~ 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 ~