Fraudulence: How do you decipher its origin?
After an exhausting weekend, full of adventure and oddity, I am left pondering. Do people who are totally full of shit know it? Are they intentionally and willingly fraudulent or are they so self unaware that it is accidental?
Example: Saturday night I went out with a guy that was extremely interested in me some years ago and that was hurt by the fact that I would not leave my then boyfriend to be with him, well that turned out to be a waste of loyalty but that is beside the point. This guy, lets call him J, was there for me after the break up and really helped to take care of me during the hardest parts which I thought was admirable and kind but then disappeared for many months. He called me this weekend to ask me to meet him and some of his friends at the bar where we actually had met, as I had a gap in my schedule for that evening, I complied. I had little to no expectations as I have found that having them only leads to disappointment anyway and thought that it would simply be nice to catch up and see how he had been doing other than the lame FB posts that I had seen. When I arrived he was clearly happy to see me and kindly told me how beautiful I looked and commented on my physique which I had been working rather tirelessly on and I excitedly thanked him. We sat down at the table with all of his friends and began chatting, all pretty standard. Not even 20 minutes into the evening, he changed his body language to directly face me and grabbed my hand in his. He then proceeded to tell me that he loved me and that he always had. He continued to say that he had disappeared because he was afraid that if we had begun seeing each other that it would be more of a rebound for me and that he could not chance his heart on something he thought to be short-lived. He also expressed concern that should William ever return that I would be drawn to getting back together with him. I assured him that William would never again be any part of my life for any reason and that should he return which was highly doubtful anyway that he would be met with nothing but disdain and disappointment. At this point he asked me if I wanted to give being with him a shot, that after all he had loved me for years now and that finally he felt as if we were both in a position to be together and have it be successful. Now for anyone that knows me really well, I am usually quite moved by expressions of emotion and am a bit susceptible to being persuaded by them as well but after all that I have endured recently it has become much more difficult. It is not that I out right did not believe him or felt as he was manipulating me, it was just a matter of do his words and his actions directly match up? I can say from what I have observed over the past few days that they do not. So the question remains, did he mean all the things that he said or was it all just BS to try to accomplish some self-serving goal? And if it was BS did he even realize he was doing it?
Example #2: The dreaded bastard ex. If I could credit any one human being for completely destroying any faith I had in humanity and for eliminating any trust I have that people are what they say they are, its him. Forget that this person told me over and over again how much they loved me and that I was the one for him and then brutally left me in possibly the worst of scenarios. Forget that apparently this person lied to everyone involved in the situation so that his cowardice would be tolerated. Hell even forget that he waffled back and forth between telling me that he “had been with more attractive women than me,” and telling me how gorgeous I was. Forgetting all that because it is in the past and holds little to no meaning for me anymore, there is still the present fraudulence which he continuously spews forth from a laptop in Asia. In reference to society’s obsession with FB he writes things like:
In fact, in the 21st century it is more natural to be laid bare and completely open in your yearning for approval and recognition than it would be to hide your feelings. We are gregarious, we are desirous of living an examined life for Plato said that anything less than that is not worth living. We use introspection balanced with external comments to search our emotional responses to the world. To be honest with yourself in the age of reality shows and celeb-worship is to know that you would probably take, if not relish for some time, the constant scrutiny and phony devotion of being the one in the camera’s flash instead of the one pushing the button. The world is changing again, as it always will. The exaggeration of daily life, and the magnification of minutiae is thrust into our faces like mall perfume samples. I wonder if the rise in depression is due to people feeling unworthy of living because they aren’t being photographed or pulled aside for interviews. Do we feel unimportant because only our family and friends care about us, as opposed to strangers worshipping us through the magazine pages or the Hollywood blockbusters? Even as I write this, I do wonder who will read it, who will appreciate it. We want to feel alive and needed, we want to leave our mark upon this world.
