A Character Study: Justifying Your Rationale About Doing A Tango With The Truth

~ INTRODUCTION ~

I NEVER INTENDED TO write about this person, she’s someone I knew a long time ago.  I’d guess that I haven’t been in touch with her for over a decade, maybe longer.

I got thinking of her because I found one of her business cards wedged in the back of my desk drawer.  I’m surprised I kept it, to be honest– but there it was and memories of her flooded into my brain.

So here’s a story, a character study if you will, of a pleasant someone who had her own unique way of rationalizing that which she said and felt no shame about telling, what were ostensibly, falsehoods.

• • •

ONCE UPON A TIME I knew a lovely woman who introduced me to a college acquaintance of hers;  I shall call this acquaintance Nedra.  The lovely women moved away but out of respect for her, Nedra and I still got together for coffee every few months.

Our relationship was superficial, but delightful at first.  Nedra and I had interests in common, reading and healthy eating.  She was dating at the time and had funny stories about her experiences.  I was remodeling the kitchen and had ridiculous stories about my experiences.

All would’ve been well IF I hadn’t come to realize that Nedra was making up stories about her love life. And her career. Stories that she told me, doing what I’d describe as, a tango with the truth.

• • •

I STUMBLED OVER THIS dance with reality while we were having coffee one day.  I hadn’t seen her in a while and I asked her about a guy she’d been on a date with, a date that she’d described in detail months before.

Well, she looked confused, baffled by my question– and told me I must be wrong about her, that she’d never been on a date like that.  Clearly I was mistaken.

Except I wasn’t. I’m not that addled-brained. I remembered quite specifically her conversation and joyfulness vis-à-vis this date. That hadn’t happened, but she said it had. Uh huh.

• • •

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE after that conversation I became more disinclined to believe what Nedra said to me, but I was intrigued because I’m a curious person who pays attention to people– and here was a character for me to watch.

Up close and in action, so to speak.

Time passed, like a year or so, and I was to a point where I didn’t want to meet Nedra for coffee anymore.  Beyond her propensity to make up stories, I no longer needed to be in her part of town on a regular basis so getting together with her was a chore.  On many levels.

Still, I wanted to know more about her reasoning for making up stories: why she did it and, you know, if she experienced any remorse about deviating from the truth. So I asked her, politely, tactfully, why she made up stories about her life and this is where it got really interesting.

• • •

NEDRA BELIEVED THAT BY making up stories about her life she was showing people how to make themselves whole.  She was, she felt, merely using her fictional tales to guide people to make better decisions about themselves.

She justified this by saying that when you think about it, scripted TV shows and movies were often fabricated stories that we accept as having a real impact on our minds, hearts, psyches.  We believe the stories and accept the messages contained within.

Therefore she was doing the same thing with her stories on a smaller, more personal, scale so that she could help people become more self-aware and feel empowered to do better. And as such she felt no guilt for what some of us might call lying.

• • •

Have you met anyone like Nedra who does a tango with the truth?

Do you think she has a point about scripted TV & movies being basically lies so why not do it too?

Was she naive or manipulative?

Have you found a business card from someone you lost touch with and got thinking about them, for better or for worse?

~ THE END ~

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

155 thoughts on “A Character Study: Justifying Your Rationale About Doing A Tango With The Truth”

  1. Manipulative. Someone who does that is off on so many levels. I think many embellish tales as time goes by, the fish was this big….and I think some of that is normal to a degree, because things become memories of memories. I don’t know anyone who has outfight created an alternative life and moved in, but you must admit it would make a wonderful book character….and I forgot the last question…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LA, made me laugh out loud with: Someone who does that is off on so many levels.. ‘Ya think?. She was such a character and she was kindhearted, or at least seemed to be. I tell you, I hadn’t thought of her in years and then *boom* must write about her here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly…the only business card I got recently was a from a friend because her husband wants my daughter to contact him about an internship. Normally I take pictures of the cards and file them in contacts

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes! I’ve had friends who embellish the truth to the point that you don’t recognize it. Especially when it’s a shared event. I knew a guy who seemed to have a really fun life. Then I was at a few parties that he attended. When he described them, you would think they were the best experiences in the world and did not resemble what I saw and experienced. That was an eye opener for me. I realized that people fabricate and my life was as exciting as his.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kate, yes people sometimes do embellish the truth, I’m sure I’ve done that on occasion when I’ve felt insecure. Interesting how you figured out that guy’s m.o. But to make a fictional world based on what you wished your life was like, that seems extreme to me.

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  3. I wouldn’t call it naive. Manipulative, maybe. But it seems to me there’s a third choice that better describes her behavior, even though I’m not quite sure what the word would be. When the line between fiction and reality blurs that badly, there’s an underlying problem that no friend is going to solve over coffee. One thing’s clear: her belief that her stories could help to make other people whole are the best evidence that her life was fragmented and unsatisfying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. shoreacres, you are so right. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I bet her life was fragmented when I knew her. If she was unsatisfied with it, the fictions would be a way of pretending to be happy for a little bit. I never felt pawned when I was around her, but I didn’t trust her either.

