Monday, March 29, 2010

Your Dogma just Ran over My Karma



No I didn’t make that up, I saw it on a bumpersticker, reversed actually, but it was fitting for today.
Ya know, I have tried to believe in religion, Christianity, Self realization, the Golden Rule, Karma….but I always find a glitch. I want to believe, I really do. But the hypocrisy, the lies, the hateful people that call themselves Christians. Just this morning in the news – a Christian Militia planning to attack and kill police officers? How do the words Christian and Militia even belong in the same sentence? Does anyone remember what Christ stood for? Love, and compassion and kindness, from my understanding. But what do I know.
I mean, just look at the people who have been good and kind, have given their lives in service to others, how they ended up. Lincoln, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jesus
I say a prayer (or whatever you want to call it) for President Obama every day. How can such a good man be turned into this monster in the minds of so many? I guess the same way some turned Lincoln and Kennedy and Jesus into an enemy of the people. So where is that Golden Rule? Where is the Karma? Is there really any justice in the world? I’m feeling pretty doubtful.
And that brings me to my situation….after all this blog is about ME. I made a facebook post the other day about the fact that I am being sued over an abandoned dog I adopted. I said that no good deed goes unpunished, and sadly, I have seen this to be true in my life.
In January, we traveled 10 hours to pick up this dog, who was found in the middle of a highway in Nevada City. We have loved him and made him a part of our family. Now some guy who says he used to own the dog is coming after us, saying we stole the dog. Three weeks ago, on a Sunday morning as I relaxed with my family over breakfast, some idiot rang my doorbell and served me papers. We are being sued in Superior court for thousands of dollars. The guy has no proof of ownership, and in fact, he is only one of three different people who have now claimed ownership of the dog. It's a long sordid story, but L.A. County animal control told us the dog is legally ours and we are in the right.
Anyone can sue you for anything, even if you never did anything wrong, forcing you to spend thousands of dollars to protect yourself. That's what I'm dealing with today.
This isn’t the first time for me. Five years ago I had a nonprofit which I had founded with a few other musician friends, teaching music and art to teenagers who were in the foster care system. I created the programs and taught them myself. Only one of my friends, Joy Bonner, volunteered to help me run the programs.
Every year we would hold a big fundraiser concert, and we had started to get some celebrities performing for us. Then we started getting press. And then folks got greedy.
One of the founders, along with one of the board members, decided they wanted to get rid of me and run things themselves. They had no interest whatsoever in working with foster kids. They wanted the power and the prestige of working with the celebrities. So they lied about me to other board members, said I had my hand in the till, and tried to sue me. I fought back and they eventually dropped the suit. But it turned what once was a beautiful nonprofit program into an ugly battlefield. The greedy women took back the musical instruments from the foster children, and put them in a storage unit. In disgust, I resigned, and took my program with me. I started a new nonprofit on my own.
I loved these kids. I brought them to my home on weekends, I spent Christmas with them. I gave them birthday parties and Quincineras, and eventually, baby showers. But the "system” didn’t see any worth in providing arts to foster kids. What purpose did it serve? What money did it bring into the system? And although I only made a few thousand measly dollars a YEAR for my program ( I worked 90% of the time for free) they cut my funding.
So tell me, when does a good deed go unpunished?
A least I can look myself in the mirror every day and feel good about my choices, even if they didn’t work out. I guess that’s it. That’s the reward.
And I think about president Obama, how people are calling him the Anti-Christ and throwing their projected fear and hatred onto him, and how he holds his head high, not taking the bait, and I think….Buck up, girl. Get your ass back to work and fight that damn lawsuit!
Grrrrrrr……

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Is What Happens




If you had asked me ten years ago what I’d be doing when I was 46, I would have said that my two children would be grown, I would be back in college getting that elusive degree, traveling all the places I used to dream about, and finally writing that book I’d always had in my head. I expected to be sipping espresso in a café in Paris, lost in deep contemplation, engulfed in the reinvention of myself at mid-life. But here I am in this bunny suit.
No, this is not exactly what I had in mind, and yet, I couldn’t be more grateful. My life is a clear illustration of that saying Man plans, God laughs.
In my thirties, I was a rocker Mom. I had put out two albums with my husband, and we were performing every week at clubs on the Sunset strip, while working day jobs, coaching Little League, volunteering at school and on and on. I imagined in my forties things would settle down. I’d be centered, peaceful and wise, pondering the meaning of life, writing books, maybe starting a whole new career after graduating from college.
Instead, I had a surprise pregnancy at forty-one. I now spend my days chaperoning field trips, going to Mommy and Me, play dates, Chuck E Cheese, hosting a wedding for my oldest son, preparing for the arrival of a new grandbaby (another surprise), helping my daughter film a reality show….
The reality of who I am today is so far from the expectation. Life is funny that way. You ask the universe for apples and you get oranges, but hey, I’m not complaining. Today, I am a Mom who tries her best to be patient on the days that Taylors’ band is rehearsing downstairs at deafening levels while the cat is puking on the rug, the dogs are chasing each other through the house and Evan is all but hanging from the chandeliers. I count to ten, take a deep breath and remind myself twenty times a day how quickly these precious years will pass, and how I will yearn for them when they’re gone. Yet I struggle to maintain a sense of self when I am lost in the beautiful, loving, vibrant chaotic mess that is my life.
So I guess its no café in Paris for me, at least not right now. But hey- I’m still writing that book! I’m striving to be a writer in the midst of memory failures. I’m struggling to compose beautiful sentences when in reality I can’t even complete a sentence without being interrupted ten times. And in contrast to the wisdom I thought I’d be spewing forth at this age, these are the actual phrases I repeat all day long;
“I’m the parent, you’re the child”
“Why am I negotiating with a four-year-old?” (I mutter to myself, constantly)
And if I had a nickel for every time I’ve had to say, “Where are your pants?!”
I recognize these days as a rich blessing. Yes, its hectic, but as a person who loves story, I watch the daily goings on and say to myself I couldn’t write this any better.
For instance, the other day we were on the Santa Monica Pier with my brother and his family. We walked past a vendor who had his boombox playing, and my four-year-old Evan spontaneously broke into this crazy, wild dance that just went on and on. Eventually, people started to crowd around and watch him, and one man tossed him a dollar.
A few nights ago, I asked Evan if he would like to help me make lasagna. He answered, “No can do, Mom. I’m doing important things.” If I had written that in a story, the reader wouldn’t believe that a four year old would say that. But he does.
We took him to Disneyland last week, and every time something would catch his eye he’d run off. I grabbed him by the shoulders, got right in his face and firmly said, “Evan, you must stay with Mommy and Daddy! You may not wander off!” He replied innocently, “I may only wander ON?” Boy oh boy, that kid knocks me off my feet sometimes. Yes, wander on, my little wonder boy. Keep seeing the world in your kooky imaginative way, and help Mommy to remember to be that way, too.
So this is my life at forty-six. It’s kinda like river rafting. I have no control really, and no idea what lies ahead, but I’m enjoying the scenery, holding on tight and trying to stay in the boat. My three kids have changed my life and pulled me into a world I could never have imagined.
And here I am in this bunny suit.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Gift of the Unexpected Family

Me and my brother Ted, or "little Butch" or "Straight-Ted"
I am counting the moments until tomorrow, when my family will be here from Texas to spend the week with us – the family I didn’t even know I had until seven years ago.
The cousins will play together, friends will gather for potluck dinners, and of course we will do the full Disneyland day. It will be a typical family experience for the most un-typical family you’ve ever met. We’ve come together from different parts of the country and different cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, but what we share is love, a dad, DNA and a very odd history.
I always knew I had a father out there somewhere, but I didn’t know who he was, what he looked like, or if he was even alive. Through some geneology work I was doing in 2003, I found him. It wasn’t what I had set out to do, in fact I feared it, but never-the-less, he is now in my life, thankfully. I finally learned the full truth of who I am, where I came from and how I came to be in this world.
I love my dad. Believe it or not, in seven years we have developed a relationship much like any other parent-child relationship. There is love, and resentment, and frailty. There are times I feel like I don’t even know him, and times I feel lucky to know him at all. There have been periods of closeness when we spoke on the phone every day, and a period when we didn’t speak for almost a year. To say the least, it’s been complicated.
But the greatest gift he has given me is my three brothers; Caleb, Ted, and Ted. Oh and my dad’s name is Ted. And my grandfather is Ted, too. How we ended up with a Caleb in the family I’ll never know, but it must have been the good sense of his mama. I am very grateful not to be named Ted.
There is a 20-year span between the oldest (me) and the youngest (Caleb). Ted Duane is 3 years my junior, and now lives in Tacoma. Even though we didn’t grow up together, he and I are two peas in a pod, so everyone says. “Y’all are just alike” says Caleb. “Yep” says Ted William, the quiet one.
Ted William is third in line. He is married to my gorgeous sister in law Heather, and has given me the additional gift of being an aunt to my two nephews Joshua and Jordan. Heather is another miracle in my life. She is beautiful and strong and has lived through way more than any woman in her twenties should have to, but still, she is the glue that holds our family together.
How my father found the time to populate the Earth with four children in between his stints in prison I’ll never know. In the 60s and 70s he was a heroin addict. He was in so much trouble all the time for stupid things like burglarizing his drug dealer’s house, violating parole, falling asleep in stolen cars, you name it, that they finally just threw him in prison. And that probably saved his life.
My dad has been living the life of the good citizen for the past 30 years, working for the city of Houston. His wife is the Head of the School Board. Dad was ordained a Baptist preacher 15 years ago at the Second Baptist church of Galena Park. Everyone in town knows and loves “Brother Butch” as they call him. (Too many Teds for such a small town). I am swarmed with well-wishers when I attend Dad’s church. “Y’all are Brother Butch’s daughter? Lucky girl! Your daddy is the best man in town” they say (and I can never get over them calling a singular person “y’all” but I kinda like it).
Here’s the kicker: Two of my brothers, Ted Duane and Caleb, are gay. So my father has had the challenge of coming to terms with his own past, and learning to fully accept his sons for who they are in contradiction to his religion. Suffice it to say he is possibly the least judgmental Christian you will ever meet. He accepts everyone as they are, and doesn’t criticize nor try to change them. He loves my brothers equally while acknowledging their unique qualities and characteristics. For instance, he appreciates that Caleb has a fabulous knack for decorating and helping my dad pick out matching clothes for church. Dad even has little pet names for my brothers, like Ted William is “Little Butch”, and Caleb is (add Texas twang here) “Gay boy” or “Queer Eye”. All said in love, and with good humor, but trust me, political correctness does not exist in this branch of my family tree.
I’ll never forget our family reunion in Texas a few years ago. We all stayed at Dad’s house, spouses, life-partners, kids and all. It was one big happy, week-long sleepover party. One night we gathered in the family room with pillows, blankets and popcorn and watched “Brokeback Mountain” together. At the end, my dad, the Baptist preacher, says, “Well, I guess I could kinda understand being gay. I mean, if it’s just hanging out with your buddies all day I guess I could be gay too….except for the butt-sex.”
Ah, those were good times.
Because we found each other late in life, it’s a priority for us to spend quality time together. We make the trip to see each other at least once or twice a year. We stay up late at night talking, asking deep questions about each other’s lives and histories. Often, Ted Duane and I have discussed how we feel we are closer than many brothers and sisters who have grown up together. We don’t have a lifetime of memories (or, for that matter, issues and resentment). We only have now, so we make every moment count.
This week will be spent with my brother Ted, or “Straight-Ted” as we call him, and his family. I’ll never forget the first time I met him. It was at my Dad’s house in the Fall of 2003. Ted and Heather walk in and I’m standing in the kitchen. He sees me, I smile wide, he walks up and throws his arms around me lifting me off my feet. Then he takes a few steps back to get a good look at me. “Wow, I can’t believe y’all are my sister!” He shakes his head with a look of wonder on his face. Heather looks back and forth at us standing together. “Y’all favor. Y’all definitely favor.” Ted hugs me again. “I’m so glad to meet you!” he says. He takes a step back again, looks puzzled. “Hey! What’s your name, anyway?”
Yeah, we had a lot to learn about each other. Since then, we’ve shared many good times, both in Texas and California. In 2005 Heather and I both got pregnant and had sons just three months apart. My nephew Joshua was born on Christmas Day, 2005. To have the father I never knew call me on Christmas morning to tell me I had just become an aunt was beyond surreal, and one of the best Christmases of my life.
It’s been a crazy journey for all four of us siblings. Not one of us had an easy life, but we’ve all grown up to be good, responsible, hard-working people. We are each a little bit wobbly, a little bit scarred, but hey, we’re still standing, and now we’ve got each other.
I just can’t wait to throw my arms around them all tomorrow. I look forward to heart to heart talks with my brother, coffee with Heather early in the mornings, watching the kids play together. I anticipate the rich memories that we are yet to be made this week, and for the rest of our lives.
I called this post the Gift of the Unexpected Family, and boy am I an expert in that area. In addition to this story, as many of you know I had the unexpected gift of my son Evan who came along in my forties when I was trying to have a mid-life crisis, and of course, now the unexpected gift of becoming a Mother-in-law and Grandmother in the span of six months. I'm having to remind myself to breathe quite often these days. But what great joy- what great gifts that I could never have imagined. I embrace every moment of it.
Today, my heart is full with the blessing that is my kooky, unexpected family. I encourage you all to take a moment to appreciate your kooky families today, too. In fact. how about we declare this “Kooky, unexpected, difficult, crazy-making-but-god-I-love-them Family Appreciation Week”?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On becoming a Mother-In-Law


Whew. I am still coming to terms with the fact that my son is now a married man, and will soon be a father. It’s a lot to wrap my head around, and it’s come so fast.

I am cool with becoming a grandma. The image of grandma conjures up warm, fuzzy memories. Everyone loves grandma. Of course, I want to set my own rules for being my own version of Grandma. I aspire to be a fabulous, free spirited, salsa dancing, gigging, world traveling Grandma who still rocks her grandbaby to sleep and bakes cookies with him.

But Mother-In-Law? I haven’t gotten used to that title yet. How many comedians have made their fortunes taking jabs at the proverbial Mother-In-Law? How about that movie “Monster-In-Law”?

I’ve given a lot of thought to this, especially since my son and daughter-in-law live with me. What type of Mother-in-law do I aspire to be?

I’ve always told my kids that I would love whomever they chose to love. I trust their judgment to find the person who is right for them. Whether it lasts the rest of their lives, or whether it lasts a summer, I know that they are choosing a person who is worthy of their love, and is going to bring rich textures and learning experiences to their lives.

But now that my son has taken his vows, and is committing his life to this beautiful young woman and their child, I feel that I should make some vows of my own.

My Mother-In-Law Vows:

I vow to be a support system and mentor to them as they make their way.

I vow to give advice only when asked. : )

I vow never to pass judgment on them, nor to intrude on their young relationship,

I vow to place confidence in their ability to make the choices that are right for them, even if it takes them a few tries.

I vow never to speak unkind words about them, even if I don’t agree with their choices.

I vow to give them the space to raise their child in their own way, which may differ from mine.

I vow to always be there for their children.

I vow, together with my husband, to set a good example of a respectful, loving married relationship with open communication.

I vow to keep my door open to them both, whenever they want to share something or ask for help.

I vow that, even when they have their fights and misunderstandings, I won’t take sides nor judge. I understand that this is a normal part of a young couple finding their way.

I vow to always be kind.

I vow to post this in a place where I can see it every day.

I vow to love my son, his wife, and child. Unconditionally. Always.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't Tell Me To Cheer Up


Greetings from the pit of despair. I’ve fallen into a black hole of my own making and I can’t get up. Where’s the life alert for that one?

Usually I’m pretty strong. I have a big life, with a lot on my plate, but I balance it well most of the time.

Some days I crash.

Hard.

Today is a bad day.

But the people in my life expect me to be strong and centered. Always. When I’m not, I find myself alone. People pull away from me. It makes them uncomfortable to see me down. The message I get is Go back to being how we expect you to be.

Sometimes its just not possible for me to wrap it up and put on the brave face. Someone dropped a boulder into my still waters, The ripples are still reverberating, and all the muck at the bottom has been stirred up. So I isolate. And I write about all that muck.

Muck.

Muck you, muck!

No matter how much therapy I’ve done, there are days it gets to me that I have two living parents who don’t want me in their lives. I’ve been estranged from my mother for seven years. And not because I’ve done anything to her. I was a good kid, never in any trouble, not into drugs, never got pregnant or brought any grief to them. No. My sin is I spoke up against abuse that had happened in the family. I had the nerve to speak the truth, and was banished from the kingdom of dysfunction.

Today is one of those days when I can’t shake the image of my mother staring into my eyes with pure hatred. I was her mirror. All of her disappointment and anger at herself was projected onto me. No matter how good a girl I was, I could never fix it. I performed, I excelled, I tried to shine as best I could, but I couldn’t ever change what she saw in that mirror- me. And I have the unfortunate added bonus of looking just like her.

