My daughter doesn't lie.
There is something very real about that concept. I feel an extra sense of responsibility when I talk to her because of it. Almost as if her truth is challenging all of the little, buzzing lies that swarm out of my mouth on a daily basis. Not big lies, mind you, but the kind of lies that we, as a society, have come to understand as normal behavior.
"Hey! How are you doing?" "Oh, I'm fine."
"Did you like that dinner I spent 3 hours cooking for you?" "Oh yeah, it was great!"
"Does this dress make me look...?"
You get the picture.
With my daughter, you always know where you stand and what is expected of you. She certainly has no qualms providing feedback on things that are unsavory, inedible, or 'non-preferred'. In fact, she will gladly let you know what's what, and usually without concern over whether her style was uncouth or socially acceptable.
Unfortunately, her words aren't always as forthcoming as mine and that is where my masterful sleuthing skills come in handy. Oh, I don't go around puffing on a pipe or anything, but I can figure out the difference between frustration, anger and gas at a glance. I am also fortunate enough to have a fairly pleasant speaking and singing voice which tends to calm her down long enough to work out more complex issues.
For me, the real challenge is whether to adopt her style of truth without compromise or to continue to finesse conversations with white lies. I feel an obligation to try it her way, but I'm not sure if society is ready for that yet.
There's an irony there, of course. My daughter can bluntly speak the truth to total strangers and they accept it charming and adorable, but my truths are considered boorish and rude.
And yet, it's simply the truth.