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  4. This is a very interesting post, Ally. I had a long friendship with a man who had an extremely loose relationship with the truth. His goal never seemed to be helpful. He would insert himself into situations, with a fabricated history, in order to gain the momentary respect of the audience.

    As for discovering old business cards, I have just recently started sorting through the boxes of stuff I wasn’t able to sort through before I retired. Almost 32 years of stuff that at one time seemed important, including numerous business cards. A few seem interesting.

    As for the “TV does it, why not me?” I’m not buying it. When I watch TV, I expect to be entertained and, unless I’m watching a documentary, I don’t expect to be watching facts on display.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dan, I’ve known a few people who, to use your phrase, had an extremely loose relationship with the truth. In those cases the person was trying to gain status like your friend. Nedra might have been like that and I didn’t see it at the time. All I saw was a lost soul who seemed like she was sincerely trying to help others– although in a way that I don’t quite agree with.

      If you’re going back 32 years I can imagine you’d find some interesting business cards, both in the sense of people who you’ve forgotten and in the sense of what the cards look like.

      Like

      1. It seems like an interesting mission, and an interesting way to help.

        My favorite business cards are from three visitors from Russia. The cards are in English on one side and Russian on the other. Beautiful.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. “TV does it, why not me?” Sounds like current political dogma. Also no regard for the truth, and I would certainly call it manipulative.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Zen-Den, yes, you’re right that it all sounds too familiar. I didn’t think of that when I was writing this. I guess she was manipulating me, but for what gain? My friendship? Too weird.

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  5. Nedra sounds like a psychiatrist’s dream patient…or the majority of Fakebook, oops Facebook users. Years ago, I worked with a girl who purposely created major drama in her life so she wouldn’t seem boring to others. Aren’t we lucky to be so normal? LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jill, laughing here. I bet you’re right about her being a psychiatrist’s dream patient. She lived in her own world and that was long before FB was a thing. Maybe she’s there now for all I know. I agree with you, thank goodness we are so normal– or at least normal enough to pass as sane. 🙃

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sounds like Nedra is a frustrated fiction writer. What she is doing is wrong though, because she is abusing people’s trust in her. If she wants to have this impact on people through her stories, she should write prose or scripts.
    I had a friend like that, and I didn’t appreciate being dragged along on her flights of fancy, once I realized that’s what they were. Today she could tell me the sky is blue and I’d have to look upwards to make sure she wasn’t lying to me again. I wonder if Nedra realizes that is the price she is paying.

    Deb

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    1. Deb, well said: dragged along on her flights of fancy. That’s exactly how I came to feel when I was around Nedra. You make a good point about betrayed trust. I have to wonder if she ever realized how her propensity to fib made her difficult to be around. She was in her own world. Always.

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  7. Apparently the entire nation should be deep in the midst of learning about themselves at this point, thanks to a very skillful Nedra who sits in a position of power and doles out stories. Will we be better for it in the end… why do I think the answer is no.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Deb, the answer is NO, of course. You make an excellent analogy to what’s going on in the White House right now. I hadn’t thought of that angle for this post. Bottom line: liars, no matter where they might be, are the bane of any rational moral person. 🤨

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  8. Wow, Nedra is some sort of special person, and probably not in a good way. I’ve not experienced anything like this and I doubt I would last long with a Nedra of my own. I prefer honesty from people, not made-up stories. Her reasoning behind her behavior doesn’t wash at all. If people want to feel empowered and make good decisions, they don’t need to tango or listen to fictionalized accounts of a person’s life. Jeepers.

    Interesting story, Ally!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary, you said it. I agree that Nedra’s reasoning was suspect, about as suspect as her stories about herself. It was an odd relationship because when it came to books and cooking she was informative and truthful, but in other aspects she was wacko. Like you, I prefer my friends to be truthful. Thou Shalt Not Lie, you know?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I have (now ‘had’) a work relationship with a woman who tells half-truths about her business dealings and treats me like I am crazy when I recall them to her. She lies (let’s call it like it is) to get on people’s good side and then loves to talk horribly about others behind their back – especially when business dealings go south.

    I see right through it, and finally reached my saturation point. I am sure others see it, too. She has a way, of keeping everyone is her back pocket by over-complimenting trying to appeal to that part of all people that want to be celebrated for our successes.

    She sends me a text every few weeks expressing deep caring for me, but I realize it is ‘just in case’ she needs me. The truth would serve her well, but she has woven such a web she cannot even remember the manipulation she has spewed forth. She never completely severs any relationship.

    Ally, it is an interesting observation, but at least your person admits to the fabrications. Funny to think of that as a positive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maggie, yes, yes, this: She has a way, of keeping everyone is her back pocket by over-complimenting trying to appeal to that part of all people that want to be celebrated for our successes.. Nedra was like that, too. I’d forgotten about that aspect of her personality.

      I agree, I found it odd that Nedra was so forthcoming about how she stretched to the truth, but she didn’t see the harm. I dunno, people be weird.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s really it, isn’t it? You don’t understand what’s going on with someone, but once you figure it out it’s like you have to keep watching that person to see where it goes. Human nature, I guess.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Hmm … I don’t know if I know anyone like that. Reminds me of those Pinochio Geico commercials. I could see how a person like that is like an actor on a TV sitcom. Did you think back and wonder what she was trying to ‘coach’ you to believe by her tales of the date? Nedra does not sound like a fun friend. And after thinking more about it, YES – I know 3 people like that and if I didn’t work with them on a semi-regular basis, I’d avoid them. A very interesting post, Ally!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelley, I like your Geico commercial idea. That is exactly how I came to think of her.

      After I found her card and got thinking back on why [I believe] Nedra told me the great date story. I’d been talking about how much energy Z-D and I were putting into remodeling the kitchen– and that we weren’t doing much more than that with our spare time. Her great date story was about how simple it was to have fun by just being together while shopping in the grocery, then stopping for a drink and appetizers on the way home. So instead of just suggesting that she turned it into a story… because Nedra. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! It would be nice if their noses grew. Don’t they get a tad redder or their ears turn red? Something has to ‘change’ when they lie? You were wise to ditch Nedra :-)! Thankfully after all these years, she did provide blog material for us all to ponder.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If something was changing with Nedra as she talked, I didn’t see it– but I did come to sense it, as in a gut feeling that something was off with her. Not in a threatening way, at all. She was a nice person, sort of.

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  11. No, no, no and no. I’ve been lied to before, often in my role as someone making reports to the courts. My favorite was doing a dui evaluation on someone who said she’d never been arrested before and how it was so embarrassing. I ask the question in several different ways over the course of the interview but nope, never been arrested, never got a dui, yada yada yada. Which was all well and go until I found the evaluation I did after her first dui.

    Your friend, I’d say, is (or was) an entertainer, so to speak. Or as I read recently, she never let the truth get in the way of a good story. I can imagine she didn’t see it as lying though the rationalization she gave was pretty funny. I’d be more willing to believe that she just enjoyed telling stories and getting the attention.

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    1. Zazzy, you offer good insight into what might have made this woman tick. I know she enjoyed movies and maybe, like you suggest, she thought of herself as an entertainer, a teller of stories. She caught my attention for a while but eventually I’d learned what I needed to know from her, so onward went I.

      How could your dui woman think she’d get away with lying to you? That’s nuts.

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  12. Whoa. Now this makes me ponder. Have I known someone like her? Judging by the other comments, I guess my answer is, “Probably, but I didn’t realize it at the time.”

    That whole “tangled web” thing come to mind – the burden of lies is more than I can handle. While, I admit, sometimes I am tempted to white lie my way out of problem – such as, “Sorry, I’m unable to commit at the moment,” vs “Hell no, I don’t want to do that!”

    Crazy-making also comes to mind when you write about Nedra. Key word: crazy.

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    1. Maggie, I didn’t realize who Nedra was at first, but slowly it dawned on me what was happening. Then, of course, I had to keep watching to see if I could figure out why.

      I’m with you on the tangle web thing, I’m too lazy to lie like that. Too much effort plus there’s the whole Ten Commandments thing to consider. You said it: crazy, in a seemingly harmless way, is an excellent way to summarize Nedra.

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  13. I believe her saying that she thinks her fictionalized life helps others is just a justification for trying to elevate her actual life. It’s phony and not naive. Naive, too me, means she’s unaware of what she’s doing and to make up stories where she’s always the hero (I’m presuming) is planed and manipulative.

    I love business cards and if that dates me, so be it. I have a business card holder of all the places I go and professionals and services I use..

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    1. Jean, you’re onto something here. I agree that Nedra was trying to make her life seem better [at least to her] and she was rationalizing it in the way she did. I didn’t get it at first, but when I did I was surprised, then tired of her ways.

      I like business cards, too. I have a file with some in, but fewer professional places are using them– although maintenance people always have one to hand me. I like that.

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  14. When I was a much younger man I briefly dated a lady who was like this. It was always silly “harmless” lies and exaggerations, and lots of made-up stories about others that kinda put her in a better light. At the time I found it fascinating trying to understand the reason or need to make herself seem more interesting or more important this way. After a few weeks together it got so annoying that I just couldn’t anymore.

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    1. Norm, I can imagine how weird it’d be to date someone who was like Nedra. I only saw her every few months and even then her personality was too much for me. I can see how your girlfriend fascinated you, but I can also see why you said so long to her. Life’s too short for people who play games with the truth.

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  15. The husband has a nephew who plays fast and loose with the truth. It’s sad really…. his own life is so empty he tries to fill it with false joy. Maybe it gives him some comfort, but you literally can’t believe a word he says and who needs that?

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    1. Rivergirl, that is a sad story. I’ve had a few family members who did what your nephew does. It’s impossible to trust them, although I think they know what they’re doing is wrong. With Nedra I’m not so sure.

