Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That's not honesty... you're just being a bit$&

I've noticed a lot lately (as in the last several years) that people are somewhat fast and loose with the word "honesty." Sure, maybe we all stray from Mr. Webster in our word application once in awhile. Take the word "ignorant" for example. Among pubescents, hicks (pronounced"ig-nernt" in such cases), and the general uneducated populous; the term ignorant is used to describe someone who's "rude". I say "rude" because ignorant is substituted for that word most often... "That crap-kicker is ignernt!" or "She was so ignernt!" And I always thought - oh... this person must mean the crap-kicker or "she" is just ill-informed. No... that's not what they meant. They meant they were "rude." You see the irony in this usage I imagine; as ignorant is a word that connotes being naive or misinformed. I honestly remember "ignernt" cropping up in my Senior in high school-early 20's conversations with peers and the misuse was always painful, but still somewhat satisfying because of the irony. Irony makes up for a lot of dissatisfaction in my life. And you can cross-stitch that.

So lets talk about my grief with the word "honesty." It's not so much the mechanical usage as its employment as a facade, a covering, nay, a JUSTIFICATION for being tactless, inappropriate, or just plain bitchy.

"Hey, I'm just being honest person-who-did-not-solicit-my-advice-on-their-life-choices but I feel compelled to give anyway because hey, that's just who I am! And honesty is a VIRTUE! Therefore, I am vir-tu-ous!"

No one asked you - so maybe keep it to yourself? I don't really care for your unsolicited advise on a life choice you don't really know anything about and that's none of your business.

The word "honesty" is also used as a justification for major MAJOR TMI's (too much information). Example: if you preface a comment such as: "When my gyno was swabbing for a pap smear she mentioned there was a strange odor..." with "Just as a warning, I'm a very honest person" you are using the word "honesty" to justify the fact you just told the entire Internet and everyone else in the world who could've proceeded throughout the rest of their entire lives without such intimate knowledge, about your weird girl smells. I think I find this justification the worst sort. I know, I know, "Well if you don't like it... then don't read it." And that's fine, but lets come to an agreement that I won't read about the fact your husband is having trouble "getting it up, lately" if you promise not to preface it with, "Warning, I'm going to be honest here."


I don't think that's how such a virtue was intended to be utilized; as a shroud for you personal septic tank. Perhaps instead of saying "I'm honest so therefore..." say something like "Warning: I have no filters so just so you know, you're about to hear about something that will make you blush, squirm, and even puke in your mouth slightly." Or simply "Warning: I have no shame."

Finally, the bitch justification. Yet, another favorite. Passing of your bitchyness as honesty because maybe, you can't face the fact you're a bitch. I was in a restaurant once with a group of people, and a woman who was with our group was telling us a story and the waiter came up, greeted us, and asked if we'd like our drinks. This woman turns to him and says, "Do you mind? I am telling a STORY. You will come back in 2 minutes", gave the poor college-lad a look of disdain, and turned back to her group with this look of "well I never!" What's more, when she saw all of us squirming a little due to her bitch comment, she said, "Well I'm just an honest person!" No... you're not honest... you're a bitch.

Truly. I'm just asking for a little discretion and perhaps, a little "honesty" with yourself. If you're kinda a bitch, then hey! Be kinda a bitch and accept that's just how you are sometimes. Don't drag honesty through your disdain puddle too. And while you're down there, keep the pap smears, foreplay descriptions, and messy divorce details to yourself too. Or maybe go "old school" and lock it away in a handwritten journal or personal word document. There are options... so many other options... to display your "honesty."

And that's my rant.


Craig Barlow B. said...

Andrea, I have had this same sentiment for literally years. When someone tells me things like --"She's just really blunt!" Or "She just tells it like it is." -- I usually think, "No, actually she's just kind of a rude person." I have had passionate dicussions about this topic in real life, even. Imagine that.

joN. said...

Very well said and honestly quite true. Honesty is a virtue, but so is tact.

I'm a bitch myself, but you'd actually have to know me for years before I let it surface.

Andrea Jolene said...

Craig - I figure this is something you'd be passionate about. French kissing, manly pursuits, and comparing and contrasting honesty with bitchyness.

Jon - you have just confirmed our friendship for years to come. I want to experience "Jon-bitch"

Michele said...

I need a "like" button - because I really like this. Good rant.

Jessica said...

I could not agree more- with every single thing you say here. I've seen an awful (and I mean awful in every sense that applies here) lot of this lately and it bugs. I think the problem is that (just as rudeness is often mistakenly labeled ignorance) indiscretion (or extreme openness, or word vomit (the bad kind), or bitchiness) is often mistakenly labeled as honesty. It is not honesty to blurt out every idiotic comment that comes to mind- that's the result of a lack of thoughtfulness and self control. And I hate it. Go you!

ROXY MARJ said...

LOVED THIS POST Andrea! :-[)

However, sadly...I might fall into this category. I hope noone thinks or has ever thought that I am a *beep* [Jon may have at a couple different times when I have "given" him my opinion about video games...I did apologize later though...] annnyways I am someone who will give their honest opinion..WHEN ASKED! That is honestly what I love about my best friends...they have always been honest with me even if it will sting a bit...but I do think they have always been tactful with me. Here is my philosophy with the "actual" type of person you are talking about. I say to myself: If they have the balls to say that then I too should have the balls to say something back. Man... I wish I wrote as well as you and Craig, I could then express myself so much better. :/ I guess what I am trying to say is that with me - what you see is what you get. I am honest about everything [95% of the time] I think one of my biggest pet peeves about honesty is when you ask how someone is doing, and clearly you can tell they aren't doing well...but they always say "I'm good, you?" Why do people feel that we always have to be good 100% of the time. It's retarded! okay i'm done

Andrea Jolene said...

Roxy - oh yes I agree with being strait forward. As I'm a rather strait forward person. My gripe is with people who use the word "honesty" the virtue to hide the vice of being just a rude person. You're probably the LAST person on a list like that! In fact, you're probably regularly on the Top 5 Nicest People of All Time lists of many a person... including me;)