I’ve waited for phone calls before. People have said, “I’ll call you,” and I’ve waited anxiously for that call. People have said, “He said he’d call you,” and I’ve waited anxiously for that call. People have said, “People said he said he’d call you,” and–yes, you guessed it–I’ve waited anxiously for that call.
But I’ve never admitted it before. Starting with my first eventual boyfriend in high school up until now, if you had asked, “Are you waiting for him to call you?” I would have told you no, or some variation of that answer…most likely, something like, “Yeah, it’d be great if he called but he probably won’t.”
This time, I waited, and I freely admit it. I kept my browser open to the page in question, and I kept the paper bill beside me. Con Edison was supposed to call me back within the hour, and there was no way I was going to be flippant about it this time. No way was I going to pretend I didn’t care one way or another.
While I waited for that hour, I started thinking about why I pretend not to care. I know why, of course–it’s self-preservation. If I don’t admit to caring, then no one will know that I do and therefore they can’t possibly know how much it upsets me to find out they don’t care as much. Pretty obvious. And yet, for someone who claims to always tell the truth, it’s a fairly big omission. So I’ll admit it now: I care. Always. If it seems like I don’t, I must be hiding it. If it feels like I don’t, I’m obstructing it with sarcasm. If it looks like I don’t, I’m putting on an act. I care. It’s an unwavering personality trait.
And when I’m waiting for a call from Con Edison to discuss why my payment is being delayed, I care even more. I’m not afraid to admit it because it’s something they should know–not because I think it makes a difference in the service; not because admitting it will change how they respond to my call. Simply because it’s honest and that’s what I am, and I will continue being it until my demise (which will likely be caused either directly or indirectly by my honesty, based on my track record).
ConEd eventually called, and, after initially hanging up on me when I answered, they called back and talked to me and got my issue straightened out. And this is why I tell the truth even when it hurts: if you don’t say anything it will never be fixed. At least if you present the problem, you have a chance of fixing it.
Which is also what I tell myself before I subsequently inadvertently spur someone to break up with me, as has happened twice in my life. But still, I’d rather be broken up with 103 times based on the truth than stay with someone forever based on a lie.