Monday, April 13, 2015

Is honesty the best policy?

Sometimes I don't want to go to work.  Sometimes I say this out loud in front of the boys.  Sometimes one of my sons visits me at work and repeats those words in front of my boss.  My first response is to cover his mouth and shove him  into the janitors closet but I can't do it. My second urge is to act like his is crazy and must have misheard me.

It's really a horrible position to be in.  I laughed uncomfortably and escorted my son to the bathroom. I don't think that my boss assumes that I love every single moment of every day, but he does take our office morale to heart.   After my son left he came into my office and asked if I was happy and if everything was ok.
I lied.  I said I loved my job. Truthfully, I'm just tired and it is unbelievably hard for me to come into work when the rest of my family is on Spring break. I didn't explain how much it pains me to go home for lunch to find them still in their pajamas, not because they are being lazy, but because I want to be at home in my pajamas too.

If there is one thing I try and teach the boys, it is to be honest, even when it's hard.  I have been lied to and it hurts. His name was Alex and he was charming and funny. He had a great career. We met in Hollywood in an acting class.   He was a very good actor. So good in fact that I had no idea he was married. Not a clue. Ironic, I know.  But we dated for a good month before I overheard him talking to someone else about his wife.   I couldn't believe someone could be so stupid, (me), to trust someone so completely.  After class we went for coffee and I didn't tell him I had overheard him.  I decided to leave my lipstick slightly under the passenger side seat.

The next time I heard from him he was angry and said that his wife had found out about us.  When I said I didn't even know he was married, he said that I never asked.   I just wish he would have been honest from the beginning. It would have saved a lot of time and not to mention, a brand new tube of lipstick.   It ended up hurting 3 people and it didn't need to.

Honesty is something that is crucial to character building.  I want my boys to be honest but they are fed so much conflicting information, and most of it comes from me.

Last weekend I took my son (the same one who told my boss I didn't like to work) to a concert I had to attend for my job. A concert that my boss invested money in. A concert that at intermission my boss asked my son what he thought. To which he replied " meh".  MEH.  It's not even a word! But his expression that went along with "MEH" said it all.  Truthfully I wasn't impressed either, but I lied and said I loved it.   Which my son knew was a lie.

When is it okay to be completely honest vs. being polite, and how in the world can I teach the boys that?  If not sharing information was a lie with Alex from Hollywood,  is it still a lie when you just don't share how you felt about a particular concert?

When you receive a gift that you are not exactly fond of, I have been told you mention one thing about it that you do like. That way you are not being dishonest, but polite.  For example, I received a weird gift from a weird guy that  I worked with at at a coffee shop.  They were Victoria's Secret pajamas.  I believe they were the ugliest things I have ever seen in my life. They were sailor themed silk and butt ugly.  After I overcame the initial urge to laugh, then the following urge to vomit, I said I appreciated the thought.   I didn't, but it was the only thing I could come up with.  My biggest regret was that I didn't keep them, so people could see how ridiculously ugly they were.

At this stage in my life,  I wish I could have figured out a balance. I wish I could be honest 100% of the time but the truth is, the only time I am completely honest is when I have had too much wine.  And that can be a good and bad thing, but mostly an embarrassing thing.  

Then there are times when I have been so honest, even though it hurt and lost friendships because of it.

As a parent though, I feel like I lie all the time.  I tell them that Santa is watching. I close all the blinds and turn off all the lights and change the clocks in the summer and tell them it is time for bed. I tell them "I'm working" but I'm really on Facebook.  I tell them that if they eat too much candy will make them sick as I hide my third Dove chocolate wrapper.  Or if they make a wish when they blow out a candle it will only come true if they don't tell anyone. The list could go on and on.

I know as the boys get older their questions will get harder and harder to answer honestly.  Maybe seeing an imperfect mother who made major mistakes as a teen that almost landed her an an all girls boarding school, will be a good thing. Or maybe it won't.  We can cross that bridge when we get to it.

The only thing I can do now is be honest that I don't always know if honesty is the best policy, especially when your boss is involved.


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