Everybody Lies

One of my favorite entries from the old blog was titled, “The top 10 Lies People Tell.” There was no official study taken for this compilation; only my life experience served for the parameters.

Here, as best as I can remember, are the 10 lies with very abridged explanations.

By the way, lest you think I make these proclamations from an elevated position, I’m as guilty as the rest of you for propagating many of these lies, especially numbers 10 and three.

10. “I will pay you back.”: Everyone uses it and no one ever means it. It’s why we have a crushing national debt, why credit card companies make a killing and why your best friend secretly resents you after five years of waiting.

9. “I do.” If people really stopped and reflected on the meaning of these two simple words and the vows that go with them, the divorce rate would not be at 50 percent and professional florists and photographers would have to take up panhandling to supplement their income.

8. “I don’t want to date you because I don’t want to ruin our friendship.”: A lie commonly told to men by women when they are just not attracted to him enough to take the next step.

7. “It’s what the people want.”: This lie rests at the foundation of every honey-coated untruth that drips from the forked tongue of politicians, activists, false prophets and social architects. What they really mean is, “It’s what will give me more power.”

6. “It’s not you…it’s me.”: A lie commonly told to women by men in the course of a break-up. What they are really thinking is, It’s not me…it’s you.

5. “I don’t have a favorite child.”: A lie commonly told to children by their parents. It is usually followed by the compounding lie, “Parents just love each child differently.”

4. “Violence never solves anything.”: Think about this lie the next time you see President Barack Obama on television, and realize that he might very well be picking your cotton for you if it weren’t for violence. Or maybe we’d all be eating chicken teriyaki with chopsticks. Or English tea would be a hell of a lot more expensive. Get the picture?

3. “I’m sorry.”: Usually said when someone who committed a wrong merely wants to smooth over the hurt feelings of the injured party without really feeling regret for what they did.

2. “I don’t judge.”: This lie is my biggest pet peeve. Everyone judges. We can’t help it. As human beings, we make dozens of judgments every day. We’re wired that way. It’s what we do with those judgments after they are made that really counts. I don’t give a damn how non-judgmental you are. If you come home after a hard day of work and find your wife shagging the grocery delivery boy on the kitchen table…you’re gonna judge her.

1. “I love you.”: The three most over-used, misused words in the English language. People use it as a mask for lust, envy, control, manipulation, fear, violence and even hate. Parents, children, spouses, friends and even leaders use it without truly understanding it’s deeper meaning.
I posted this abridged entry to Facebook a year ago. The longer entry, which is now gone, was written sometime in 2011. If I’d known then what I know now, we could’ve added two more lies to the top 10 for the sheer number of times we’ve heard them over the past year:

“I’m gonna build a wall and Mexico is gonna pay for it!”


“I thought C stood for Clinton.”

I’m paraphrasing that second one, but you get my point.

I’m done now. Thanks for reading this. Love you guys.

When I Figure Out the Ballot, Will I be Too Old to Care?

Last Saturday, we were honored to have a guest speaker at our NFB Denver chapter meeting. She was a rep from the League of Women Voters. She seemed like a kindly, gentle soul who was very genuine. She reminded me a lot of my friend Deb, sans the squash soup.

She was there to outline the many different proposed amendments, propositions and other items that will appear in our local ballot in three weeks. This is a tradition that has occurred for many years between the local NFB and the League of Women Voters.

She began her speech by saying, “I was here once before and I made a boo-boo. I used the word, see.”

Immediately, a dozen members tried to console her, But our assurances did not seem to assuage her fears. Several times throughout her presentation, she tripped over the word, “see,” pausing self-consciously to say, “Oops! I did it again.”

I figured that someone with more gravitas would buttonhole her after the meeting and have a friendly, enlightening chat with her.

As it happened, I was leaving and she held the door for me. I thanked her for sacrificing her Saturday, told her I enjoyed her presentation very much and then I asked her, “Has anyone talked to you about the word, see, yet?”

