I lie to people all day, man.
“How ya doin’?” they smile.
“Not good,” I should say. “The arthritis in my back, hips and legs has wrapped its scaly hands ’round me, mocking me, making it tough to even walk at times. I have nearly constant headaches and chronic fatigue from not sleeping well at night, so that’s amusing. The tendinitis in my right arm is clawin’ at me constantly, like a rabid monkey on my shoulder. Other than that I’m swell.”
No, I return the smile, and say, “Good, you?” Just like you.
There are a plethora of reasons we do this. First, we don’t wanna be “that person” who gives their depressing life story to every Don, Rick and Larry we meet. I mean C’MON, it’s EXHAUSTING! Second, a 12-second conversation isn’t enough time to be truly honest, so we give off-the-cuff responses. Third, let’s face it, most truly don’t care.
I’m not casting aspersions at others. It’s the truth. Ever gotten trapped in the elevator with some moist-eyed sap who keeps whining about his rheumatism acting up, and all you wanna do is check your email? Do you really care?
If you do, many blessings on you. My cousin Kathy really cares. My friend Linda really cares. My Pastor really cares. My wife really cares. Me? I’m not that noble most times.
And honestly, I don’t wanna be the moist-eyed elevator dude, letting my problems drip and sweat on people all day.
But we all need at least one person we can be honest with. Someone to whom we can bear our soul, who won’t go rat us out to the cops or the white jackets at the local asylum. A real friend who can see through our tissue of lies, and say, “Right…how are you really doing?”
If you have nobody like this in your life, perhaps you should be that person. Eventually, your positivity will bring you a friend and confidante.
It’s unhealthy to swallow all the darkness inside, with no way of releasing it. Let the monster out for a tea, before his madness bleeds out of your spirit and all over the poor, unsuspecting souls around you.