Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bullshit filter maintenance

I have worked out a fatal flaw in blogging about the contents of your skull.  You can inadvertently tell your husband more than he needs to know about your thought processes.

For example, the other night I was persistently questioning him about printer head cleaning.  I was not just being annoying - I was testing to see how far he would go before his manly pride collapsed and he admitted he had no idea how to clean them.  At the time he just thought I was tired and overly dogmatic.  In fact I exercising my bullshit filter to keep it in form and to see how long he would string along with nonsensical crap before he squeezed his ignorance out between gritted teeth.

If I hadn't blogged about it he would not have known that I approach his techno-babble with a touch of scepticism.  He just assumed he was getting away with it, or that I cared so little about things that go beep, I could not be arsed even considering whether he was talking rubbish.

I suspect that part of the problem is that I am at home with the children.  I used to work in public policy, a line of work where your whole day could be spent playing round upon round of "spot the bullshit" with triple points when you caught your Minister at it.  (Though you lose a point if you could reasonably attribute the rubbish to the narcissistic self-delusion so common in politicians.)

This is not to say that the girls don't give me a workout.  They are liable to lie their little bottoms off on a range of topics, a number of which involve hygiene or lack thereof.  You can, for example, reasonably entertain suspicions of a lack of stock rotation when you do two days worth of washing and it involves no socks from one girl an no underpants from the other.  This is a sure sign the grotty little monsters are in three day old pants and socks and several rounds of fibbing have taken place. Though missing items from the wash can also mean that there are manky heaps of washing lying under beds or in the bookshelves, neatly interleaved between the books because that was quicker by at least 3 seconds than taking it to the laundry basket during the last you-can-watch-TV-when-your-room-is-clean clean.

But this is just casual, everyday, I-prefer-a-stinky-bottom lying.  The other sort of lie that children specialise in is where they make an initial statement they know is false, but then after 10 minutes screaming about it, they have rewritten events in their mind and they are now sure it is entirely true.  This one commonly emerges while one girl is doing a time-out for whacking her sister.

I think the problem is that neither my husband's lies of manly delusion, or the girl's lies of convenience or lies of the heart really tax my capacities to any extent.  Tedious, yes.  Tricky, no.

I suspect I need to get back to a job that involves considering the extent of lies as part of the work.   After all, as long as they keep their smelly bits away from me, the girls probably will survive their disgusting habits.

And it will certainly help my marriage if my husband doesn't realise the range of topics I switch on the bullshit filter for when we talk about things.