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  16. This reminds me of the Steve Martin/ Goldie Hawn movie “The Houseguest.” That movie justified all kinds of lies by saying that humans lie to themselves all the time, so really, the Goldie Hawn character wasn’t doing anything that bad and besides, the lies we tell ourselves make us happy.

    I’m a storyteller. I write screenplays and fiction, and I do think stories of all kinds are important for Bothe escapism and conveying wisdom. But I think it’s important to remember your reality and keep your friends and family grounded. In the entertainment industry, the powerful often lose sight of reality. People around them are afraid to point out problems or flaws–even obvious ones.

    Oh, wait, that’s also happening in the Presidency.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AutumnAshbough, I never saw that movie, but I remember the title. It sounds like Nedra. She was convinced that making up stories about herself was a way to make everyone healthy & happy.

      I’m all about fictional stories. I like to read them and enjoy them on TV/movies, but they are presented as fictional so I have a different mindset/perspective about what I’m reading/seeing.

      What I learned from Nedra is that to have a person irl create her own narrative, presented as reality, is disconcerting. Or at least it was for me. And like you mentioned, it’s the way of our so-called President which is even more disconcerting.

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  17. She sounds bizarre, and I don’t get her rationale at all? How does making up stories help someone else? That makes it even stranger. I’ve known people who stretch the truth, but not anyone who totally makes it up, the Stable Genius excepted. If it’s just an acquaintance, the dilemma becomes, do you call them out on it? It’s worse, if it’s a relative and you know it’s not true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joni, you’re right. Nedra was a bit bizarre. At the time I didn’t think so much about her behavior, other than to decide not to see her again. But now, with the Stable Genius babbling all the time, I’ve got to thinking about who lies and how they do it. As for having a relative who is a compulsive liar, been there, done that. I called them out, pushing back on the lies. They, of course, didn’t like me, but that’s the way it goes. 🤷‍♀️

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      1. It is interesting from a psychological to study people like that and wonder how they get away with it. I expect a plethora of books once the Stable Genius is out of office regarding the bizarre behaviour which now seems to be accepted as normal.

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  18. My first response is to feel sorry for Nedra. I’m guessing that someone who is happy with her situation and satisfied that she is living a meaningful life doesn’t need to make up stories or lie to her friends and acquaintances. She must have been either very unhappy or very insecure. My second response it to feel sorry for the people in her orbit, who must listen to and sort through her lies. My third response is to mourn the truth, which seems no longer to be valued, and is, in fact, a disposable barrier to blind ambition and greed. Sadly, everything these days seems to be a reminder of our immoral president and broken government.

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    1. Donna, the thing about Nedra was that I never got the feeling she was unhappy, but I was younger then and maybe didn’t see it? Now I have to wonder if making up stories was a cover for her unhappiness.

      I cannot imagine what it was like working with her. You make a good point. She wasn’t married so I have to wonder if her behavior played into that. She dated lots of men. Or at least she said she did.

      Your third point is spot on. I agree that the devaluation of the facts and the truth, courtesy of Benedict Donald, is something I never saw coming. I grew up with and adhere to a set of morals that are in complete opposition to what we see coming out of the White House. It’s tiring and dismaying.

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  19. Have you met anyone like Nedra who does a tango with the truth? Yeah. I WAS “Nedra” but without the manipulation (I like to think anyway) I told ’embroidered’ stories about my life, embroidered because that’s how I was raised to think things were done – I had a parent who told ELABORATELY embroidered ‘stories’. And I had a propensity for lying anyway, having learned that bad habit as a child. Telling the bald truth often resulted in punishment, so I learned to lie. Lie well.

    Do you think she has a point about scripted TV & movies being basically lies so why not do it too? No. That’s the bit I have trouble with. TV & movies are accepted as being embroidered stories, but an individual doing it is usually doing it for their own personal reasons and altruism is NOT one of the reasons IMHO.

    Was she naive or manipulative? More manipulative, but she had naive on the fringes. Or delusion.

    Have you found a business card from someone you lost touch with and got thinking about them, for better or for worse? Not really. I keep all the business cards, far beyond the time they might be useful. I’m a pack rat though and rarely throw ANYTHING out. I usually don’t know who the hell the person is on the business card and it would be a great idea to just chuck the thing. But maybe I’ll create a collage of ‘all the business cards I’ve known before” and make a million dollars. Could be…. 😛

    Now although I was a pathological liar at one time, I’ve taken steps to eradicate what is essentially a really bad habit. I don’t lie now (very often – everyone lies at some point) unless I slip up on my rigid standards for not doing it. It’s a tough habit to break though. Perhaps the hardest thing I’ve had to un-learn.

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    1. Melanie, very interesting comment. I grew up 180º opposite from you. It was the truth all the time, or there were consequences. I admire you for realizing that you were doing more harm than good, and for changing your ways.

      I agree with you that using scripted TV shows and movies as a rationale for lying seems like a weak argument. I think there was some delusion in there, but she was a pleasant person in her own way so she seemed a bit naive to me. Or maybe I was the naive one.

