Friday, July 10, 2009

Truth be told

As children, we're taught that telling the truth is a golden rule, something that should always be followed. As adults, we know that in practice, this doesn't always work out. "Little white lies" to "spare feelings" happen often. "Of course your baby is beautiful." "I don't mind pet snakes at all." "I love mayo on my sandwich." Little lies like this that avoid the truth, but spare the feelings of the other person, seem to become a necessity when you're an adult.

I am a horrible liar. Knowing this, I usually try and stick to the truth in situations where I don't have to pretend to like pickles on my sandwich. Recently, I went to visit family without my husband along. He was out of town at the time playing Dungeons & Dragons. When a relative asked me where he was, I simply stated he was gaming with friends. When pressed about what game he was playing, I told the truth. She gasped, and then didn't continue our conversation. Being a born-again Christian, I understood what that gasp meant: she subscribed to the belief that DnD is somehow evil.

Following this incident, we were at a family dinner, where my husband noted that the relative did not speak to him or even acknowledge his presence. I did not notice this, as there were a lot of people in the room, but I think he felt he received the cold shoulder and different treatment than he had received from her in the past.

Is this relative is treating my husband poorly based on her misguided beliefs that DnD is somehow evil? My husband is not prone to psychotic breaks or mental issues. He has a firm grasp of reality and is not a Satan-worshiper. In fact, his characters in the game are usually heroes. He also plays video games in which he creates various superheroes and fights the bad guys. He loves comic books and his favorite character is Superman -- the consummate hero. How can this possibly be misconstrued as evil? Do people really still believe that a board game is inherently evil and or people do bad things because a TV-movie told them so?

It just ends up making me feel like I should have lied and said "Scrabble". Sometimes the truth just isn't worth it, and that is a shame. The world could use more truth.


Jenn said...

Sorry to hear about that, but hardly surprised. We deal with the same thing and although part of me wishes I would talk with them and clear up their misinformed beliefs, I've learned its easier to just call it something else.

Cyn said...

Uck sorry to hear this happened. I get it a lot too, but I've decided I'm not going to apologize for my hobbies. I enjoy them. I have fun. It does not interfere with my work nor other pursuits. I do not live in my parents' basement. Sigh.

My life is not right for them and their life is not right for me. I accept what theirs is so if they cannot accept mine then that's their issue and not my burden to carry. If they're willing to understand why it is I enjoy the gaming I do I'll gladly share. If they're not so open minded well... I probably would spend less time around them. Life is too short to spend time around closed minded people - family or not, right?

Jahn Ghalt said...

I decided at one point to tell my kids that honesty is not the best policy:

"being *kind* is the best policy"

Too many A**sholes are purposefully honest to be unkind.

Abigail Van Buren (of Dear Abby fame) had a stock reply to the parents of ugly children who nevertheless showed their photos:

"you must be very proud"

"Scrabble" was the right - if belated - answer. It is kind to not arouse troubling beliefs of believers.

Liza said...

Parents have to make some tough calls, including their son's involvement in role-playing games during a time when many parents my age thought that it was the reincarnation of the Devil's plan to kidnap kids into his nefarious underworld. My call was to let my son use his intellect to play the game and monitor his activity associated with that decision.

Other parents, many of whom who kept their kids from this evil pursuit, thought it was okay for them to date and drink and drive drunk: just kids having fun, you know?

I'll stand by my decision any day, but I'm also the mom who paid for a subscription to Playboy for her son so he didn't have to sneak them into the house. I'm sure he also read the articles as he's well-informed, well-educated, and an outstanding adult human being.

It's all about the choices and accepting responsibility for them, one way or another.