it’s so simple – the truth. i’ve known for years that old cliche that honesty is the best policy, but i’ve recently realized that in almost every situation, it truly is (not to the extent of jim carey in liar, liar, but pretty damn close). prime example: i was at the airport last friday night, waiting for chris to arrive. his plane was a little late (although the arrival boards FAILED to tell the truth, in order to improve their “on time percentage”), and i was really anxious to see him. you know, the kind of anxious where you pace uncontrollably and are consciously aware of EVERY slow and painful second. so, in the midst of my restless circling, this lady approaches me, choosing me from a significant crowd of fellow onlookers, to provide her with a much-coveted answer about her husband’s flight status. i’m not sure what made me look like i might reply with any degree of authority; i really had no insight into late night arrivals from charlotte. and, you know? as awful as this sounds, i really didn’t want to help her find that flight. i had no malicious intent, i simply was too focused on something else; too excited, to see my boyfriend, and i didn’t think i’d be the best person for the job. so, i looked her in the eye and said, “you know, i would love to help you under any other circumstances [true – i do love to help people], but i’m probably not the best person to ask. i’m just so excited to see my boyfriend that i can’t really focus, i’m sorry!” i know this sounds simple, but in the past, i would have made a half-hearted, resentful attempt to help her, which probably would have resulted in missing chris and gus when they came through the gate. her response? she laughed, thought it was sweet, and told me to have fun with my boyfriend. this enabled her to find someone who could really help her, and allowed me to continue my pacing (maybe not the best choice of activities, but the only feasible choice at the time).
it’s so simple, but it’s really liberating. when you explain to someone what is really going on in your head, it opens up communication to an entirely new level. in part, i have chris to thank for this sort-of recent epiphany. ever since i met him, i have been myself; unedited. it’s worked beautifully. i’ve never been able to know anyone quite like this; without feeling self-conscious and without filtering my thoughts. even if we get in a silly argument, it resolves itself with honesty. if i’m upset with him over something that i know isn’t fair, then i just tell him that, and we talk about it and we deal with it. i can be a bit oversensitive at times, and when i tell him the ridiculous thing that made me feel bad, he can quickly erase my idiotic analysis (which the logical part of me knew was idiotic, anyway), and we can move on so easily, without any silly passive aggressive, ill-intentioned or misconstrued crap. it’s not worth it. it’s better to admit that you’re illogically mad and to explain the illogical reason than to let it fester quietly, manifesting into something that just isn’t real. in fact, whenever chris or i do get angry for some stupid reason, explaining it out just might end with a lot of laughs at how ridiculous it is. but think how awful that could become if you don’t get it out right away! that’s when communication gets messed up and later arguments become complicated and about past grudges that should have died a long time ago.
haha, i guess i’m making it sound like chris and i have a fair share of arguments, but not at all. i just wanted to make the point that one of the things that i appreciate about him most is the way that he (and i) deal with conflict. it’s beautiful and respectful and fair. oftentimes, it’s funny, too. i remember once i was being an idiot about something silly, and i was trying unsuccessfully to give him the silent treatment. for me, my record with the silent treatment is probably about eight minutes. i really, really love to talk; need to talk, really. so i was trying not to talk, and we were driving in the car on an unseasonably hot march day. chris cranked the heat up to high and rolled the windows up and locked them. he was waiting for me to roll down the window, in which case they would be child locked and i would laugh. i was trying to pretend that the car wasn’t 99 degrees. this all lasted about four or five minutes. then it all got really funny, and we forgot about whatever we were upset about, and we had some filippis pizza.
i later want to write about some friends i have who unfortunately are unable to introduce this level of honesty into their relationships. i can’t imagine being ok in such a situation. i’m just so grateful for the candor that not only chris and i share, but the candor i’ve enjoyed sharing with everyone i run across. people appreciate a splash of it – since the truth really can be a lot funnier than any “normal” fiction!