on eavesdropping and lying …

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

ON EVESDROPPING — I just got back from the gym were I climbed onto the elliptical trainer next to three women who were having a conversation that could have been lifted word-for-word from a Sex in the City script.  I like eavesdropping as it makes the time go faster when exercising.  When there is an interesting conversation to be found within earshot I'm quite skilled at the art of listening in while pretending to read one of the books that I ALWAYS have with me so it is very unusual for the targets of my eavesdropping ever to know that they'd been eavesdropped.  After a lengthy discussion about a fourth woman's ill-advised reconciliation with a guy who is smart (known as "Cal Tech Guy"), but apparently not a good match for this fourth woman for some undisclosed reason, they began talking about celebs who have committed suicide.  This is when they began talking about Herve Villachaize the midget little person who used to yell, "The plane, the plane …" at the beginning of the TV show Fantasy Island.  

One woman began yelling, "The plane, the plane …" over and over again at the top of her lungs which made be break out laughing which blew my eavesdropping cover.  After Valerie Plaming myself, I began chatting about Fantasy Island memories with the "The plane" woman because her two friends were too young to even remember the show.  The weirdest thing is that after we began talking, it turned out that she is the sister of one of my former co-workers at school.  Her younger sister worked in the Admissions Office for a few years and left just this summer to attend law school.  In a city of 8 million people it is amazing to me that a random stranger would know someone that I worked with.  She ended up calling her sister on her cell and I got to wish my former co-worker well.  It was a fun experience.

ON LIES — I'm generally a pretty honest person.  When I was teaching second graders, though, I learned how confusing the concepts of honesty and lying can be to little kids.  As adults we like to vomit up cheap aphorisms like, "Honesty is the best policy," but little kids find this very confusing.  Seven year olds are fun to talk to about this concept because they're just reaching the point where they have the thoughts and language to be able to articulate this confusion to you.  They'll tell you things like, "You should ALWAYS tell the truth … Except when it is called manners."  I don't think that most adults think much about how often we lie in the name of manners.  This has come to mind a lot for me of late because I've been doing a lot of manners lying this week.  S/O is out of town and for the first time since moving to LA six years ago, I'm not traveling anywhere for the long holiday (our school takes an extra long Wednesday through Sunday break for Thanksgiving).  As people have found out about me being in town they've been incredibly kind in opening their homes to me for the holiday.  I've been telling people that I had made previous plans for dinner with a friend in Pasadena, but it's all been a lie … A big damned manners induced lie!  I'm going to spend my Thanksgiving with me, myself, and I.  I think that tonight I'm going to go to have a turkey dinner at Norm's, then try to catch a movie because it'll be empty at the theater.  It's not that I don't enjoy the company of each of the people who invited me over as much as I just want to enjoy being alone for a while.  I've been lying partly so that they won't feel bad that someone would rather be alone than spend time with them, but I've also been lying because I don't want them to think that I'm weird.  In all honesty, it is already probably a little late since I am kind of weird, but I don't want to cross over from the "quirky-weird" category into the "weird-weird" category.   I AM very thankful, however, that people did ask me over so if you're someone who opens your home to strays on holidays, even the weird strays who decline DO appreciate the gesture!!!

Anyway, that's why I've been lying …

If you're traveling, please travel safely and have a very happy holiday!!!

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One thought on “on eavesdropping and lying …

  1. I like that… "manners-lying". I have to do that a lot, too. Well, I suppose everyone with any smidge of social-integration does.I don't blame you for the being-alone part too – I love it when I get to be alone. My Mother In Law does NOT understand it at all when my husband is away for whatever reason, just WHY don't I want to go spend the whole weekend with her? And, agreed – it's really, really nice just to be asked. I love being asked to do things – it makes me feel good. Even if I don't always accept, it's wonderful to be asked. The problem is when you've declined once too many times, and they stop asking!

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