      I wonder if you create a piece of *art* with your business card collection if you’ll receive accolades from the art world? If a banana duct taped to the wall is art, then how could your collage not be?

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  20. Don’t you have a guy there in the US whose name I don’t want to say who employs this kind of make believe and others believe it too? I guess people do make up stories to make their life seem better than it really is, but sooner or later ….

    I have to say that my sister and brother sometimes tells me stories of our childhood and young adulthood that I can barely remember and I’m convinced they’re not true until I dig deep and realise that they are …

    Interesting post Ally Bean, thank you 😊

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    1. Susan, yes we do have a particular man here in the US who has lived a life built on fabrications. I don’t know why anyone would trust him, but they do. For worse, I might add.

      It’s funny that you realize that your siblings are right about what they remember. From what I can tell kids in the same family always remember different things– or the same things from different angles. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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  21. Loved your post and all the commentary as well Ally Bean.. Life is full of characters who hold interesting theories about things, but I’m nominating Nedra for delusions of power and misguided delivery. But it is amusing what one misplaced piece of ephemera can bring up when rediscovered.

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    1. Deborah, Nedra was a character who didn’t seem to be a bad person, just a person with a loose grasp on the truth. I like your delusions of power concept, that might explain her. I agree, I was amazed by what I remembered because of that business card. Hadn’t thought of this chick in years.

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  22. Crikey Ally, this one’s an absolute corker and the comments make fascinating reading too. Let me start by saying thank you for that unusual rendition of Libertango. It’s a piece of music I adore, but I usually listen to the Yo Yo Ma/Astor Piazzola version.

    I’ve known a couple of people who sound much like Nedra – both men – one I dated for a while and remained in touch with for a while thereafter and the other is the long-term boyfriend of a very good friend who has finally had the scales fall from her eyes and ended it. I’d say some form of narcissism disorder, so definitely manipulative but also with a touch of naivete in there somewhere.

    I’ve nothing to add to the fiction/TV/films discussion that hasn’t already been said most eloquently already. But I am I’m going to bookmark – not only your post but the comments too – for they provide such rich inspiration for a fictional character.

    As for business cards – I’ve got some myself for, in this world where networking is all, it’s a necessity. I had to have several goes at designing them before I felt I got them right too as the options available for design and the “message” they portray are vast 😉

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    1. Deb, I’m glad you liked The Swingle Singers rendition of the Libertango. They’ve been around forever and each time they regenerate into a new group, they do something amazing.

      Many commenters have mentioned that they know/knew someone like Nedra. She was a pleasant person to talk with but after I caught onto how she parsed reality, I wasn’t so charmed by her. I takes all kinds.

      I have a few business cards left from when I needed them. I found designing them more difficult than I initially thought it’d be. You’re right, getting design and fonts to convey your message– not so easy.

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  23. Did you ever check in with friend A who introduced you to Nedra in the first place? Wonder a) if she knew and b) if she did, why she didn’t warn you. I have a ton of business cards I no longer need. Thanks for reminding me to clean out my planner 🙂

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    1. Janet, I only saw the lovely woman who introduced me to Nedra a few times after she did so, and at that point I hadn’t caught onto anything yet. Whether she knew, I cannot say. I’ve no idea. Weird how we all HAD to have business cards, but now they languish in drawers. Happy cleaning.

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  24. This person really needs therapy, only her way of dealing with life will prevent her from it. The first thing I would say to her is “you are in serious denial” second, “there are many better ways I can tell you to overcome trauma, sad conditions, etc.” When she would continue to show me “this helps” I would point blank say, “prove it to me.” That’s when I would poke holes in her stories. Denial is a very much used defense mechanism, so I have dealt with denial mucho times. It’s very powerful, and takes a long time to get rid of this habit.Hard to be friends with people like her! Interesting subject:)

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    1. DrJunieper, I have no doubt that you’re right that Nedra could have used some therapy. I like your approach to how to help her, but of course I’m no longer in touch with her as it was, like you said, difficult to be friends with her. Even the causal kind that we were. Hope she’s well now, but not going to contact her to find out.

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    1. Jan, I imagine she was insecure although at the time I didn’t realize that. I was younger then, less aware of how mental health issues manifest. Hope she’s doing well, but not my problem [said in the kindest way possible].

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    1. Anne, at first I didn’t get what was going on and we had nice conversations, laughed a lot. But once I realized her relationship with the truth I became curious, but wary. Not a bad person, just different.

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  25. I don’t think that I’ve personally known someone who embroiders the truth quite that much… although I certainly know of someone like that (and, unfortunately somehow he fooled enough people to become president). I don’t see that behaviors as either naive or manipulative (although the results are often manipulative). I think it’s indicative of a mental disorder… perhaps a psychosis. Best to get yourself as far away as possible from people like that.

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    1. Janis, you’re not the first commenter to mention a similarity between Nedra and The Donald. My, my. I get what you’re saying. I wonder if you’re right that there was more to her behavior than just getting attention… or control… or whatever it was she got out of it. So odd to be thinking about her again.

