Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When It Doubt, Lie


The Fabulous Holly from 2911 Jeremiah Avenue (fun blog, go visit) writes:

Dear Helen Hartman
I had to write to you because I’m feeling, well…I’m feeling just a bit traumatized.  I was at an “event” tonight and recognized someone from their facebook picture and thought I’d go up and say hello.  I mean, after 30 years, it’s the right thing to do, right?! Apparently, my facebook picture did not jog any memory in her. Could it be that my picture of 3 years ago is outdated?  Could it?! Could it also be that some parts of my body have gone south where others have gone east AND west?!
Is it also possible that while I have grown with this idea that others have not and are perhaps caught a wee bit off guard?!  
Why is it that when we haven’t seen someone for awhile that as they are saying, “it’s nice to see you” that they are also looking you up and down and taking copious mental notes on “seeing you.”  Yes, Helen, I am a little bit cranky about the whole thing.  I would love YOUR response as I am in need of a little humor about now.  


Dear Loves the North, The East, The West and South of You One,
A sense of humor? About such behavior? I just don’t know if I can find it in myself.

Not because I don’t have it in me, because I can’t find anything these days. Have you seen my car keys?

For that reason Helen doesn’t blame people for the occasional hiccup in memory or even a brief gulp before responding to others but this falls into the category or big old burp in the face of manners! And that will not stand. Not on Helen’s watch.
Yes, Helen is watching. Not so much watching as sticking her nose in to get a good look at what you are doing so she can tell others what NOT to do.

There he is, Mom. I told you there was someone out there who was more of a disappointment to his folks than me.  Now get off my back.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that Manners matter. 

Esp when you need to know which fork to stab your dinner partner with when he reaches over to sample your desert (Correct: biggest fork handy. Incorrect: fork you want to use to shovel said desert into your mouth.)

No, not the Amy V brand of manners about how to address everyone from ambassadors to your neighbor’s servants but the manners that make life more pleasant. The things that spare our feelings and often our hair.


Tip 1 for attending parties where bad manners may be an issue? Wear your best $12 wig, that way when the hair pulling starts, you will have a leg up on everyone.
 Tip 2 - having a leg up on someone is a great way to get leverage to pull their hair.


Yes. Helen is talking about the lynchpin of human interaction. The little white lie.

"But Mommy, isn't lying bad?"   "The way most people do it, yes, it is."

Helen is not encouraging anyone to become a big fat liar. Though she has seen you in pants she thought should probably be set on fire.

Once the cry of Liar Liar goes out, these brave individuals are at the ready because when pants that size go up, it could take out an entire city block.

But when faced with situations where it would cost you nothing to be kind, (or even ones when it does cost you, come to think of it) kindness wins. 
Manners are the art of making others feel at ease. They are not reserved for fancy occasions or only for guests in your home. You take them with you everywhere you go and by doing so make sure people always feel ‘at home’ in your presence.

Please note: Feeling at home around Helen is NOT permission to act like your true self around Helen. People who have glimpsed your true self  often long for the great big phony they used to know.

So in the social interchange where someone lacks the basic human decency to lie to your face, Holly has no reason to feel badly. Of course, that doesn’t mean once the slight was slid… slighted? Once the doors were open, Holly couldn’t employ the LWL to gently nudge the situation and remind the other party to start Mannering it up. Things like:



Don’t feel bad about not recognizing me. At your age, I suppose there are days you don’t even know who you are.



Maybe I don’t look like my facebook photo. But I’d have known you anywhere from yours! Oh, that was your cat? Hmmmm. Still…



That’s okay. I Have changed over the years. But you? You look just the same. I guess that’s why everyone always called you Old Lady in high school.

So let this all be a warning to you, Loved Ones, next time you go out and about, be ready with a few harmless LWLs in case you run into someone you know… but you don’t have the foggiest idea how. Remember Helen is watching.

Taking a whack at Wow Us Wednesday

28 comments:

  1. I have a horrible time remembering people. At least twice a month I run into someone random at the grocery store and just fake it until I remember who they are. As a matter of fact, just the other day I was at a park and a mom came over and was all 'hi, hows the baby, how are you doing, etc' and I could tell I was really supposed to know this person. It wasn't until her husband joined us that I remembered who she was and that SHE HAD BEEN TO DINNER AT OUR HOUSE AT LEAST 3 TIMES!!!! Oy. But out of context I just didn't recognize her. True story.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

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  2. LOL - well the fact that you care enough to fake it says so much. Gold star for you!

