Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Can I Be Honest With You?

"Can I be honest with you?" These words jumped off the computer screen at me in a recent email and I thought, "Ooooooo, no. Nope. I can live my life without anyone ever being honest with me, by announcing they are about to by honest, ever again."

Because that usually means license to kill the spirit...the 007s of the social world, authorizing social and personal attacks.  How did this phrase get so perverted and twisted out of shape? It's California culture on display. If someone in the Midwest wants to be honest with me, they just are.

My father's honesty is right there in the open and there's nothing self-conscious or unkind about it. Disengaging from a hug with me, he says, some concern in his eye, "There's too much of you. Consider doing something aobut it." In other words, I've gotten fat. And, you know what? He's right. I have.

Processing emotions, fellings, and holding Geneva Conventions over how a relationship is going is Californian territory. I've simply stopped doing it, because one can spend more time on parsing and commentary than simply being with each other.

Folks I'm tight with seem to roll with my human failings. I don't aspire to be any more than human, to be any more than a decent human being. I don't aspire to be perfect. The folks I'm tight with take me as I am. We know we are each doing our best.

And, by golly, when we want to be honest with each other....why, we just are.

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1 Responses »

  1. Your blog is great fun and informative, too.

    "Can I Be Honest with You?" is very funny--and too true. One of the people I'm working with went off on a similar diatribe talking about a friend of hers who always prefaces her "profundities" with "To be honest..." meaning, I suppose, that only those things she prefaces that way are honest; all the rest are lies. Could be!

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