We’re gonna chat about something we’ve never really delved into on its own before. It’s so fundamental that I’m shocked and awed we haven’t dedicated an entire year to it yet. Maybe 2013. Unless I’m super famous or married by then, then probably not. I’m talking about Honesty. Your basic, erryday Honesty. And, in the spirit of honesty, you should know I’m stone cold sober right now. I don’t drink when I write because booze is a ridiculously silly way to think you’re gonna perform better. A nice fatty bowl, however, is the way to a true writer’s heart, and I’m dry as a bone for a couple weeks. I cannot vouch for how this is gonna go. Speaking of, shall we?
The other day, I was catching up on my General Hospital. Backstory: Sam(antha) and Jason are just married. Jason was in a car accident when he was a teen (because his fuck of a brother, AJ, was drunk driving) and when he woke up out of his coma (duh), he was different. He was harder and unemotional and difficult to love. He shunned his parents and turned to the mob because Sonny (the mob boss) understood that he needed a mentor, someone to understand him and accept who he had become, not a judge, and took him under his wing. Jason became Sonny’s enforcer; his hit man. You heard me. He was handsome, cold and calculated, but loyal and always, always, always honest. And then he grew up, met Sam (salt of the earth, though formerly a little slut-slut) and they fell in love and everyone wondered how she could possibly love him. And Sam says: “It’s pretty easy. You just have to be honest.” Nailed it. And this column was born.
Honesty, y’all. It is the be all and end all of everything. And I don’t mean that you shouldn’t steal wallets. If you’re gonna steal a wallet, there is nothing I can do to better you here. Futher, if you’re gonna steal a wallet, I don’t want you even coming to read my column. I mean honesty, like, if you’re uncomfortable in what you’re wearing don’t wear it because I don’t care to hear you lament how awful you look. Be honest with yourownself and know skinny jeans just ain’t your thang and your self-esteem should most certainly not be required to take a hard knock because you can’t come to grips with that. I mean honest, like, if you don’t want kids, and some guy you like asks if you want kids someday, say no so it doesn’t come up after you’re married and then you’ll need to go ahead and get yourself a divorce because the truth came out. I mean honest, like, if you can’t afford to go out to dinner with your friends, you decline the invite because you can’t afford it, and we ALL understand what it’s like not to be able to afford to go out to dinner three nights a week. And if you’re eating out three nights a week, you need to be honest about the fact that it’s an expense no one should foot, and possibly rethink the assumption that the rest of your paycheck won’t eventually run out. Honesty is some rull basic shit that will save you so, so, so, so much time and emotion and energy and woe. And if you don’t start with a baseline of being honest with yourself, how are you supposed to present yourself honestly to others. And if you’re presenting some skewed version of yourself, everyone you meet will want to be friends with that person, not the real, honest, flawed version of you. And, this just in, we are all very much flawed. Y’all come here every Friday and thank me for whatever I’ve said because it hits home week after week, and I am so remarkably flattered—really, I don’t think you have any idea how full my heart is when I know I’ve touched on something you’re struggling with, too, because there is so much pressure on women—on everyone, but I’m here for the bitches—to be exactly who everyone assumes women should be: Cool, put-together, sassy, confident, independent, social, funny, blahbitty blah, blah, blah. But the truth is, most of us are none of those things altogether, let alone on a mutually exclusive basis. We’re just trying to keep our heads above water and make it through the day without hating ourselves. At least I am, and as much as I can be an odd duck, I feel like we all share this to some degree. It’s the way of our Lady people. But if you’re honest about what you bring to the table—OR DO NOT BRING OT THE TABLE—you will find that, not only does someone share your insecurity, but is so thankful someone else is dealing with the same. You are never going to look like Jessica Alba, so stop comparing yourself; rather be honest with about what you can accomplish in the gym with a week before you leave for Cabo. If you can’t get a grasp on this, you won’t be able to be honest about how incredible it is to be afforded the opportunity to go to Cabo in the first place—most people are only able to make it to a poolside in the Valley. Enough of this woe about what you don’t have. Embrace it, understand it, work with it, and put it in perspective, because honestly, no matter how sick your body is, you’ll still never think you look as good a Jessica Alba. It’s not about what/who/where you’re comparing you or your life to, it’s about how honestly you’re being with yourself in the life you have. And, most importantly, honesty will forever lead to action. For. Ever. If this is the year of the decision, you can’t make a decision without being honest about the data points that brought you there in the first place. I had a friend for a really long time and she was always someone different. Always. She said she spoke, like, 5 languages. She did not at all speak 5 languages. She said she surfed. She did not at all surf. She said she goes to yoga. One time a year is not someone who goes to yoga. I could not be friends with her anymore because I had no idea who she was, and after 10ish years of friendship, I told her I had to bow out gracefully from our relationship because she’s not honest with herself, so I had no idea which version of her I was supposed to be friends with. It was never anything huge, but it was always something. And if you know the person looking you in the face is consistently something other than who she claims to be—even just on the surface—then you can’t get to know and love and invest in the person underneath. I want all of you to be a little easier on one another. It’s fear of reproach and judgment that we avoid honesty, but the fact of it is, we’ve all got shit; we’ve all got reasons to dislike ourselves, our place in life, our job, our significant other, and everyone around us, but the majority of us dislike in others things we seem to think we don’t also possess or display. As such, we should all be so damn thankful anyone is willing to look in our direction, let alone accept us with all of our flaws. Be honest about your flaws, as I promisepromisepromise that accepting them in others won’t be a decision you have to make because your practice of honesty will bring you to the understanding that you will need people to have the same kind of grace shown to you as you work your way through your ability to show grace to them.
Last night, I went to a good friend for a haircut, and she said her Mormon family is beside themselves with her “LA” life—exaggeratedly, but anyone not from this town gets what she means—and I felt an immediate and familiar connection with her as a friend I’ve had for longer than I think we both realize. But she is honest about the life she has, the life she knows her family wants her to have, and the fact that neither one will ever match up. It’s either going to be something you own, or it’s going to be something you shrink away from. And, in essence, shrinking away begets insecurity which begets dishonesty. If you’re going to roll out, own it, be honest about the path you’ve chosen and the decisions you make because they’re yours. And eventually, someone will call your ass out and you will need to stand by the person you’ve decided to be. I know my parents think my life is a shitshow of discarded potential, but very luckily, I absolutely love every act of this long-running shitshow that has provided me the honor of a starring role. I am obscenely blessed to have each and every one of you in it—even that one guy. I’m constantly excited by how much I love my friends, and I’m constantly shocked as they continue to have me among them.
Aiite, that’s all she wrote. In two weeks, I hope have fallen the fuck off the wagon, and I’ll bring you something crazy hard-hitting. Until then, however, I’m just gonna drink a lot a lot of vodka and try to better myself or something. Oooh, I’ve just gotten into The Bachelor and, while just one and a half minutes of the show makes me remember why I detest our breed, I’m gonna keep watching in hopes Courtney (sociopath) gives me some material from which to pull from. It’s possible the title of my next column will be: Why Dating a Model Will NEVER Go Well For You, Ben. Maybe that won’t be the title, but maybe we’ll talk about Men Who Date Bitches and Then Wonder Where it All Went Wrong. It’s got a nice flow…. Okay, babies, get out there and make some better choices than you did last time, and I’ll see you next time.