Friday, September 28, 2007

filters

I don’t have that filter between my brain and my mouth that censors everything that I say. My friends are no longer offended by this (for the most part) and in fact expect it and (I think / hope) respect this as part of me. “It’s just you, Lisa,” Jo often tells me. I’m the one people call when they need an honest opinion. Which I am glad to offer. Not gleeful. Just glad to help out.

Because I know, a lot of what people say just isn’t true. Or what they say is so bogged down by filters that it’s diluted past the point of purpose:

“Things will work out great!”

“Give him another chance. He probably won’t cheat on you again.”

“Sure, I think your boss likes you.”

What’s funny about not having filters is that often, people choose to think you are joking when you make an unfiltered comment. This happens to me a lot.

Let’s take Jeremy, the trader broker. Or broker trader. Who regaled us with story after story in the bar about his great works in Japan, or wherever, somewhere overseas where he made a lot of money. Really just a very well-traveled 26 year-old.

“I’m also a professional cuddler,” Jeremy whispered to me in an undertone. “You’re also pretty annoying,” I hissed back. “What? Oh, ha! I thought you were serious,” he laughed. Um, I was.

Or take Jeff, who was struggling to decide which girlfriend to keep. “They’re both pretty much idiots, aren’t they?” Pause. “Lisa! You kill me!” “I might kill you if you keep seeing either one of them.” “You’re so funny.” Am I?

I think I’m a kind person. If a friend makes a judgment error and then asks my opinion, I will probably say amazing, fabulous- you’re brilliant. Because the damage is done. Why pile on the hurt?

Usually, I only strike out with my friends when I misinterpret something. Like telling a friend thank God you changed your website photos because the old ones were “lame.” “There still out there too,” he said thoughtfully. Oops.

Filters. Sometimes I wish I had one. Mostly, I’m glad that I don’t.