I Sure Do Miss You

You are gone one year today. Some days it seems like this year has dragged on. But in all honesty, I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

I can’t believe that I miss my gluten contaminated house filled with your cakes, doughnuts, breads, and cookies, Mr. Cookie Monster.

Having you live with me was so incredibly difficult and yet so incredibly rewarding. While I didn’t like your nocturnal need for tea and conversation,  I cherish those 3 a.m. conversations nonetheless. In those talks I learned so much.

I miss your advice. Oh boy do I ever miss your advice. Lately I could really use it and somehow asking myself “what would Dad do?” doesn’t seem adequate.

I miss your voice. I miss hearing you say “love you babe”.

Thanks for being my dad. Miss you Dad.

Lying

We’ve been hearing a lot about lying lately.  Apparently lying is en vogue these days.

Our president thinks the media lies. Fact checkers prove that our president lies with every breath he takes. Michael Flynn neglected to tell the VP about something he did and had to resign as a result.

Some however would question whether Michael Flynn actually lied. They will say he merely omitted giving information. 

I had a conversation about this with a friend. My friend believes that the omission is not a lie. I was told that as long as the precise question is not asked, there is no lie. Merely not speaking the truth is okay. I take some comfort that my friend did use a fair amount of word salad to say that, hopefully an indication that he is trying to believe it but not quite sure himself. In a later conversation,  this person said that he didn’t lie, he just left out part of the story.

But this conversation wasn’t sitting well with me. It felt very false. How can the obfuscation not be a lie? How do you trust what the person is telling you knowing it may not be the entire truth?  As usual, I have taken the time to think about it and do a little research as well and now I’m blogging (or at least journaling) about it.

As a law student you are taught early on about the difference between lies of commission (speaking outright lies) and lies by omission. You are taught that in some circumstances,  a failure to act (or speak) is as bad as acting. Similarly, omitting an important fact that would be incriminating is as bad as lying to avoid saying something incriminating. 

I’m not a Christian but the New Testament is very clear that a lie by omission is sin. I can only assume that our law, based on biblical morality, sees lies by omission as unlawful because of the biblical command to not lie or bear false witness.

So what is lying by omission and is it really lying? A lie by omission is an indirect lie. You are lying by omission when you deliberately leave out important information which gives others a misconception of what is really going on.

The most obvious example is a married person having an affair and the married person doesn’t say “I’m working late” but lets the other spouse believe that’s why he’s coming home so late. Then the married person goes out on a date while his spouse waits at home thinking loving spouse is hard at work. 

In my friend’s viewpoint, as long as the spouse doesn’t  specifically ask “honey are you cheating on me?,” forcing a “yes,” there is no lie. However, I think the spouse left in the dark will feel that this “don’t ask, don’t tell” moment needs to be called what it is. A lie. And a betrayal.Research bears this out as I will explain later. Plus you need to know to ask the right question!

Perhaps a better description of this person is “deceiver”. A deceiver is a person who willingly deceives another day in and day out and seems comfortable with doing it. 

There’s a similar form of deception, called paltering. A palterer  strings together a series of essentially truthful statements to create a false impression. This is most used to describe politicians and advertisers.

This Dilbert cartoon is a perfect example of lies of omission .

How  does this person look another person they are deceiving in the eye every single day and not feel that he is lying? 

I know I couldn’t do that without great discomfort and a lot of lost sleep. That discomfort is called cognitive dissonance. 

People however are capable of great mental gymnastics to make themselves feel better about their lying and some will go to great lengths to pull the wool over your eyes. Some people will even change their beliefs to avoid any discomfort they feel at telling lies. By changing their beliefs, they are no longer lying! 

Should you trust someone that is adept at omission/deception? George Orwell said that “the omission is the most powerful form of lie”. Research in the field shows that all this lying is damaging to relationships.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology determined that a person who is  lied to by omission didn’t feel any better than one told an outright lie. The person feels just as betrayed and believes the behavior is just as unethical. 

In a study published in Cognition, MIT scientists revealed that if you lie by omission to children, they are adept at telling that you have not told them the truth and will stop trusting the information you give them from that point on. Apparently, kids are really astute! The shame is that as we get older we seem to lose that inate intelligence (and wind up spending a few hours researching and writing blog posts about it).

In other words, trust is eroded. 

How do you get that trust back? I don’t have an answer for that. Once you know someone is a deceiver, can you trust that person?  How do you know the person is not going to willingly deceive you even if you haven’t been on the receiving end of deception thus far?

