My Heart On My…Arm?

There are a lot of things I would like to say to you. I’d like to explain some things, lay out all the cards, talk about where I think I went wrong and what I would have liked to have done instead, how I wish I’d reacted. There are things I want to apologise for and things I want to ask. And perhaps a few years ago I would have done just that. I would have given out bare truths and asked for the same in return but the coinage of human relationships is not honesty. In many ways thank goodness we know the rules of the game now. I know you know I know you know I know and so we talk about what’s on telly and how much we drank last night and if I owe you an apology I buy you a drink and if there’s something you’re not telling me I probably know it already and so actually none of these are conversations we need to have. And everything works brilliantly and the wheels of society are well-oiled and everyone’s having a brilliant time except that once in a while you forget that honesty, actually, I suppose, it’s like water or acid or something. Things rust, things grind to a halt and everyone turns around. You don’t need to know the things I sometimes wish you know and I don’t need the answers to my questions because I know the answers already or I simply function better without them and you are not a person and really in this moment nor am I, we’re just examples, we all play a part in this machine and if we stick to the script (don’t worry, there’s a lot of room for comic ad-libbing) then everyone is happy because we’re not seventeen any more. Because it’s not about honesty, it’s about stating the bleeding obvious.

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3 responses to “My Heart On My…Arm?

  1. Antony

    “coinage of human relationships is not honesty”

    I disagree. I much prefer honesty and I think honest relationships of all types (co-worker, friend, partner) work best. That said, there are problems – what is the truth? My 17 year old self would have a different perception of what being honest in a relationship means, possibly with a whole pile of emo-esque junk piled on top. Moreover, the recipient of the truth may need, although not want, to hear it and in cases like that the outright truth tends to cause more problems than it solves. So we resort to other techniques and indirectly convey our message, or try to.

    For example, in most kind of therapy people say “the first stage is to admit you have a problem” to which most of us who’ve done any kind of therapy will say “yeah, I’m totally ok, I’m a new-age man, I can admit I have a problem. I cried watching Love Actually and don’t worry, marrying me means I’ll do 50% of all the household chores!”* Ok slight digression there, but basically, actually admitting you have a problem is the wrong set of words. It’s more get the idea you have a problem you want to and are willing to fix into your psyche, which is about 20 billion times harder. That’s one of those difficult to accept truths.

    Now, onto guessing territory: Sounds like a case of the unspoken truths not actually being real truths, but an attempt to fix what has gone by and has not worked out in the long run. In which case, the truth here is that it didn’t work, which is perfectly fine and dandy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a time machine to go back and fix the past mistakes, even though I think there’s probably enough people in the world who’d like to.

    I could be wrong on that guess, though.

    *Valid for first month of relationship only. Thereafter, please see terms and conditions leaflet.

  2. Jenny

    See, I’m not saying that *dishonesty* is the best policy, simply that things don’t always need to be said. Either they are already known but unacknowledged, or they’re not known and it doesn’t matter. Looking beneath the surface is rarely in anyone’s best interests.

    And no, don’t guess. You’re not right, partly because I am, quite honestly (ha ha) not referring to any specific event, person or relationship. Or even kind of relationship. I was more referring to those moments in life where you feel like you keep screwing up and want to make it right by going and being excruciatingly honest with everyone you know and actually, that just wouldn’t work.

  3. I’d love to agree here, Jenny, but I’ve found that in most cases, while friendships have been lost and people have been hurt, honestly really does work best. Of course, it depends on what you consider “working best” as such – for me it was inner peace, more often than not at the expense of someone else being hurt, but I figure this: I try to be a good person and a good friend, on my own terms. And if those terms hurt someone, or if someone isn’t happy with them, they’re more than welcome to leave.
    I’ll probably end up wrinkled and alone with about 5 dogs in the house if I keep that up, but quite frankly, I’d rather that than keeping what I want to say to myself, mostly because it eats at me. If something’s eating me up, then I can’t be a good person or friend, and I consider that less than my best, so I try to be better – and the way I do that is by expressing my emotions, or just saying what I need to say, regardless of wether it needs to be said or not.
    Admittedly, I didn’t used to be like this – so ask me again in a few years’ time and we’ll see what I say then! πŸ˜‰

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