Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shades of Honesty

Matt and I have always prided ourselves in our honesty with each other.  Do you like my hair this color?  No, not really.  How do you like this new dinner tonight?  Hmm... not my favorite.  What do you think of this top?  I really don't like it at all!  Should I go running in just my spandex shorts and no shirt (this one is Matt, not me, of course!)?  Not unless you want a lot of stares of the wrong kind!  Does this shirt go with these pants?  Are you crazy? 

We have always stood by the principle that a compliment isn't a true compliment if everything is a compliment.  If I always look incredible and my dinners are amazing and delicious 100% of the time, how do I ever know when it's actually true and when it is just flattery?  How can I learn to avoid those unflattering tops and never make that unfavorable crockpot goulash again?  

We both have done well under this seaming unkind but almost always smile, giggle, or at least eye-roll-inducing honesty.  I really do prefer to know the truth rather than never quite know if he is being honest or trying to spare my feelings.

But lately, I find myself wanting to re-examine and, perhaps, re-define our policy on honesty.  As my age increases, my youthful beauty and ability to handle less-than-positive remarks about it are decreasing, and I find myself thinking, "Did you really have to be quite that honest with me?  Really?  You think the reason we have no decent pictures of me at all is because I don't know how to wear make-up and I might benefit from false eyelashes?  Did that really have to be said and why are you so surprised that I prefer to read my book tonight instead of... well, other things?

I am sure I am just as guilty as he, or perhaps his skin has not begun to thin yet.  At least with physical appearance issues, as long as he doesn't begin to loose hair or gain extra pounds, he won't deal with problems like this for quite some time, if ever.  He will probably always wear his spandex for running and always think they look good, even in the decades to come, I suspect.  


  1. Deb, by way of reflection, not advice, the brutal negative honesty will out by a look or a reaction (whether goulash or outfit) and need not be often articulated. On the other hand, opportunities for genuine compliments frequently go unspoken, even if perceived (that was a great dinner, or you look wonderful tonight) due to complancecy (I expect you at your best), insensitivity (I didn't bother to notice or mention) or quite often the tynany of the urgency - those myriad of minor things that daily require our attention but distract us from the larger, more important issues. And it goes both directions.
    As to the spandex running shorts and the inexhorable advance of age, I think I still have my spandex buried in one of my dressor drawers -hahaha

  2. Deb - just wait until you're pushing 60 and EVERYTHING looks less than it did. Very disheartening, even when you are trying to be kindly honest! But you, now and certainly when you're pushing 60, have a wonderful personality and outlook on life, and people will always come to you for friendship and wisdom. And I think I have finally thrown away all of Dad's spandex! (Dad says he looked pretty hot in his spandex in his day - hoot-hoot!)



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