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  3. My Facebook photo is a picture of my dog! So there! Don't look at me and say, my, my you have gained 40 lbs since we were in high school when you looked anorexic. Don't look at the fact that my highlighted hair is NOT covering all the gray roots that I think look 'just like the highlights'. It's been a LONG time, and yes, I look like it!

    Tammy

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    1. LOL - I see you are an honesty is the best policy kinda gal, Tammy! Well, that works, too.

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  4. WOW! This is so great! I have a question for you! I'll email you! heehee! Enjoy your day!

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    1. Yippeee. I love telling people what to do... I mean sharing my thoughts on people's issues!

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  5. I started teaching in 1973, so the kids who were high school seniors that year are 57 now. The last time I saw most of them, they were 18. Still, when I run into them, they expect me to remember every detail. Over the years, I've become pretty adept at smiling and asking leading questions till something jogs my memory, but that's hard work. I think I'm almost old enough to dodder a little bit and play the senility card convincingly. Is that a workable solution, Dear Helen? LOL

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    1. First, shame on you for lying to Helen. There is NO WAY you were TEACHING school in 1973. Did you mean to say starting school?

      Well, if you are bold enough to make that claim then I think you are bold enough that next time you can't recall a former pupil to look them right in the eye and say - 'Yes, I DO remember YOU. I thought you'd be in prison by now." That'll shut em up. In the most well mannered way, of course.

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  6. I share in Dana's pain! Former students! Sometimes I can see their little faces peep through the mature faces when it is a female. but males usually morph into some other creature and there is NO WAY to see the little kid in them! I plead senility.

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    1. LOL Lynn. That's what I'd do, too.

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    2. It's true...the women ARE always easier to recognize. A bald man with two grandkids in tow just doesn't look like the 18-year-old quarterback you remember...LOL

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  7. Brilliant! I've avoided school reunions because I know I won't recognise anyone, I'm the only one of my classmates who have my own photo on Facebook rather than a sprog or a pet. x

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    1. I bet they would remember you! I have gone to all of mine and there is Always someone there that Nobody can recall. The more curious I am as to how someone looks now the more likely they will not have photos of themselves on FB.

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  8. I so agree with you manners do indeed cost nothing and a little white lie to spare some one their feelings is ok with me to ;-) Like Vix i to have avoided the school reunion because i moved away from my village and i haven't stayed in touch with anyone. dee x

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    1. Well, I am glad to know I am not the only little liar around. I honestly believe, it's my goal to make sure people feel better having spoken to me so it's not dishonest to that goal to say good things to them.

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  9. Oh, what a sight it must be there inside your head!!!!!!! SO funny!!! Facial recognition after a number of years have passed has never been my strong suit, but I sure know I'd better not show it anymore!!!! :-)

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    1. You and wise and well mannered! I suspected as much!

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  10. Maybe there is a reason I've never ever attended any of my high school reunions. I might look a lot younger than I appear, but 1986 was a long time ago. Great post, Helen.

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    1. Awww, you look like 1986 was yesterday. Everyone else is getting older too - at least the lucky ones are!

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  11. Well, we seem to have struck somewhat of a chord, Helen! Thank you so much for a FABULOUS post - you made me laugh and made my day!! Hard to pick which pic was my favorite, but I kinda like the mother/daughter one. You simply are the best!!
    xo
    Holly

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    1. Thanks for asking a great questions, Holly.

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  12. Really had a good laugh over the Old Lady in high school thing, thanks a bunch! I don't understand why people can't just be decent and polite - you know, like Mom always used to say, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Instead of making people feel bad, you can always talk about the weather, or the latest episode of Celebrity Apprentice.

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    1. True, except if someone talked about Celebrity Apprentice to me, I would not be able to be polite!

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  13. Priceless advice. :) A couple weeks ago I spotted a former college classmate of mine, who I recognized from facebook. Before I had any awkward occurance, I turned around and left the sandwich shop. Ha!

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  14. Too funny! I passed a kidney stone yesterday (really) so I needed a good laugh today!

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    1. OUCH! And also YIKES! Hope you're feeling better.

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  15. oh dear Helen i am now your follower too and am looking forward to many more of your very wise words. thanks for visiting and commenting and following, all greatly appreciated! xo

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