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Liar! Liar?

“Liars! Men are all such liars!”

Two margaritas ago, one of my dearest friends sobbed into the phone so unintelligibly I’d barely recognized her voice. Now tears, mascara and everything her sleeve didn’t catch as it flowed from her nose diluted the alcohol in her near-empty glass. Of course, this is not the first time I’ve heard this song.  And it won’t be the last. Her approach to men is that they’re best changed frequently — much like tampons — to avoid toxic shock.  The problem arises — as it did this time — when she fails to flush one before he flushes her.

As I shoved more chips and guacamole at her to help absorb the next round – and to shut her up, as she was making quite a spectacle of herself – I thought about what she’d said.  Yes, men do seem to have a tendency to say whatever it takes to get them where we know they want to be.  And sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between reality and the truth as men define it. But how much of the problem is masculine prevarication as opposed to feminine failure to listen? For often when it comes to men, we see and hear only what we want. And what we don’t, we pretend not to. Like stubborn, pig-tailed five year-olds we close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears, sing “Lalalala lalalala – I can’t hear you!” and ignore the little hints reality drops us.

You pull into the toll booth on your way to dinner one evening. As you open the glove box to get his pass for him, a lacy red surprise – one that doesn’t belong to you – falls to the floor. According to him, he played Albin in his very conservative law firm’s holiday production of La Cage Aux Folles.  They were a part of his costume. He was bringing them home as a souvenir for you.

 Lalalala lalalala – I can’t hear you!

You’re feeling practically weightless after an incredible – almost orgasmic – cocoa fiber body scrub and hot stone massage. At the front desk you’re barely lucid as the receptionist informs you that your card has been … declined? In one long, excited breath hubby tells you his best friend’s trophy mistress was kidnapped and her captors were threatening to sell her into slavery and he and his friend didn’t have enough money to pay the ransom (yes, it was very high, but that’s because she was still a virgin — saving it, you know …), so he had to clean out your account to come up with enough money to meet their demands.  He was just trying to help a buddy.

 Lalalala lalalala – I can’t hear you!

You’re at the end of the day from hell, thank goodness! First there was the big argument the two of you had as you dashed off to work – one of many you seem to have far too often lately – and it was downhill from there. All you want to do now is drag your exhausted butt home, make up with your honey – like you always do – and forget the day ever happened. Your heels make an eerily suspicious echo as you step inside and flip the light switch – and there’s nothing in the house … but you. Oh, and a note: “This morning it wasn’t you; it was me. Realized what a jack-ass I was. Sorry. Need to cleanse my soul.  Joined a monastery. Took a vow of poverty. Didn’t want to destroy anything by cutting it in half, so donated your half too.  Knew you’d understand and want to help. You’re such a saint. That’s why I love you, dear.”

 Lalalala lalalala – I can’t hear you!

As I stand here at my pulpit blathering – well, actually I’m seated comfortably at my computer typing – I am embarrassingly humbled as I confess that I too once suffered feminine selective hearing disorder.

I was dating a man I thought was “the one.”  We were best friends and my heart’s hope was that our relationship would continue to grow and we’d eventually promote each other to partnerhood. However, as time progressed, his daily hope-you’re-having-a-great-day check-ins became his weekly oh-you’re-still-around chores. A simple dinner date required clearance from his adult children. And while his mouth still said the words, his effort all but disappeared. Despite the white flag my head waved high above us, my heart insisted we hang in there.

 Lalalala lalalala – I can’t her you!  

Then during one of our semi-fortnightly base touchings, I suggested we set a date for a trip we’d discussed the week earlier.

“Uh, what trip? [awkward silent pause followed by flash of sudden recollection] Oh …” And he hastily rattled off his itinerary for every weekend of the foreseeable future, from which I was obviously — and disappointingly — missing.  Yes, the signs had all been there. I’d long ago been exiled to the periphery of his life – not important, not a priority and for every weekend of the foreseeable future, not even an option.  I’d made the usual excuses to myself to rationalize my desire to stay. But not until that moment did I pull my fingers out of my ears and allow my heart to finally hear what he was so clearly saying.  There was no room at his table for me — nor would there be.  Finally, I accepted that the time had come to give up, let go and move on.  Had he lied?  Absolutely not.  Had I chosen not to hear him? Lalalala lalalala ...

As I poured my friend into her apartment, I continued to ponder her drunken declaration. Are all men liars? I’d say probably no more so than politicians or used car salesmen.  Men are hawkers. They are wired to convince you to buy.  But it’s up to you to realize that words are but a very small part of the message.  Talk is cheap and it’s easy. Just as you would certainly look at that politician’s record or open up the hood and take a peek inside that rolling death trap, stop singing and listen. Realize that men are not as verbally evolved as we are. In the desperate hard-sell of their little bills of goods, they often communicate less effectively than they could. Listen to their words, but hear their actions.