Or in reference to the duality of life and all the myriad of amazing philosophical epiphanies he has had:
Last week at the the Buddhist temple of heaven and earth, I felt the feeling I’ve felt for a long time now, but saw it manifested before me. Namely, that what we call right and wrong are constructs of our society. There is, has been and always will be only what is done and not done. If you see evil happening and do nothing, that’s what you do—in your non-action lies your action. If you hurt someone, you did it. If you help someone, you did it. It is the existential power we all possess and gives meaning to every single choice we can ever make. You can choose with each step of your life, positive or negative behaviors. What is right for one is wrong for another. Christianity and Islam are not right or wrong, one is right for one group of people, and therefore the other appears wrong. Murder, rape, theft et al. are unequivocally wrong, because it takes the choice away from the other person, but it is done. The thief wants money, takes it, it is right for him, but wrong to the person from whom he stole. The laws of regulation are necessary in a functioning society, but within those boundaries, you can find your own philosophy of right action.
Or perhaps my personal favorite when describing a beautifully debauched Wednesday:
We talked about why I wasn’t married, how the kindergarten teachers were attractive but hard to talk to, how he was wearing a special tie today with lots of glitter because the parents would all be present today for the kindy graduation. The one who spoke the most English, and was the most pleasant was my Korean co-teacher’s uncle and never seemed that nice before. He was charming. He was so interested in talking to me. I ate my dinner, they paid and I thought they were walking me home. It turned out, we were headed for a second place to talk and drink soju. I told them I had to go home. Here I am writing this, getting drunker the more I write, as the drink keeps hitting more of my body. It’s the Hemingway kind of drunk, where things still seem new and exciting. It’s not the kind of Bukowski drunk where you just finished hitting your wife, and you’re feeling guilty so you drink kind of drunk. I really would have loved to hear more stories, but I know the drunker you get the worse your foreign language gets but the more accessible it is to your mouth. It’s like you have more words, but less grammar, making for a terribly incoherent but verbose rant about nothing. It was a good Wednesday.
It is so funny, many months ago I would have been bothered by these things, even upset by them but now I just find them humorous and fascinating even if a bit sad. Because you see he is the epitome of what I am questioning because I wonder if he is aware of just how ridiculous these things sound coming from him, this person that enlisted my help for this “drinking problem” but then brags and relishes his debauchery. Hemingway drunk? Really? This person that philosophizes right and wrong, action and inaction as if he comprehends any of that. Unequivocally wrong? You mean like leaving your girlfriend of 3.5 yrs pregnant and disappearing to a foreign country? It is simply bewildering how this person can say these things having done what they have done and with such ease. And again the question remains, do people who are so obviously full of shit, know it? Or have they created their own reality in their minds that enables them to act so hypocritically and yet believe everything that they think and say is true? The deeper question is in today’s society is it easier for these people to get away with this kind of behaviour? It is very interesting to me from a psychological stand point and I wonder if there will ever be a time when this technological advancement allows for individuals like this to be “called out” as it were instead of them being able to use it towards their own shameless self promotion. What has happened to us? Why are we all so much more concerned with how things appear versus what they really are? Are we all so ashamed of who we are and what we have done that we construct this amazing facade of a human being and use misdirection to alleviate our own self-loathing? Why not just direct all that time and energy towards living an honorable and truthful existence? I would rather have someone love me, knowing everything that I have done good, bad and otherwise than have someone fall in love with the mask. But I still wonder, are these people doing all this intentionally or are they really so lost in their own heads?
Today I am thankful for my ex and all the lessons he has taught me. I am thankful that I am more scrutinizing and less gullible. I am thankful that he demonstrated the age-old adage that actions do in fact speak louder than words and that through this experience, I truly believe that I will never have to suffer the same pain again because I will pay much more attention to the man behind the curtain. So really as much as I have fought it, today I can honestly say, he did me a favor. And with that comes a sense of peace and completion. Sigh.