Chele Law #9 – Don't Ask the Question if you Don't Want the Answer
I have a few hard and fast laws. Eventually we'll get around to discussing them all. But this one I feel so very firmly about. Any good attorney will tell you never to ask a question if you're unsure of the answer; but outside the courtroom I think it's best to not ask a question if you are not sure you're ready to hear the answer. One saying I stole from an ex: "Do you really want the truth or do you want me to lie to you?"
I recall being young and infatuated with this dude in college. He kinda hung around and smiled at me but never asked me out. One day completely fed up I asked him, "Are you ever going to ask me out?" He replied, "Oh no, I would never do that." Taken aback, I asked him why? He said, "I need a girl that's easy this semester and you're a bit too much too handle, but we can be friends if you like." Oh well, gee thanks.
Another time a friend of mine made dinner for BougieSis and I. She lived downstairs from us and really was not talented in the kitchen. The dish she served, she called lasagna. For the record, the use of lasagna noodles does not lasagna make. She replaced the tomato sauce with ketchup, the ricotta with cottage cheese and the meat was an unseasoned tough ground turkey. She did serve a good wine and the breadsticks out of the Pillsbury can were delicious. When she asked BougieSis and I whether we liked the meal; we gave her a noncommittal answer. Later that night, she bounced upstairs. BougieSis and I's feelings were so hurt by massacre of Italian food that we had come home and made spaghetti with meat sauce. She walked in, sniffed the air and thought the pleasant smell was her meal's aroma drifting up the stairs. She then announced that she was going to serve her meal to the new guy she was dating the next night. She really wanted to impress him. So she asked again… did I think he would enjoy it? Ah jeez… I told her the truth as nicely as I could. She pouted, slammed out of the apartment and eventually got over it. So much so that she came upstairs and got a Tupperware dish of what I had cooked to serve him. Should've told her the truth straight out the gate and saved us all drama and heartburn.
And finally – what prompted this post…
I don't like to discuss my sex life… or lack thereof. Whatever's happening (or not) is for me to know and you to wonder about. J I really, really don't like to share. But a young friend of mine called me today with a situation and asked my advice. Le Sigh. Oh the burden of being the wiser, elder, been through it all (mostly) chick… anyway, here's what happened.
I mentor some youth and young adults at my church, good group of kids between the ages of 16 and 22. We get together for online chats and I basically let them ask questions about whatever they like. Me and the other three "mentors" try and answer both honestly and in ways that will keep their young behinds out of trouble. One of my mentees is wrapping up her sophomore year of college. She fell into a relationship with a knucklehead athlete (one of my areas of expertise) and has been trying to get out of the relationship for the past month or so. Why? One, he's a knucklehead. Two, he's a controlling knucklehead with jealous tendencies. Three, he's terrible (by her account really terrible) in bed. Like six months in and she's waiting on him to "find things." Twenty years old putting up with the jealousy and the bad sex? No ma'am. I advised her previously that if she saw some redeeming qualities, she should train him up in the areas where he lacked skill. She tried... diligently. With illustrations, visual aids and props… still no bueno. He finally asked her this past weekend, "What's with all the sex ed? Don't you think I'm good in bed?" She lied and said yes.
Lying about sexual performance is never a good idea. He will continue bringing the weak D- game thinking it's A+. She asked what to do, I shared the following BougieTale:
You all recall me talking about Bill, he of the boo-hooing in the shower and later of the Tapback? Yes, that Bill. Well, Bill's um… performance was directly affected by mood. If he was feeling good about himself and our relationship, he shared the good-good. If he was down… so was everything else. L And it actually got to the point where there was far more bad than good. Even after the numerous occasions where he asked me to tell/show him in detail what worked and what didn't. One evening, he had wined and dined me. We'd gone dancing and strolling and chit-chatting in the moonlight. We got home, retired to the bedroom and it was… quite awful. The worst thing was the minute he was finished (him, singular) he asked, "How was I?"
Now I could pause for the cause and express my overall displeasure with being asked for a rating but I shan't. Moving on. I really didn't know what to say and so he prompted me again, "Come on, a scale of 1 to 10 when 10 is off the charts – what did you think?" I was torn. If I told him the truth, that it was a 3, I knew he'd be all mopey. But if I way over-exaggerated and gave him a 7, he'd think he'd really done something. I thought maybe if I gave him a 5, he'd know it wasn't great and try harder next time. To stall for time I said, "That's one of those questions where you should be sure you want to know the answer." He assured me that he really wanted to know. I said (still stalling), "Well how was it for you?"
I should've taken my own advice and not asked the question. When he answered, "Eleven," my heart sank a little. How do you tell someone your experience was half (or a third) as great as theirs? When he asked the third time, I told him it was a 6. What did that net me? Every single time thereafter he would ask for the rating. Sometimes he would pause in the middle to ask what number he was close to. SO. NOT. SEXY.
Based on this story, my young friend decided to be brutally honest with her guy. She told him and he broke up with her. She's okay with that.
So a few questions – what's the deal with wanting to rate performance? Have you had to learn the lesson of not asking questions you're not ready to hear the answer to? Ever ditched an S.O. for lack of sizzle-skill? Is honesty always the best policy? Did I give my young friend good advice or would you have said something different? Any other thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours.