[code] [/code] Chez Danisse: White Lies [code] [/code]

Sunday, November 17, 2013

White Lies

What Was She Thinking, 2013

She called me on the 17th and wished me a happy birthday, even though my birthday was on the 20th. She’d done this for years. I never mentioned the discrepancy. I didn’t want to make her feel awkward. Luckily, I hadn’t met her too early in my life.

Something in me changed between ages thirty and forty. Before the change I would have laughed comfortably at her mistake and corrected her. My response would have been without malice and I wouldn’t have thought much about the consequences, but somewhere in my thirty-forty decade I began thinking more seriously about my words and how they made other people feel. I didn’t transform into an angel, but I did pull back a little bit. I told a few more white lies.

Why not, I thought. Confirming everyone had the proper data began to feel unnecessary. I replaced it with the satisfaction of knowing I would not be the killjoy needlessly interfering with anyone’s happiness.

But I still carry a nasty sort of anxiety each time I walked along Columbus Avenue. I have not come to terms with the clearly able-bodied tourists who amble along so slowly in front of me. I do not consider myself an especially fast walker, which makes each slow person in front of me that much more intolerable. They simply live at a different pace, a pace I do not understand. I assume this anxiety will eventually dissolve and be replaced with something even better than white lies, but I'm not sure I want it to go.

19 comments:

  1. Love your writing, thoughts, sensibility. So glad I found you. I've been working on patience, myself. Now thinking about kindness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel the same way, but it took me into my fifties/sixties to be considerate of my words. I wasn't inconsiderate I just, like you, feel like it doesn't matter that much. Just like achieving something big and not expecting anymore to be acknowledged. Just know it in your own heart and that should be enough, I hear myself saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we have those things we say to ourselves and those we truly believe. I hope you are feeling acknowledged for your big achievements.

      Delete
  3. It is interesting and sometimes gratifying to see the evolution of one's self over time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. I sometimes stop and consider the things that have changed and the things that don't change at all.

      Delete
  4. Mostly, I like your humbling, human thought process. In a very far fetched simile, I thought of dostoevsky's crime and punishement...one of my favourite books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and very interesting comparison, Amelia. Such moral struggles are almost always intriguing.

      Delete
  5. Your description of correcting resonated. I have a tremendous need (apparently) that matters be correct, and am slowing learning the art of letting it go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be difficult, being what others need and still being ourselves.

      Delete
    2. Your writing is eloquent, yet spare. I love how you phrased this.

      Delete
  6. I love the subtle humor in your texts, intertwined with the seriousness... you also make me wonder... is this about you, or is it fiction?

    Either way, I love your writing.

    (I haven't forgotten about the photo, just need more day light)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am one of the slow-paced ones, unnaturally bent to savor and absorb. It is especially noticeable at mealtimes. People lie sweetly and tell me not to hurry, but I can feel their restlessness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm slow in so many ways, but somehow not on Columbus Ave...

      Delete
  8. right discrimination...ever the challenge.
    it all comes down to knowing what really matters. and most of this stuff doesn't.
    is today your birthday?
    all best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. You know I always admire your wisdom. Yes, it was my birthday. Thanks for noticing, Nancy.

      Delete
  9. Denise, you and I would get along just fine. This rings true on so many levels. At some point in my 30s, I found myself letting things be. And I can never walk slowly.
    Happy belated birthday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still working on letting things be, but I believe, little by little, I am improving. Thanks!

      Delete