Archives for January 2012

Monday Dare: Lying saves lives

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Tell the truth.

It seems unnatural to me to tell the truth all the time. I believe in sparing people’s feelings, and lies are an excellent method of achieving that.Sometimes, you find yourself saying things like “I don’t have a phone” or “No, good sir, I’m not on Facebook” because it’s a lot kinder than “No, nu-uh, never ever.”

LYING SAVES LIVES. Actually, I’m not sure how that statement fits here, but it kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? It does. Trust me, it does.

Maybe you have a kid that plays soccer. Maybe another soccer mom is really getting on your nerves because her voice is a tad too loud and she says things to your kid like “play better” or “get in the game, Cal!” Here are some choices:

. (chuckle softly, like a good-natured person) I bet we could work on our drills a little bit harder at home. I noticed that your daughter, Frittata, is playing so much better these days! Good on her!

And hey, I could totally relate when you rolled your eyes the other day because wee Frittata forgot her inhaler in the car and you were all, “Oh my god, I must really love you if I’m going to walk all the way back down the hill for you.” I mean, totally, I get it. Kids wanting to breath is so outrageous.

. If you don’t shut the fuck up, I’m going to wipe the floor with your face.

Yes, B makes so much more sense because really, who would name their kid Frittata? And more importantly, who has the patience to chuckle softly like a good-natured person? Sometimes, you lie to maintain the peace among a pack of women. Most often, you lie to avoid a jail sentence.

I’m feeling brave. I’m telling the truth all week. I do, however, reserve the right to remain silent.

Do you ever fib to maintain the peace, or are you more of the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” type? What’s the funniest or most outrageous lie you’ve ever told?

P.S. I’ll be at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles this Thursday at 7:00 to do a reading of my essay “Liner Notes” from the book The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life- Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and Obscure. I’d love to see you and fist bump it out.

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Monday Dare: How do you like them apples?

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Happiness is not a zero-sum game. 

Let’s face facts: Sometimes, you have to ask yourself really hard questions about life like “Why aren’t there more churro stands on the street corners of Los Angeles?” or “Would it look natural if I went blonde?”

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but even if I did, I couldn’t share them with you. Why? Because I like to have a competitive edge, and if any of these questions ever came up during a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, I would win and you would not win, and well….that would make me happy. Not because you lost, but because I finally won a board game. One board game win- that’s all I want in life. Ok, that, and more churros.

I once dated a man who was intensely competitive in every way. No one was exempt, including me.  “What?? You only got 247 miles with your last tank of gas?? I got over 300! Maybe you’re not a very efficient driver.” or “I made over six figures last year. How much is that job at the dry cleaner paying you again?”

He was especially fond of situations when a Win for him meant a deep and painful Loss for someone else. I could see by the way his eyes lit up and the corners of his crusty lips settled into a little smile that this made him truly happy. He made me believe that happiness and success were zero-sum games- one person had to be in the negative for another to be in the positive.

I don’t agree anymore. When you play by those standards, everything always ends up at zero. No one really gains anything in the end. Sure, maybe for a little while, you’re ahead, but the scale can tip against you, and then you’re on the end that’s fucked.

Everyone is given a chance to be satisfied and fulfilled and happy without being cruel or malicious. It’s a free ticket, I think, but one that needs to be put to use, or it becomes worthless.

I’ve been mindful about not only my own happiness these days, but also my practice in being happy for others. If I love you and good shit happens to you, then I am delighted and jumping up and down. Because there is more than enough goodness and happiness to go around.

Tell me something that’s happened or you’ve accomplished that’s made you jump for joy. Your kid finally sleeping through the night? A promotion? Kicked an illness? Met the love of your life? I want to be happy with you.
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