Do I Look Ok?
Ooooohhhhh…we’re looking at TRUTH today! It should be a no-brainer, right? We should ALWAYS tell the truth and LYING is BAD. Wouldn’t it be lovely if life was that simple?
Let me give you two, very similar but VERY DIFFERENT situations.
1. Getting ready to go out for dinner (obviously, these are fictional situations because getting ready for dinner these days means throwing some hot dogs into the microwave, but bear with me) and I try on what I think might be a cute dress but is it? IS IT? I ask Husbandio, “Do I look ok?” Husbandio barely looks at me and tells me I look great, and I’m left with an empty feeling in my belly, desperately missing my bestest bestest friend and former roommate, Sarah, who is one of the best people you could ever meet. She would really LOOK at me and tell me what was good, what was bad, and how to make it crazy amazing.
In this situation, there is NO SUCH THING as too much truth. The truth is king. The truth is needed. Because, at this point, the truth can make a positive difference in my life. Sure, I still need to have thick enough skin to face the possibility of Husbandio telling me that I look lumpy or frumpy or something similarly ludicrous, but I know that when I’m asking the question. Here, the timing makes truth desirable.
2. We’re out having drinks (in this case, pretend I don’t mean that we’re in our garage having drinks, but we’re actually in public with people) and I catch my reflection in a window. I feel like maybe my boobs look uneven or my ankles look fat, but do they? DO THEY? I ask Husbandio, “Do I look ok?” Husbandio barely looks at me and tells me I look great, and I’m left with an uneasy but GOOD feeling because hey, I look great!
In this situation, there is NO NEED FOR TRUTH. Sure, my boobs may actually look great (they do!) and my ankles may actually be perfect (well…the jury is still out on this one) but it doesn’t matter. Why? Because there is NOTHING I can do at that moment to change things. I can’t put on a more flattering shirt. I can’t quickly switch my dress for a pair of ankle-camouflaging pants. I’m helpless. So why shit on my day? Tell me I look flawless and get me another drink.
So you see, faithful readers, our Best Life ethics sometimes run on a sliding scale, and my moral compass is occasionally askew, but I don’t do anything out of spite. In my mind, the best truth is the truth that allows people to enjoy their lives. Of course, in writing that last sentence, I’ve thought of about a million, much more serious political and activist-y situations where this is blatantly incorrect and awful to even insinuate, but that’s not the realm of truth that I was touching on today.
I promise. I know that the truth is important. But for now, just tell me I’m pretty and get me another drink, will you? Thanks so much.