Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lie to me...

What is it about people who tell you the truth whether you want it or not?

They have this deep-seated conviction that they are making the world a better place by calling a spade a spade. Has it occurred to them that the spade already knows it's a spade and doesn't really want to hear some busybody telling him about it?

These compulsive truth-tellers are convinced they are on the one-way, fast track escalator to the Pearly gates. They think God will greet them (once they're in) with a "Because you told that bald guy he's bald, and that fat woman she's fat, and got that little boy to give up his dream of being a dancer because you knew he couldn't...I make thee my deputy in Heaven."

Well, let me break my cardinal rule of not telling unpleasant truths by telling them...FAT chance.

Note that I differentiate between unpleasant and unnecessary truths on one hand, and necessary, helpful truths on the other. Before rabid masses of honest people throng to my home with pitchforks and torches - let me set this striaght.

For example, when your 6-year old niece walks up to you with a goldfish bowl and says in her endearing lisp "Aunty Uthathi, doethn't my fith Puffy look thweet when he thleeps??" You look at the bloated fish with its stark-staring eyes and do NOT say, "What are you, stupid? It's been dead for weeks! Throw it away! ...And get rid of that lisp while you're at it, you sound retarded."

You DO say: "Why, look at the time! Gotta go! Say hello to Puffy when he wakes up!" and make a swift exit. If you are overly conscientous let the girl's mother know so she can cook up a suitable story in advance.

Or, if you meet a good friend at a posh party, and she whispers to you, "Do you think this dress is nice?" You do not say "Only if 'nice' meant 'freakishly ugly'! Where did you buy it from? The travelling circus?"

You say: "Why, look at the time! Gotta go!"

However, if said friend had a gunk of mayonnaise on her face and has been walking around with it all night while malicious people tittered behind her back, it is up to you to tell her the truth. My point is - one is remediable, the other isn't. The gunk she can wipe off and save herself from further embarassment. The dress she can't.

Similar examples for my particularly slow readers.

Say, someone fancies she can sing and got you to attend one of her live performances(with people and everything!) . And say it sucked. When she says after the show that she knows she went off at several places, and asks you if you noticed, it is just plain BITCHY to say "Oh yes of course. Everyone did."

Because the deed is done. It can't be remedied. The only thing your precious honesty is doing is making matters worse. BUT, should she approach you before the show, it would be very helpful to clue her in on how assinine she sounds, so she can work on it before her show.

Or, for an example closer to home; if you wanted to write a comment telling me my blog stinks I would strongly advise you to stuff it. But if you would like to comment on my spelling of 'straight' further up in this blog, your correction would be welcome.

And, should you like to say something nice about it...wonderful! (Even if you stray a little bit from the truth...who cares?)


Nisho said...

Do I sing well? Do I play the guitar well? Do I look handsome? Tell me the truth.. tell me ... tell me NOW! ;-)

Ravi said...

Huh, nice gyan :-)
Let me observe myself now to c whether i comply to this or not!!
-- Ravi

Ushasi said...

No to all of 'em, Nisho.;)

Thanks, can do that and see what category you fall into.:)

Orange said...

You are so true...I completely agree to what you have to say.

BTW you are a great writer "its the truth" ;-)

Haimanti said...

i remember a red sleeping fish in an earthen pot but the owner incidentally doesnt have a lisp.

Diya said...

can i tell you that asinine has only one s, or will you absolutely slaughter me?! hehehehehe. it's good, ushasi. keep writing.

Ushasi said...

Shut up, Diya. Nobody asked you.:(