Diplomacy Central

‘It’s the Doctor. He lies.’

This line – and its other variations – is one of my favourite things to come out of the tv. The Doctor lies, everyone close to him knows it and they accept/have to live with it. Isn’t that just lovely? To know that everything the Doctor says is either the truth or a lie, no in-betweens?

I’m not a fan of lies, they come back and bite you in the ass when you least expect them to; but I am even less a fan of that place between lies and truth, that place where most people live. The place that is neither here nor there but everywhere.

A friend asks you for a loan and you don’t want to give her. You have the money but maybe this friend has a history of not paying back or you really don’t feel like parting with any of your money right now. Two options before you: you can lie and say you don’t have and so can’t give her, or you can tell the truth and say you don’t want to lend her the money (with or without the reason). Bottom line, she knows she isn’t getting the money from you. But you pick the third option. The option of ‘Let’s see,’ even though at that point you know what your answer is.

A guy asks you out. He’s husband material, has all the trappings of success, is a member of the beard gang, has a sweet twitter following and invites to all the cool kid parties; but you don’t want to date him. You don’t have any concrete reason beyond a feeling in your belly that says, ‘Don’t’. Or he could even be a scumbag, zero husband material, irritates the hell out of you with his unsolicited messages, has a terrible reputation on twitter and has been known to kiss and tell. You have a million reasons not to date him. Yet, you tell him ‘I’ll think about it,’ even though every cell in your body is saying no.

Of course there’s always a reason why you do it. ‘You don’t want to hurt his/her feelings’ or ‘What if you change your mind later?’  Very valid motivations, and very confusing for someone like me who cannot quite understand this phenomenon. I am that person that can’t take a hint or give one, mostly because the signal always gets mixed up in my brain. So I rely on verbal clues as my most reliable means of communication. And that is a crazy place to be because of this diplomatic behavior. So I am constantly asking, ‘Are you really going to think about it or is that a disguised no?’ Or ‘Do your monosyllabic responses to my chats mean you’re busy or don’t want to talk to me right now?’ And the weird part is when people get upset at my questions even though it turns out they were doing exactly what they’re trying to hide.

No matter how much you delay, the inevitable will happen. The way I see it, why not get the unpleasantness out of the way? Your friend is going to be disappointed and you can’t help it, and that guy is going to be upset you told him no. But will they die?

I could go on about this, I mean, it keeps me up late at night sometimes. There’s nothing I can do about the recession or the American elections or Linda Ikeji Social so I expend my brain power wondering how to make the world a more (dis)honest place.


With a false name, I can be anybody..... anybody as long as I am careful about the way I write. All that anyone would see are my words, my feelings, me." - Orton Scott Card (paraphrased) Are you Miss Anon like me?

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