Tasting The Truth

I absolutely hate American Idol. I know…for all my love of anything music related, it’s strange, right? I mean, I unapologetically love shows like Glee and Smash and The Voice! So how could I possibly hate a show like that? Good question.

You know how so many people tune in to watch the first few episodes where they show all those auditions and put all these truly horrible singers on tv and the world laughs? I don’t. I don’t find it at all funny. In fact, I find it to be cruel and hurtful. Whenever people ask me why I hate the show and I tell them why, I get the same answer.

“Oh, those people know they’re terrible. They’re just looking for their 15 minutes of fame.”


“Come on, it’s funny! Those people know what they’re getting into.”

But I wonder…do they really? I don’t doubt that some of them do! But think about it… really think. When a friend puts on an outfit they’re pretty excited about…and they think it looks good…and they ask you what they think…how many of you guys are honest? Do you tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/mom that the lime green outfit washes out her face and makes her look frumpy? Or do you just say…”you look great!”


I was talking to a friend yesterday. She began her conversation with me by laughingly saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” You see, she’d done an act of kindness for a woman. During their conversation the woman found out that she was a writer. Apparently this woman has a blog. She’d just gotten out of a horrible domestic situation and for the last three years has been living off of the kindness of churches, friends and family. She’s uneducated and has no job (not to mention she had no car and her cable and internet had been shut off). When she discovered that my friend wrote romances she told her she was going to look over her writings so that she could give some for my friend to look over.

My friend is a good person. She knew that what this lady was looking for was someone to validate her…someone to tell her she was good. Let’s be honest for a second…when someone’s been through the hard knocks this woman has been through, the last thing anyone wants to do is crush her more. My friend warned her…she’s not very nice when she’s beta reading. She explained that although the writing industry has changed a lot lately and anybody can write a book…it takes a lot for that book to make money and sell. She was as upfront and honest as she could be…because she knew this woman who was not at all articulate face to face was probably going to translate the same way on paper. She’s dreading having to tell this woman what she suspects will be the truth. But would she be doing her any favors by lying? Publishers and Reviewers can be pretty brutal…

I’ll give you one last example… I used to work with this lady. Yeah, she could be a bit overbearing and gossipy, but her heart was in the right place. The problem was that she always came in to work smelling. When you’re in a people-facing job (and commissioned sales, at that) this is not a good thing. Everyone in our location had brought it up as a concern to our manager. Unsure how to handle such a complaint he contacted HR…well, so he said. He’d been waiting for a week with no answer, so I suspect that if he had, he was afraid to implement their advice for fear of hurting this woman’s feelings. One day, however, I’d had it. I decided to broach the subject myself…peer to peer. I was sick and tired of all the talking behind her back…and I was sick of the smell. So as we were working alone together I started up a conversation.

Me: Do you mind if I ask you a question?
Her: No.
Me: Do you have pets at home?
Her: Oh yeah! I have 2 dogs, 3 cats, 4 birds…etc, etc, etc (she had lots of tiny animals, too)
Me: Ah, that must it…
Her: Must be what?
Me: Sometimes you come in smelling like wet dog or something. I wasn’t sure what might be causing it. I just have a very sensitive nose.
Her: Oh my God.
Me: I’m sorry. I just wasn’t sure how to tell you.

She seemed okay when I left her, but apparently she went home and told her husband that she was “the smelly kid in school”….and she asked the rest of our co-workers if they thought she smelled. The cowards effing lied to her, making me out to be the bad guy, but I was okay with it. In fact, I reiterated to her that I’d told her I had a very sensitive nose and that certain scents cause me not to react very well. After that, not only did she take special care with her hygiene, she also checked with me about the perfumes she was wearing, citing that she was concerned that her hormone chemistry might have changed since she’d had her daughter. Yeah, they lied…I told the truth…but in the end, everyone benefited from the lack of stench.

Right Friends

So, back to the whole American Idol thing… Yeah, there’s a chance that many of them do it for the thrill…the kick of being on tv. I doubt that’s the case for everyone, though. There are probably more than a couple who’ve been complimented A LOT by well meaning friends….who truly have NO IDEA how bad they are…until they see themselves featured on tv. You don’t think that hurts their feelings? How good could that be for their egos? Did those seemingly harmless compliments at the time do them any favors?

Which do you think is kinder in the long run? I’ll stick to the truth. So is there a popular show on tv that gets under your skin? Why?