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?