Monday, October 30, 2006

Cash-register honesty

A few days ago, a friend asked me to co-sign her dishonesty. My "bellyometer" was feeling slightly queasy, but because one of my big character defects is that I will sometimes compromise my principles to make you like me, I agreed. First, I thought it was just her telling this agency something other than the truth. I told her I didn't care what she told them. Then, I had to sign a paper that said what she had told them was true. Feeling even worse, I still agreed. Over the weekend, I really felt badly about the whole thing. My s/o pointed out that not only did she lie, but now, if asked, I had to lie, too. That put another spin on things. The sad thing is it was all over saving a few bucks when this person can afford to spend the money.

It boils down to my behavior, though, not hers, and the realization that I compromised my own principles to avoid a potential rift in our friendship. And really, I don't think it's appropriate to ask friends to lie for you. Sorry, that's just not working a good program.

I sometimes make decisions way too quickly as I did when she asked me to lie. Last night I figured out a solution. When I'm uncomfortable with something a person asks of me, I can say "I'll think about it" to figure out how to phrase what I want to say rather than 1) making a bad decision, or 2) being too abrupt about how I feel about the situation.

It reminded me of a story. Two snakes, a big snake and a little snake, are slithering along side-by-side. The little snake asks the big snake, "Are we poisonous?"

"No," the big snake replied.

"Good," the little snake said, "Because I just bit my lip."

When I lie, gossip, or otherwise let my mouth overtalk my gut feelings, I'm biting my own lip and I am venomous.

This morning my friend called to give me an update on something and thanked me for lying for her. At the moment, I didn't know what to say without running the risk of hurting her feelings. But a rule of thumb a member taught me early in recovery is that if the issue is standing between me and another person, then I have to talk with them about it. So I will tell her how I feel face to face, without judgment, anger or blame. I'm just as responsible for this situation because I said "Yes" when "No" was the proper action.

When I went to the noon meeting today, guess what the topic was? Honesty. God has a sense of humor, no? When I got home from the meeting, Romy had discovered a new hiding place for my food. As you may remember, she's a savvy refrigerator opener. This morning she saw me put a piece of coffee cake in the oven before I left for the meeting. When I got home, the door where I store pots and pans was pulled open. Fortunately, the cake was in the oven, not the drawer. She's a smart girl. I told my s/o about her latest deed and he emailed me this warning. "Don’t ever let her see where you hide your gun. She might shoot us both!"

1 comment:

SCoUt said...

I can relate to all of this. Thanks for sharing it with us.
And, that it too funny about Romy.....your s/o's email made me laugh out loud!