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  26. Dr. Marian (aka Dr. Phil) diagnoses Nedra with low-self esteem. Her cure: become a novelist, as others have suggested.

    Thanks for the soundtrack playing a cool, mesmerizing background to my commenting here, Dr. Bean!

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    1. Marian, you well could be right. I don’t know what became of her, but should I see a book with her name on it I’ll let you know.

      I’m glad you liked the music. I thought it was darned perfect for this post.

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  27. I have never felt the need to tell someone something about myself that wasn’t true… or at least, that I didn’t believe was true. I don’t buy her reasoning one bit. It’s one thing to tell tales about yourself if it’s known (at least to the audience) that you’re making things up for whatever reason. I don’t think anyone believes that scripted TV shows are real (It’s too bad most people don’t think the same about those “reality” type shows). Nedra just sounds like a serial liar to me..

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    1. evilsquirrel13, yes, most people here aren’t buying into the idea that making up stories about yourself is just like scripted TV. I don’t know why she fibbed like she did. She was a character and fun to be around until she wasn’t, if you get my meaning. Agree about reality TV. Not my cup of tea.

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    1. Donna, I’m pleased you liked the music. I thought it was delightful and ever so meaningful for this particular post. Yes, Nedra was a mess, but a nice one. I’ve no idea what became of her, and I’m okay with that.

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  28. My word, Ally . . . what a post. I could go in any number of directions with this comment. First, good for you for ASKING her why she did it. Her rationale (as bizarre as it was) brought your post to a whole new level.

    Unless, of course, you’re just TELLING us that you ASKED her and you made up her convoluted reasoning to get more feedback on your post. (OR unless you wove Nedra out of gossamer threads that don’t reside in reality.) I’ve never met a Nedra . . . but I knew an Arden once. Plus Eve Arden, although I never met that Arden face to face.

    Hmm . . .

    Assuming you’re telling the truth about Nedra NOT telling the truth, I would have to say that I have met “embellishers” on occasion who desired to look better in the eyes of others. But I never met one who justified their actions by saying that they desired OTHERS to do better so they just made up stuff to encourage people to do better and be better.

    I do know this ~> if I am at a loss for something to say at Bridge tonight, I am going to share Nedra’s story. She’s worth it!

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    1. Nancy, it’s funny you went to the idea that I might be lying about Nedra. I thought of that and almost didn’t post this because I wondered if anyone would think I was making up this story. I am not making any of this up, except her name. I’d totally forgotten about her until I found that business card.

      I’ve known people who embellish their narratives for status and personal gain, but Nedra is the only person I’ve met who did so to help other people. Like I said, she was a pleasant person and whether she was being naive or manipulative is anyone’s guess.

      Enjoy bridge tonight. If you share this story let me know if anyone there has had a similar experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is someone lurking in the shadows of my mind.
        Yes! Her name was Kathy and she LIED about everything.
        But she was only 11, telling tales while sipping kool-ade.

        Once we graduate to coffee, we need to dial back on the “kool-ade” even if we rationalize that it might be of aid. 😀

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  29. Now, you’re being exposed to fake news in a personal relationship? I don’t have any good adjectives for this, but it’s unhealthy, and I’d want to be as far away from her as possible. I have a few business cards at home mostly from service companies. Talking about business cards made me think about the old rolodex. I like contacts better. 🙂

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    1. Judy, good way of describing how Nedra talked about herself: fake news. I long ago lost touch with her, but she was a learning experience for me. I still have a small rolodex around here. It has a few names and numbers in it, but you’re right I don’t really need it anymore. Guess I’m being sentimental about it.

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  30. My first reaction is to call her a kook! Then, you think about what could have happened in her life to create this behavior….it gets sad from there, but it certainly doesn’t mean you have to be friends with her. Unfortunately, people like this don’t seem to seek the help they need. There’s always a justification for the bad behavior!!!

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    1. pam, I agree that looking back on her behavior and rationale, as a more seasoned adult now, she was a sad person. I never disliked her but I came to not trust her, which is not a great thing in any relationship. Kook is a good way of describing her.

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  31. Oh Ms. Bean, I could curl your toes with tales of three women in my life (two “close friends” of mine). All three turned out to be major embezzlers, one nearly bankrupting her employer. I can cite many similarities between them. What bugs me most is how slow I was to pick up on the signs. As an accountant, I actually did the investigation to determine how two of them stole the money. The only bright side? One of them gave me a puppy who was the sweetest dog – I had him 14 years. I hope I never run across any of them (or anyone like them) as long as I live. {shiver and shudder}

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    1. Eilene, well isn’t that interesting. All three were embezzlers? Oy vey. I dealt with one embezzler in my work life, but we weren’t friends– and that detail makes your story even more creepy/horrifying. I imagine that you didn’t pick up on what they were doing because that’s how they wanted it to be. I know when I found out how my employee was stealing money, I couldn’t believe how devious she was– or clever. Don’t you wonder why people who steal money like that don’t put their smarts into creating a business or product– and making money instead? Like I often say, people be weird.

