Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie has been used as an icebreaker for at least two generations.  Colleagues, fellow workshop attendees, and slumber party guests get to know each other by guessing which of three statements is false. It’s a good way to see who is up for stimulating conversation and who couldn’t care less. 

The latter says something like this-

  • I’m afraid of snakes.
  • I’m afraid of mice.
  • I’m afraid of bats.

All statements could be true but which one isn’t? You don’t get much personal information here except that the person is a scaredy cat or purposely private. I suppose it could be a conversation starter but not necessarily a long or interesting one. Thank you for sharing.

The former, the stimulator, likes to tease the audience with tidbits of information, and their fib is usually one with a variation on the truth rather than a baldfaced lie.

  • I gave the Bicentennial speech on the town green when I was 17.
  • I came in 1st in a ski race where everyone else fell or lost a ski.
  • A guy gave me a bloody nose in a disco in Italy.

Actually I came in 4th, twenty seconds behind 3rd place, she finished the race on one ski after falling.

All three declarations are more intriguing. We’re talking (possibly) about a history of public speaking, international travel, and athletic prowess.

I’d much rather talk about innocent assaults in nightclubs than snakes any day.

My blond haired friend came up with a third option which essentially wrecks the game. The idea is to say things that are totally inappropriate and ridiculous.

  • I never tip more than 10% at a restaurant.
  • I slept with my best friend’s husband yesterday.
  • I think no lives matter.
  • I have red hair.

“Oh I’m sorry, I forgot it’s just two truths not three.”

Obviously the speaker doesn’t have red hair, but what does that mean? Who is this person? 

This is an opportunity to show the people who you aren’t. Not great as an icebreaker, but then again…

There’s a writing prompt that I ignore, “Write about something you’ve never told anyone”. Why would I ignore responding to this invasion of privacy? Is it because 

  • I could go to jail?
  • I think writing prompts are stupid?
  • I’m afraid you will look at me differently?

No matter which are true and which is false, it’s none of your business.

When you publish a book or a blog, writing is an icebreaker. You will either bore people to death, inspire conversation, or notice averted eyes when you are at the grocery store. Wait! Are we still playing two truths and a lie?

Namaste- Pinocchio rules! Can I get a Hurray?!

Finders Keepers?

The Nestle’s Quik tin was kept in a corner cupboard and to reach it required getting up on to the counter. I don’t remember when we were allowed to make chocolate milk by ourselves but it must have been after Had, Dee and I stopped spilling milk at dinner.
At least weekly one of us was banished to the kitchen to finish eating alone. I can still see me and my red Captain Kangaroo cup shunned until dinner was over. Something about milk dripping through the slats of the dining room table drove Mom crazy.
One day while pulling out the chocolate powder I noticed a red wallet. Inside was a ten dollar bill. Obviously I had discovered treasure. Finders keepers.
A few days later Had announced he had been robbed. THAT WAS HIS WALLET? 
I was mortified so of course I denied knowing anything about it. Apparently there was no doubt that Dee and I were innocent so interestingly the subject was dropped. I remembered thinking “phew, that was easy”.

Twenty years later, in a moment of pleasant sibling inebriation, I confessed to Had.
“Here’s ten bucks, I swear I didn’t know it was your wallet, don’t tell Mom”,

Even after all this time I was afraid of Mom’s reaction but assumed my secret would be kept. 

It wasn’t.

“I can’t believe you stole that money”, Mom said. “I was sure Keath took it so he was never invited to stay here again”.
Cousin Keath, from Kentucky, was an Eagle Scout and why she ever thought him capable of theft still astounds me. He was excellent at building tree houses and making spears. A couple of convicts escaped from Comstock Prison that summer so the spears were protection when going upstairs to bed.
For a short time I thought I should apologize to him, but didn’t. Look where the last confession got me.
My exciting discovery and subsequent shame followed years later by a drunken confession and more shame still wakes me up periodically in the middle of the night. My action and non-action affected so many people. Had was sad. Mom was mad. Keath was confused. Dee was relieved not to be a part of the story.
Asteya and Satya are two of the five Yamas that remind us how to engage with ourselves and the world around us. These two encourage non-stealing and truthfulness.
“I’m surprised I didn’t realize you were lying”, Mom said. “Usually your face gets beet red”.
That did it. Those two Yamas became ingrained. (Mama’s Yamas). When I find money on the ground, or anywhere, I either leave it or give it to the next person I see. I’m not taking any chances at having my face turn the color of Had’s wallet.

Namaste- find a treasure, give it away.