First let me define Honesty vs Truthfulness according to Peter...I need to rationalize my world in order for things to be compartmentalized.
Honesty: Saying what you mean.
Truthfulness: Telling your wife you cheat on her with hookers.
Honesty makes relationships better, truthfulness ruins everyone's life.
This whole post was sparked by a conversation about gifts and gift giving. Specifically the need to reciprocate gift giving. This time of the year there is a whole lot of guilt that goes around. You can hear it in the way we speak:
"I need to get so and so a gift."
"Last year they got me that expensive thing and I only got them a little thing."
We have all heard them. From loved ones to close friends, extended family, neighbors, coworkers, that chick you fuck on the side, the list could go on forever and for many it does. We all think that we are the only one having that conversation, when in reality, everyone is doing it.
Here is my answer, long ago I told everyone, "Do not get me a gift."
Period, end of statement. When I want something I go and buy it. I do not need your trinket or gift card. Most of the time I just recycle the trinket, and forget to use the gift card. I appreciate that you thought of me, however, there is not what I want at all.
IF you want to do something, come and hang out with me. Take me out to eat and use the damn gift card WITH me. Write me a letter expressing you feelings, draw me a picture. Understand that upon reading the letter or looking at the picture there is a 90% chance I will then throw it away...I do not keep stuff like that, my life is already full of paper.
In addition, understand that I will NOT be getting you a gift just because you got me a gift. If I want to get you a gift it is because I REALLY like you (trust me, I do not do a lot of gifts) and I wanted to get you something. I have a particular distain for people who give a gift then sit back and anticipate a gift in return...that is not in the spirit of giving.
Most of the time, I will just want to hang out with you, go to a concert or see some live music. Buy you a beer or a meal. I want friendship and memories not shit that I have to take care of.
Which brings me to my next point on honesty. Paying for meals.
Have you ever been out with another couple or a group of people and the bill arrives. Let me back up...if you want separate bills, say so at the start. In a large group of people at the START of ordering, if you either #1 do not want to pay for everyone or #2 do not want to be the person stuck with figuring out how much everyone owes through long division and complex tax calculations that end up with you paying more than anyone else, speak up and say "Make my bill separate."
I am the loudmouth that will overpower everyone with my desire to have a separate bill. Most people appreciate my vocal intolerance to bill splitting. Those that do not, can suck it...no that would be a reward...they can NOT suck it.
IF it is a couple going out to eat, and I offer to pay for the whole thing and you say, "No, I got it." Then I answer with, "OK!" I do not argue. If you want to pay...you pay. I am not going to get into some stupid one upping on who is going to pay argument. If you want to split, Fuck you, you should have said it when we ordered. If you offer me cash I will take it, I am not going to reject your cash and have a stupid argument where you put the cash on the table and say, "well, I am just going to leave it then." If you offer to pay the tip, then ok...you get the tip...CASH ONLY! I am not going to do some weird credit card tip shit.
Also, if I buy, you are under NO obligation to buy next time...remember if you want to keep score and buy next time, I will not argue. However, I will also not reciprocate just because you bought last time. This is not to say that I do not keep some sort of score. If you always buy and I feel that I should, then I will say, "You should really let me get this one." I will say it at the BEGINING of the meal. If you are rich as fuck and always want to buy...I will not even offer...because if I was rich as fuck I would not expect anyone else to buy...ever...
My spouse does not believe the way I do. She will have the stupid arguments at the dinner table. She will want to split the check between 12 people and a dog. She will reject your money to the point of stupidity. She feels like she HAS to buy gifts for people that do not matter one bit I our lives.
Does this seem harsh? Am I a dick?
Maybe...but I prefer to be a dick then deal with all the tit for tat shit that happens.