Saturday, February 12, 2011

Honesty Can Be Highly Overrated...

Sometimes, honesty is just not the best policy. We all know, or should know, that our spouses never look fat, no matter how tight that dress may fit, or how snug the back of that suit jacket may be. There’s no entirely safe way to answer that question, “Honey, do I look fat?”, but there are some choices that are better than others.

The same is true of other spousal questions, such as, “Darling, do you notice anything different?” The pitfalls here are too numerous to mention. To say “no” indicates a general lack of awareness or interest in the appearance, health or well-being of said spouse, but what if the answer is really, “yes” and the thing you notice isn’t at all flattering? Evasion is the key here, or at least some very well-chosen words.

My real beef isn’t even with spousal truth seeking at all. In fact, just having written the above will probably give rise to some questions when my wife reads this, but I digress. My real point here is that there are just certain things that you shouldn’t say to people, and some of them are patently obvious.

Take my recent visit to the local optical shop. First, notice that your new pair of glasses are no longer “ready in one hour!” Now, they are “ready in about an hour*…” No one mentions that the “about” in that phrase could add days to your wait, and there is no explanation about that asterisk at all, which probably has something to do with the fact that your glasses require parts to be sent from somewhere in rural Wisconsin.

I’ve had the same boring style of glasses for years. They do nothing to artistically frame my eyes and they don’t particularly show off the arch of my perfectly formed eyebrow. After considering several colors, styles and shapes, I landed on two that seemed suitable. The first was simple and much like my past selections, the second was what you might call a Cary Grant style of frame. I know that there’s a fine line between the effortless panache of Cary and the head of the high school A/V club, but I live in hope that I can carry off the former and not succumb to the latter. Well, that hope has been forever extinguished.

As I sat down before the very peppy, reluctantly middle-aged optician, complete with official lab coat and eyeglasses that could have landed her a spot on the Republican presidential ticket, she took my little eyeglass bin and proceeded to “fit” me. The first pair didn’t elicit much of a response. Probably a good sign. The second, however, ruined all hopes of suavity that remained. “I just thought I’d try these Cary Grant glasses,” I said, trying to give a hint at what I was going for. Although my reflection didn’t even fully convince me, I didn’t need Sarah Palin’s opinion. “No! You look just like Drew Carey!”

Drew Carey? As in the plump, moon-faced, crew cut wearing comedian? Drew Carey?! Ugh.
Seeing my disappointment, “Sarah” was quick to add a little too dreamily, “Oh, but I just love Drew Carey…”

So, you see, sometimes it’s wise to think before we speak, and definitely before we speak too honestly. Think of the sales we could make and the joy we could spread if we just took a hint or two. “Oh yes, Mr. Gariepy! You look just like Mr. Grant!” Deal cinched… “I’ll take ten pairs!” But no, it couldn’t be that easy. Mr. Carey took his business elsewhere. And I didn’t even mention Cary this time.


  1. Hey!!! I am loving this already!! Did you take my advice or was this your own big idea? Great job with this and I am sure you looked just like Cary Grant...Judy Judy Judy

  2. LOL Oh this is going to be FUN! Loved this story. Looking forward to more. :-)