Instead, she adores my brother. He has been a drug addict since his early teens. He was in a lock down rehab high school, and has been in and out of jail and rehab all his adult life. He has threatened her life with physical violence, punched and kicked holes in the walls of her home, cost her thousands and thousands of dollars in bail money and court costs. Yet he is the one she loves.

My father doesn’t hate me. He is ambivalent toward me, at best. He abandoned me when I was three years old. I found him when I was thirty-nine. When I asked him if he had ever expected to hear from me, he said, “ I always thought I’d get a phone call one day, and someone would tell me that you were dead.” So after leaving me in the situation I was in at three years old, he assumed I’d end up dead but still made no attempt to find me. He added, “I’m glad your mom decided to keep you.” Gee thanks, Dad.

I’ve spent the last seven years trying to build a relationship with him but he doesn’t return my phone calls, doesn’t acknowledge the cards and gifts I send. If my sister-in-law or stepmom answer the phone and physically put the receiver in his hands, he’ll talk to me, say he’s sorry for never calling, and tell me how much he loves me, but if I stopped calling and showing up on his doorstep, he would simply let me slip away. Again.

Is that love?

Today I am swimming in this emotional muck. Drowning is more like it. What can I do.

Write about it.

Write about how much it fucking sucks that I have two living parents who don’t care about me. Write about how much it hurts that until I met my husband, I never knew what it felt like to be loved or to have someone in my corner. Write about how mad I am at myself for holding on to some kind of stupid hope that if I was a good enough person, I could fix it all. For me this is a pain that never goes away. I vacillate between sadness, anger and apathy, but it’s always there.

It’s my pity-party and I’ll cry if I want to. So what.

SO WHAT.

But in our society, we don’t like people to be sad! God forbid. Get some Zoloft, Prozac, whatever it takes - make it go away! Don’t talk about it, don’t show it, and for god’s sake, don’t feel it! Cheer up! Be strong!

God it makes me crazy! We stuff our feelings and anesthetize ourselves with prescription drugs, alcohol, food. Look at us! We are dying of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and stress. I don’t want to be numb to my life. I want to hear the message in my pain and learn from it. Letting the waves of sadness wash over me is a necessary part of the healing process.

I am grieving the loss of two living parents. So let me be sad today. Don’t tell me not to be. Don’t tell me to be strong. Don’t tell me to count my blessings. Let me find my own way back to strength, in my own time. And what ever you do, DON’T TELL ME TO CHEER UP.

And I know that in a few days I will brush myself off and get back up again, just like I always do.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Aging Gracefully? What's that?