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  32. It seems a bit manipulative to me. Or maybe she’s a compulsive liar who cannot help herself. I’ve known quite a few of those and swear that you’re in the wrong when you try to correct them.

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    1. Michelle, I’ve experienced compulsive liars, too. In the family, even. And you’re right it’s like they can’t help themselves and resent you for standing up to them. Maybe that’s who she was, but I was younger and didn’t see it. 🤷‍♀️

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  33. In my opinion, she is a player and this is all about power. As far as films go, everyone knows they are fiction. She wanted people to believe her lies and buy in; when they did, she felt a warped sense of accomplishment and a certain sense of control over others.

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    1. Margaret, you and Zen-Den are on the exact same page. He said almost verbatim what you said here: it was all about control. He also theorized that she was setting me up for some scam, but I left the relationship before she could pull it on me. Weird thing though, she was a good conversationalist and fun to be around. Sort of.

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  34. What the hell?!

    I can’t say I’ve ever known anyone like this, although I’m pretty naive and maybe I have and just didn’t know it.

    My reaction would be run, don’t walk away. I don’t need people like this in my life!

    Coincidence – I recently found my old work Rolodex from the dark ages of employment. Going through it was a trip down memory lane of all the people I met over the years – some good, some more challenging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I love your comments, all of them. This one made me laugh. WTH, indeed?

      I long ago lost touch with Nedra so I walked away from our sort of friendship, but finding her business card took me back in the snap.

      I liked having a Rolodex. It was fun to twirl it and see who showed up on top. I can only imagine how trippy it was see all those names again and remember the people. Well, most of the people I suppose.

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    1. Swinged Cat, that’s it exactly. She could be factual about things like books or recipes, but when she talked about herself it seemed to be a charade. I can’t explain it, but I’ll give you this, Nedra was memorable.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Betsy, she was strange but she was also fun to be around. I mean she had a sense of humor and was observant, but her approach to life and mine were different.

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  35. Unfortunately, yeah, I’ve known people like that. Personally I wouldn’t believe your ‘friend’ about the helping people angle – that’ll also be a lie, probably. Some people just live in a fantasy world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Val, you make an excellent point. You’re right that some people do live in a fantasy world. Hadn’t thought of that. Hope she’s happy there. I mean, I didn’t dislike her, just didn’t trust her.

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  36. Nedra is/was definitely unstable. I wonder if she used this fictional facade to cover a painful background, or an intense fear of being inadequate? Her thought that this sort of pretence could ‘help’ others seems like she is not only trying to save face for being caught out lying but also a gross misjudgement on her part, that others actually NEED her “help”- and that does seem to border on the pathological. TV is entertainment, friendship is not and I do wonder if Nedra’s goes through friends/partners, like a dose of salts? Worst case scenario is she might even lose the ability to tell the difference between truth and fiction? Best to give reconnecting with her a big swerve, Ally. As a fictional story book character, she is manner from heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forestwood, you raise a good question about why she did what she did. Her stories were only about herself, not about things that could be double-checked like the books she read or the recipes she used. I agree that the desire to help other people, to be a healer, when no one has asked for your help per se is indicative of a way of thinking that seems odd [manipulative?] to me.

      I don’t remember enough about her to know how often she found new friends. I just know that she was a memorable person who taught me that I should never assume that someone else thinks/believes like I do, even if on the surface they seem like they do. I’ve no intention of contacting her again, but I wish her well wherever she may be.

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      1. I like that you were able to find a lesson in the experience, Ally.
        In some ways, I am curious to know how she turned out. Completely mad, reformed or somewhere in between?
        Have a great weekend pondering that one,
        Amanda

        Liked by 1 person

  37. How sad! I’ve known people who lied, certainly, but no one who justified lying by claiming to perform a public service. How would she ever expect anyone to get to know her if she makes up stories about her life? Would she do that to get a job? Some things can’t be faked.

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    1. L. Marie, maybe she didn’t want anyone to know her so she made up stories about her life. She had a job as I recall, and when talking about something like food she was factual, but when it came to her own narrative it got weird. I liked this woman, but she was a trip.

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  38. Fascinating. I wonder what her childhood was like. That behavior has to be in the latest version of the DSM. I wouldn’t want to know a person like that, but it’s interesting hearing your tale. Also, it brings to mind one of my favorite words that I don’t often get to use: mendacious!

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    1. Hi Ally. I think it’s great that you found a non-confrontational way to ask Nedra why she lies. Better yet, she actually explained it! However, I don’t like or believe her answer. It seems like yet another lie to me, made up for the real reason most people lie: to cover their own insecurity. I can’t imagine anyone making up stories for the altruistic reasons she gave. Even if that was the case, I don’t feel it’s justified. And yes, I have known a few pathological liars in my day! I believe lying is usually toxic in a relationship. Thanks! Des

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      1. Des, I wonder about Nedra’s answer to why she lied, too. At the time I took it for what it was worth because if that’s how she thought, so be it. But in hindsight I think you’re right, she was fibbing to cover her own insecurities. As for her being toxic, that’s the weird thing. I didn’t walk away from her hating her, I just felt sorry for her and I was unable to relax when I was near her because my spidey senses were always on high alert. That feeling wasn’t conducive to friendship.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The Travel Architect, yes, yes, mendacious! Say it often, say it wisely. Great word for this situation. I don’t know anything about Nedra’s childhood other than she made mention of the “nuns” which lead me to believe that she went to Catholic school at some point. But, considering the source, did she?

