Oh Honestly

For whatever reason I struggle with not starting off every entry with “So….” I guess too many bad jokes about a rabbi, a priest, and blind squirrel rattle around in my head.

“Frankly” tempts me way too often as well, but comes with the added bonus of making me feel like a liar thanks to decades spent watching trashy TV shows in which the completely adulterous/embezzling/serial-killing character reassures a spouse/board member/officer of the law that honest, he or she is innocent.

I mean, here I sit, trying to be HONEST, and yet if I use poor frankly, honest’s cousin, I risk head shakes and doubt. And FRANKLY that ticks me off because while it may be unimaginative to prefix the obvious—“I think X”—I feel my opinions gain a little looking-down-my-pince-nez gravitas when I use the term.

Apparently I have this hypersensitivity to implied guilt? That makes me break into a cold sweat when I see a police car or contemplate using “frankly” when I am telling the truth?

I’m sure it has nothing to do with my Catholic upbringing, though, which required me to say, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed” as part of Mass, even when I thought I might well be worthy since I hadn’t DONE or THOUGHT any of the seemingly endless wrongs. According to Father Pat I was mistaken about that, of course:

How do you know when you are worthy to receive the Eucharist? Strictly speaking, no one is ever worthy. Jesus’ healing makes us less unworthy.”

Naturally in my head I both edited the proclamation to “only say the word and I shall be heeled” and flashed on Billy Joel belting out that he’d “rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” You could put my past, current, and future resistance down to a generally ornery disposition (my take) and/or “that Protestant blood running through your veins” (the opinion of certain people with whom I share DNA).

Self-imposed idiotic guilt aside, my love for frankly holds true. It’s forever pure.

You can have “honestly,” though. It’s a word made up of frustration, anger, shame, and insecurity; if you sent me back in time to use it in spelling-test sentence I’d have Aladdin’s riches before me: “honestly I don’t know where you get that from—that never happened;” “honestly I don’t know what I’m going to do with you all;” “honestly I don’t know where I went wrong;” “honestly what are people going to think?!”

Yeah, I go all Scarlett O’Hara kneeling in the dirt when it comes to using “honestly.” But I sure catch myself narrowing my eyes and thinking it way, way too often for comfort.

One Response

  1. Perfect storm, zen, ideal communication doesn’t exist. We all have different mental dictionaries and thesauri.

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