Let’s talk about something really uncomfortable… It happens to us all, beginning the very moment we are born and continuing until the day we die. Aging. We watch people in our families and communities grow old, and eventually pass away. And yet, we’ve lived in some kind of strange denial that it will never really happen to us. We will never be old. Oh sure, we may joke around about being an old codger one day, but we don’t really mean it. We’re young, hip, cool, trendy. We can do anything; cartwheels, mountain climbing, running marathons. We hustle through life with kids strapped to our backs or on our hips, multi tasking, flying at the speed of sound. We can do it all until…one day, we can’t.
One morning you wake up and you’re achy for no good reason. One day you’re in a restaurant “playing trombone” with the menu. Or you catch your reflection in a window at the mall and you don’t recognize yourself. (Oh the horror of fluorescent lighting!).
Well, it certainly won’t be happening to me, because I’ve done all the right things. I eat the Doctor Oz foods, I exercise, and I use anti-aging products. Ha!
Those words “anti-aging” are a flat out lie! There is no way to stop aging unless you can stop time. We are all aging, and the sooner we come out of denial about it, the better we’ll all feel (and maybe if we weren’t so freekin’ stressed about it, we wouldn’t age as fast!).
I deeply resent seeing twenty-five-year-old airbrushed models in ads for “anti-aging” products. They want you to believe that this is what an older woman can and should look like. Again, let me assure you ladies, it is a LIE. You can take great care of yourself and have great skin, but you will not look twenty-five when you are forty-five. Let’s all embrace this truth. Okay?
I think it’s terribly sad the way we vilify the aging process, and cast out our elders. We push them far, far away from us. We put them in “assisted living facilities”. Keep them out of our homes, out of our societies. Pay as much money as it takes to keep them at bay.
And on some level we’re doing that to our aging selves as well. We bury our faces under injected synthetic fillers, and when that doesn’t work, we have surgery to remove our old faces and bodies. Oh, what will history say about this strange era we live in?
Personally, I am exhausted by the struggle. Every day I surrender a little more to the inevitable, but still there is this shame that creeps in to my psyche when I look in the mirror and I see the softening of my jawline, or the bags under my eyes in the morning. Although I know it makes no sense logically, I feel like I am letting society down! There are no longer any role models in the media who look like me at age 46. They all look 30. What I see on television and in magazines doesn’t reflect a standard that I can live up to, unless I give in and start injecting botox and restylene and get an eye lift…ugh.
This whole aging thing is hitting me right in the pocketbook. I have made my living as an entertainer, and suddenly, the gigs aren’t rolling in like they used to. The entertainment industry doesn’t find my aging to be a desirable quality. And so I suit up for inner battle with the toxic societal message that has subtly nestled itself into my subconscious, and it’s a particularly fierce battle because I live in L.A.
Dammit! I just want to look like me. I want to be authentic, and embrace the truth of who I am on every level. My face tells a story. I have pronounced laugh lines around my eyes, and smile lines around my mouth. I’ve laughed a lot in my life, and shouldn’t that be a good thing? I also have heavy eyelids, and circles under my eyes. Okay, so I’ve cried a lot too, but I’ve survived some dark stuff. My eyes are my badge of courage. And through them I am learning to see myself differently.
I can’t honestly think of anything truly positive about the physical process of aging. I mean, that part pretty much sucks 100%. I have not enjoyed losing my eyesight, my jawline, and my physical strength. I don’t appreciate that I have to work out twice as hard and eat half as much just to maintain my previous weight. Not fair at all. But on a deeper level, If we’re doing it right, we are growing better every day spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.
Whenever I am struggling with a tough issue like this, I look for the positive and remind myself how much there is to be grateful for. So let me give that a try (grumble, grumble, grumble...).
For me, this is what is good, or even GREAT, about aging:
I am more confident and sure of myself than I’ve ever been.
I am at peace.
I have learned to roll with the punches in life, and to accept a lot of what I used to resist.
I don’t give a rat’s ass what others think of me.
I have raised wonderful children who I am proud of.
I have wisdom and experience.
I still have an adventurous youthful spirit.
I do yoga, run, hike, travel, and I plan to do so until my last day on Earth.
I am learning every day.
I have choices every day.
I am more patient with myself, and with others.
I have made peace with my past.
I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had, good and bad
I am softer to hug.
I am softer.
So, aging gracefully? I’m not really sure what that means, or if I know anyone who’s doing it. I think what I’m doing personally is aging awkwardly, and begrudgingly. But I’m gonna keep on doing it every day, whether I like it or not. I can sail through it, or be dragged through it kicking and screaming (which I’ve done at times…). Perhaps sailing is the better (less painful) way.
I’ll tell you this - I wouldn’t go back to my twenties for a million bucks. And all the things I gripe about now at 46, I know I will be wistful for when I’m 66. So, note to self: Life is good. Shut off the noise coming at you from the media. Don’t look at the magazines. Appreciate the true beauty in your life, scratch beneath the surface for the deeper, better stuff.
And to sum it up, learn how to Age Gratefully.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

With All Due Respect...

My husband made a funny observation the other day. He said that whenever a person prefaces a statement with with all due respect, you can pretty much be sure there will be no respect following that statement. In fact it will most likely be harsh criticism.

Here’s a couple more in that vein:

I don’t mean to sound bitchy but…( here comes the bitchy part)

No offense but….( get ready to be offended)

Don’t take this personally… (cue the personal assault)

I just watched a silly movie with Ricky Gervais called “The Invention of Lying”. And even though it was just a light, formulaic comedy, the film made some great points. In this story, human beings don’t know how to lie. The characters just say exactly what they feel, all the time.

It’s pretty hilarious. Jennifer Garner walks into a restaurant and the hostess says, “Hi, I’m threatened by you. How many in your party?” You can imagine how funny the blind date scene is.

It’s so strange how we muddle up our sentiments, and deceive each other with words. As far as I know, we are the only living beings to do that. A dog doesn’t grin and wag his tail, only to attack you the moment you turn your back.. But people do this to each other all the time. You want proof? Watch a session of congress.

I don’t have a neat and tidy finish to this blog. Instead I have some questions for all of you today.

Why don’t we just come right out and say what we mean?

What would happen to us if we told the truth all the time? How would our society change? How would our relationships and our quality of life change?

Your thoughts?