“No,” she said, sounding genuinely confused.

Batter up!

I proceeded to explain to her that most blind people don’t have a problem with words like, “See,” “Look,” or “Sight.” I told her that the word, “See,” doesn’t merely mean to view something with one’s eyes. It also connotes a general perception or understanding of a concept or point. “I see what you’re saying,” or “Look at the facts.”

I further explained that most blind people would notice her awkward attempts to steer around the terms more than they would take note of her use of them as part of a smooth presentation.
I told her that none of us were offended in the least by her use of such words and I wanted to make sure she did not leave thinking she had ruffled any feathers. She seemed to see my point.

Then she said, “Look at the sky. It’s so blue today. Oh gosh! I’m sorry! I did it again!”


Oh well. She has decades of misconceptions to overcome.

So for all of our sighted friends, please don’t police your speech around blind people. Most of us don’t give a damn and the ones who do are the ones who have the real problem.

Stick to the important issues, like banning Halloween costumes from college campuses because they signify cultural appropriation. Next year, I’m gonna go as a sighted person and see if anyone gets offended.

It’s Not Funny

I promised not to comment on the election in this blog until November 9. That still goes. But let me put one toe over the line.

I heard the infamous Trump tape. I will let all of you make your own judgements about The Donald. I will only say that, if any of you were surprised by this latest revelation, you haven’t been paying attention. I’m sure there’s more to come.

What I really want to talk about is sexual assault.

I’ve known many women in my life. Many of these women have been victims of sexual assault; that is, the unwanted sexual advances or contact from either men or women.

I’ve known women who were abused by their friends, boyfriends, husbands, authority figures such as bosses or coaches, strangers, or worst of all, by their relatives. The impact of this trauma is nothing less than heartbreaking. It never strikes women in the same way.

Some of them lose their basic sense of self-worth and believe that the only way they can relate to men is to have sex with them. Other women suppress their sex drive entirely. Some learn to hate all men.

Some women battle depression or other mood disorders for years afterward. Some go into deep denial and pretend it never happened. Some women want to talk about it. Some don’t. Some talk about it too much. And some women choose to go on a long, painful journey that leads to healing and recovery.

Some women have chosen to come forward, either privately to trusted friends or family, or publicly by exposing their abusers. The women who come forward are sometimes believed, sometimes not. Often, their revelations lead to fractures within families and friendships that never heal. This is why most women who are molested choose to stay silent. It’s just easier.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m far from a feminist who thinks that every woman has the right to be believed. I am firmly in favor of due process and the constitutional guarantee of innocent until proven guilty.

Whatever the case, sexual assault is not a joking matter. It’s not funny. Any man who would find humor in it doesn’t have a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend or a coworker who has survived sexual assault.

One defense I’ve heard over the past 72 hours is, “It’s no big deal. All men talk like this from time to time.”

That is flatly, patently false! I’ve said and done many things in my life of which I’m not proud, but rape jokes are not part of that. Moreover, most of the men I’ve known over my life would not joke about such a subject. I am hard pressed to imagine my father joking or laughing about rape or sexual advances of any sort.

This election really has brought out the worst in our country, not the least of which is abject hypocrisy on both sides.

For those of you supporting Hillary, I suggest you study the term, “Enabling.” Those who enable sexual predators are little better than the predators themselves. If you want to call yourself a feminist and brag about the first female president, think long and hard about Bill Clinton’s victims. I’m looking at you, Ms. Albright and Ms. Pelosi.

As for you Trump supporters, many of you were around during Bill Clinton’s era. Why is it that character no longer matters? What makes Trump so much better than Slick Willie? I’m looking at you, Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Limbaugh.

Finally, to any man or woman who has been sexually assaulted, I won’t presume to tell you how to feel. I won’t presume to tell you what you should do. The only thing I will do is beg you to please share your burden with someone you can trust. Don’t go through it alone.