People who know me know that I tend to be pretty direct. I don’t beat around the bush. This is either a gift or a curse, depending on how you look at it. I like to think of it as a gift. This is probably because I don’t really care much about what people think of me. I have what you would call a healthy ego. If I was worried about pissing people off and them disliking me, it would certainly be a curse. It’s not that I want to hurt people’s feelings, I am just pretty comfortable with the truth, even when it sucks. I would rather hear the truth, even if it stings a little. I would also rather give the truth than blow smoke up someone’s ass. So if you are going to ask me a question, you better be prepared to hear the answer. And that answer will not be coated in sugar or decked out in glitter.
I come by it naturally. My Dad also speaks his mind. The difference is that my Dad is generally likeable. I, on the other hand, am an acquired taste. He also speaks the truth but does it in a kind way and usually with humor. He may not sugar coat it, but it is at least wrapped in a pretty package. Then there is my Mom, who never wants to hurt anyone’s feelings and is cautious with her words. You would think I would have learned a little something growing up in a house with these two but apparently I am pretty hard headed. Tact has never been my strong suit.
The thing is, most people know the answer before they ask a question. I have never asked my husband if my pants make my ass look fat. I own a mirror and I know when my ass looks fat and when it doesn’t. The culprit is rarely the pants. It’s normally the bag of cookies and repeatedly skipping out on the gym. Regardless of the reason, the question did not need to be asked. I don’t ask these questions mostly because I am just going to end up mad at my husband for lying to me when I catch a glimpse of myself in a window later that day. These are the questions that also get me into trouble when I am asked. My answer to this question is almost always “it’s not the pants’ fault. Your ass is fat”. This is not a popular answer. The problem is this is a question that people ask, but they don’t really want a truthful answer. Sorry, I am comfortable with the truth even if you aren’t. Don’t ask me a question if you are trying to reassure yourself about something we both know is false. I am just not nice enough to lie to you. Seriously, I won’t do it.
The term for someone who doesn’t pull any punches is a Dutch uncle. The first time I heard this term I had to read it twice. Even after looking at it again I still saw “oven”. My brain really does belong to a fourteen year old boy. Uncle or oven of the Dutch variety both seem to be pretty unwelcome. Both may also leave you gasping. There is no equivalent female terminology. I guess the consensus is that women aren’t so ruthless. I guess they haven’t heard enough truth bombs from Dutch aunts.
I think everyone needs a friend like me – someone who will tell you like it is even when you don’t want to hear it. I’m probably not the person to talk to if you are fishing for a compliment or looking for affirmation that you can do something that we both know you can’t. Don’t ask me if you should sign up to bake cookies for your kid’s bake sale the week after you gave your mother-in-law food poisoning. I’m not the right person to come to if you want to know if cutting your bangs was a good idea after you already did it. We both know that’s never a good idea. But if you want to know if you should date the guy who lives in his mom’s basement, ask away. If you need to know if getting a tattoo of the “artwork” your kid drew is a good idea, I’m just the Dutch uncle to ask!
In honor of this last day of black history month this post was written with the help of Fishbone playing very loudly in my office.