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    1. Sheryl, Nedra had her reasons for making up stories and from what I remember about her she thought it was ok to do that. I found her fascinating, a good conversationalist, but ultimately a little too off her rocker.

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  39. Ally, I’m in disbelief at the rationale of this woman … a narcissistic personality thinking that she is helping others through her lies! I would be very uncomfortable around someone like that and I imagine a huge sense of relief when you stopped meeting up. A fascinating character study, Ally, which is well-written and would make a great protagonist in a story. As for business cards, I keep coming across these, particularly from my years in the timber trade and I often wonder what happened to the people. I googled one lovely guy in Ireland who was the son of a guy who owned a large timber company and due to take over the business … he’d passed away the year before from cancer. Now I find the cards, remember the past and throw them away! All from another time in my life!

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    1. Annika, I was amazed when I learned Nedra’s rationalization for behaving as she did. I’ve said it above but will repeat it here that she was a nice enough person, on the surface of things. If I ran into her now I’d not run in the opposite direction BUT like you said, it was a relief when we stopped meeting for coffee.

      What a sad story about the son who took over his father’s business, but it does lend credence to the idea that some people are part of your past and that’s where they stay. I tossed Nedra’s card when I found it because I think like you do that. She was from another time in my life. We move on, don’t we?

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  40. Wow, that’s crazy. I do like that she admitted it to you, though, and gave you her reasoning. Of course, with TV and books and movies, we know we are watching fiction. Whereas she was passing fiction off as truth, which is a lie. Perhaps she should write them down or something, instead of telling people lies? Hasn’t she ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? Doesn’t she understand that lying undermines her credibility? Very interesting.

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    1. J, I don’t know what Nedra understood about credibility nor do I know what became of her. She was someone I knew briefly and she taught me that nice people, as in pleasant personalities, can be unique in their own ways. But you gotta wonder, don’t you? Where does rationalization like that come from?

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  41. It’s an interesting reaction to being cornered. Why though? Why can’t she use truth to express and heal instead? I’m curious, but not interested, you know? I find it manipulative, as relationships are not entertainment, and should reflect honesty.
    I don’t think I have had this experience. I have come to terms with some conflicting histories, those new friends who ingratiate themselves to a crowd and when the party’s over, so to speak, the gossip spills out and none of the stories or timelines match up. After a couple of those I see red flags much earlier now and so it’s been more than a decade since I’ve had to play along.
    One of the biggest red flags for dishonesty and wrongdoing is, “My friend so-and-so,” to whom the person was once so close, never communicates anymore. More than twice I’ve had the thought, “Why do you only have former friends?” Hmm?
    I don’t keep many business cards. Honestly, I have none from my friends, and don’t think I’ve ever given mine to a friend?

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    1. joey, my guess about why Nedra did a tango with the truth was that for some people telling the truth is too risky, makes them feel vulnerable– so they keep the truth for themselves never sharing it. Thus she made up stories to keep the conversation going with me, but not to create a real relationship.

      I had a situation with a friend, a guy, wherein I learned the lesson you mention. I didn’t catch on that he was always referring to friends, usually women, who’d no longer speak to him. Eventually he ticked me off so I told him off– and suddenly realized why he had so many former friends. I am now one of them.

      Business cards are a thing of the past, I guess; back in the day I had all my friends’ cards. We shared them freely, but you didn’t? Interesting.

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  42. Hi Ally, I wasn’t at all sure where you were going with this story, at first. I felt you were using euphemisms for a “liar.” It also sounds like there were nuances to this relationship. She actually sounds like an interesting person (potentially.) And why did she feel the need to make up/embellish stories? Like you, Ally, I am always curious about people and what makes them tick. I have met many interesting people, yet Nedra is in a unique category. My spidey sense is telling to be cautious here.

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    1. Erica/Erika, the thing about Nedra was that she wasn’t always a liar. Some people embellish everything they say, but she wasn’t like that; she was factual about many topics we talked about. It was only when she talked about herself that I came to realize things didn’t add up– over and over again. She was a fun person at times, but not one who I wanted to continue being around. I wish her well, wherever she is.

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  43. Whoa. Just…whoa. You are far more patient than I — even curiosity wouldn’t keep me hanging in there that long, but I kinda got a thing about feeling like people are lying to me. She might not care, or think she’s “guiding” me to a better decision, or whatever. I consider it being a big fat lying liar. Sorry not sorry.

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    1. Laura, this happened years and years ago. I was more patient at that point in my life, plus I’d never met anyone who fessed up to lying like she did. I was fascinated then in a way that wiser [older] me would not be now.

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