Perhaps, though, the words of a wise friend will offer some food for thought. She opined that when a person shows you who he (or she) is, believe it. Don’t discount it. In other words, a person that deceives so easily and doesn’t seem to lose sleep over it should be approached with caution. Their words may not be dripping with lies but the omissions, those words unsaid, are suspect. Be vigilant. Proceed with caution.

Dad

This is too hard. His birthday was the 10th. Last year we were having cake and he was eating fish and chips. 

Sunday is the first father’s day without him. Advertisers want me to buy the perfect gift for him. I want to scream “my dad is DEAD! Stop emailing me this crap!”

Facebook is already blowing up with dad’s day posts. By Sunday it will be unbearable. I will have to do my best to do a FB fast.

The past two weeks have been filled with annoyances and heartache. Now Tuesday is the anniversary of his death and I’ve been dreading it. I’ve wanted to talk to him so badly. This only drives home how much I miss him and his wise counsel.  

They say it gets easier. I sure hope so.

A Fool No More

I have run the scenario through my head too many times to count now.

While the death of my father one year ago was possibly the most painful experience in my life, this one takes a top prize.

A man I loved, a man that I was honest with and  told  that I loved him and that I’d rather spend time with him than with almost anyone else, not only never loved me, he never considered me as a contender for his heart. He found something in me too annoying to want to live with me (but didn’t want to tell me what it was). I was never a long term prospect for his heart. 

He spent time with me, a lot of time with me over the last few months, but said multiple times during our last two conversations that it was better than staying home alone on a Saturday night. Plus at the same time he was spending that time with me, he was talking with an ex with the intention of getting back together with her. Gee, isn’t that sweet. Except that now that I’ve kept him amused for the last few months, it is now inappropriate to spend time with me and disrepectful to her. 

Well sir, over the last few months your behavior has been disrespectful to me.

I was told by multiple people over the last few years that I deserved better than him. That he was a self-centered, self-absorbed,  selfish, and conflicted man. My response was to defend him over and over and over again.

So now I feel like a fucking idiot. And I feel horribly used. And I feel like an idiot for allowing this to happen.

It makes me angry. At him. At myself.

A friend tried to tell me that it’s not on me. I opened my heart and gave freely and how that’s a beautiful thing. But I can’t help but to think that I was a fool and he played me for a fool. 

That’s on him. It will be lost on such an adept navel gazer who can’t see past his own nose, but it is on him. 

For my part,  the likes of him will not darken my door again.

When You’ve Been Manipulated

For quite a while I have been told that the object of my desire is a self-centered and selfish man. I have not wanted to believe that. I have defended him every single time. I wrote this in a private entry when I  realized he never considered me as anything else but  “friend zone”.

“I am so tired of being out in the friend zone. I am a WOMAN. I am not just a friend. I don’t want to be “like a sister”. I don’t want to be the friend that is called for a good time but ignored when there’s another woman in the picture. I want to be loved like a woman. I deserve to be treated like a woman. ”

But now the words have poured from his own mouth that it was better (to go out with me) than staying home on a Saturday night. All the while he was pining for someone else and said that he never has thought of me in any way as a long term proposition. I feel very used.  And I do not know what makes me angrier, that he did it or that I allowed it.

So, although it hurts like hell, I’m gonna do this:

And I know I’ve learned an important lesson. I’m going to do my very best to stop wasting my tears on someone so self-centered that my feelings never entered his mind.

Are We Numb?

Yesterday a photo began circulating on my Facebook feed of two people walking down the pedestrian mall in my small town. One was draped in the Confederate Flag and the other was draped in the Nazi flag.  It was confirmed that it actually happened by people that saw them.

I decided to post the picture and my comment was “I thought “this has to be a bad joke” and then I saw someone else post a different picture of them as well. I can’t believe this is my town.” Other friends also posted and had some rather “lively” discussion about it on their posts. My post had a few “likes” and a few comments.

This leads me to wonder if people care or if they have just become comfortably numb.

As a lawyer, I get that they have freedom of speech rights that cannot be denied.

Nonetheless, I am deeply disturbed by the fact that this happened in my town, in broad daylight, over the Memorial Day weekend. If you take into account the meaning of Memorial Day, that they chose to do this despicable thing on this particular weekend, is deeply upsetting.

As a Jew I am upset. As an American I am upset. As a resident of this town, I am upset that so few people seem to care or be disturbed by this turn of events.