve sorted out my response, but here goes…

    as far as ben and i go, we understand all too well the value of sweetie time, so when our friends cite that need when bowing out of activities, we understand and we’re cool with it. but for as quick as i am to allow for sweetie time for our friends, i usually take a double dose of guilt whenever we use the excuse under similar or the same circumstances. like when tuesday rolls around and we feel like staying home. or when it’s been three months since we’ve visited my family and i don’t feel like making the six-hour trek to f-town.

    so, i guess what i’m trying to say is, sometimes we don’t give ourselves as much leniency or forgiveness as we do our friends. i think sometimes we feel like simply saying, “i’m tired,” or “i don’t feel sociable just now,” or “i’ve been at work and under stress for a whole day/week/month, and i’d really just rather veg at home” aren’t good enough reasons for not spending time with people we love and aren’t married to, so we try to find what we consider to be more acceptable excuses (when really, the truth would work just fine). but i also think that there are very few – if any – untruths that would make us, your friends, love you any less.

    that’s why we’re friends, after all. 😀

  2. krishyana said,

    April 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    i think that you are always free to tell me, hay, i just wanna relax with my pookie. 🙂 sometimes we are so busy planning and moving around trying to keep up that we forget we should always take time to ourselves so we feel refreshed and ready for the next social outing ;).

  3. perhapsody said,

    April 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    it’s not just you guys — i find myself thinking up elaborate “reasons” with my mom, too. something to work on…

    i love you guys!!

  4. freundlyfolk said,

    April 15, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    we love you too, hon

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