Oy, what an evening! Hmmm … cocoa fiber body scrub and a hot stone massage, huh? Oh yeah.  Maybe I’ll add a cucumber facial and a paraffin mani-pedi.  Tonight I’ve certainly earned it.

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About PD Williams

Writer - primarily humorous women's fiction. My secret agenda is to help men become in actuality the visions they think they already are. I point out their many flaws in the kindest, gentlest, most supportive way I know -- gotta protect those fragile male egos -- so we can stop wasting our energy trying to change them. After all, as women, we have more important things to do.

19 responses »

  1. I would completely agree with you…had I not been on the receiving end of some of those scenarios – though, with slight variations. Anyway, men do seem to be wired to sell, but I’m going with the excuse that it must have saved lives in the paleolithic era…or one of those -ic era’s. Anyway, as always, I love your prose and now I have to google ‘cocoa fiber body scrub’ because I’m not sure if it’s a bath with cereal or a bath using a sponge made of chocolate. Either way…sounds delicious.

    Reply
  2. It was only a year ago that my husband joined the LLPOF Club (Liar Liar Pants On Fire) and I ‘m a good listener. Incredulous how easy it is for them to lie!! Great info regarding the selling- I now think that is what he was doing and of course I bought!!!

    Reply
  3. michelle feinstein

    I would totally agree with you. Also it was so great that I couldn’t put it down & when it was over, I was like what wait, I want more. It was just wonderful something that I would never be able to put down. That also is so true with men. Lol.

    Great Great job.

    Reply
  4. Why does it bother me?

    Some of those examples are classic…
    I guess it boils down to trying to see the good in people / situations / scenarios, even though sometimes it just isn’t there. Treating people how you would like to be treated sometimes leaves you open to being exploited. I mean when I was single and I went out for dinner or drinks, if the guy turned out to be a nice person but ultimately less interesting than drying paint, I would tell him in no uncertain terms I wasn’t into him. But I would never say exactly why. (I am not evil to the core, you know.) Some people like to hedge their bets. They don’t TELL you, they drop ‘hints’ so they a) wont come off looking like the bad guy or b) they can wheedle their back in should the other ‘option’ not pan out. I think men and women are as guilty as one another for not listening. But half the problem is people not speaking clearly. Or maybe I just need my ears cleaning!

    Reply
    • I think as women we do tend to be optimistic. We try to see the good and when it’s not good we try to fix it. When we can’t fix it, we just let them get away with it. 😦

      Reply
  5. the way I see it – men will be men and will not tell the truth to get what they want. Hey ladies, it’s time we learn some of those tricky tactics.

    Reply
  6. I agree, not all men are liars, but those who are–echo the finesse of politicians and used car salesmen. This is a post every reality deaf woman should hear. –FBing this at my Crazy Chicks Club page. Nicely done 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks so much! While I joke that my mission is to help men improve themselves so we don’t have to try and change them, we all know the reality is that women have to love themselves more — certainly enough so that we don’t help men take advantage.

      Reply
      • So very true. In fact I love myself sooo much that I’ve had to “unlove” my exes for the sake of me lol. Of course my self love can border on narcissism … nah … still teenagers need to read this post as well ’cause face it — it starts at an early age.

      • Indeed. It’s so important to help them develop a healthy love and respect for themselves becasue they are particularly vulnerable as they begin knowing who they are. By the way, my very favorite quote is from Oscar Wilde: “”To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Glad you’re a member of the tribe 🙂

  7. Listen to their words but hear their actions.

    Such good advice. Presented in such a hilarious format. Loving it. I know women can do the same to men but I do think we suffer of it or maybe it’s our forgiveness bone going lalalalala way too loud for the ears to fathom the reality until we are in too deep. Sigh. Then we have to become vulnerable again. Then see if we can trust again… then if lalalalala gets in the way, we are back to thinking about being vulnerable again. A cucumber facial and hot stone massage are so much safer… I think… lol. Thanks for piece, you were in my head 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you!! I think we’re programmed biologically to need that “protector” and the companionship they provide. And we tolerate — and suffer — a lot in order to fulfill that. Perhaps we need to focus more on providing our own protection and on looking inward — and outward to our friends, of course — for the companionship we need. That way we needn’t feel vulnerable; we have it covered, thank you very much. Do the things that make us happy. Should a man be fortunate enough to fit our jigsaw puzzle without camoulflaging his shape, wonderful. But the minute we find he has distorted the truth, don’t accept or excuse it. Just dump his butt — and be happy again. Now let me see if I can find a spa appointment today 🙂

      Reply
  8. meant suffer of it “more”

    Reply
  9. Well, there it is. “I love you dear, yes dear” It was time to run.

    Very well written. Keep up the good work.

    Dee

    Reply

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