Last Thursday Mark invited Paul to join us when I went to his house. It’s slightly odd that he never invited Kat despite knowing her for longer, especially since she’s stopped talking about Daniel as much and seemed to have been in a better mood lately, but then again he didn’t recognize her at all when she got a new haircut a week ago. Since he got a job as a Spanish tutor this was one of the few days that Paul could come over. Mark’s brother had to have the addition of a new person explained to him before he came into the house, and even then every time he saw Paul he kept staring at him. Luckily he stayed in the living room while we were in Mark’s bedroom; otherwise it would have been a really awkward evening.
We played video games like usual when I go to Mark’s house, with the addition of a third person. The first game we would switch as each of us played the other. After nine rounds I only won one and Mark and Paul both won four, so they had a lengthy play-off match that Mark won. Apparently Paul also has a console at home, which is why he’s about as good as Mark. The second game we played three way competitively, and again they were even and I was outmatched. The third game was cooperative, which I preferred because I wasn’t getting beat all the time.
Dinner time arrived, and this time it was Mark’s father’s turn to cook. The meal was perfectly fine, and when asked Paul said it was delicious. Mark’s brother was staring at Paul so much he wouldn’t finish the dinner until after we’d left. When we returned to Mark’s room, Paul asked us if we thought the meal was as bland as he did. Mark was confused because Paul had called it “delicious” when we were down there, and Paul replied that he was just trying to be nice. I said that I thought the meal was good, just like every other meal I’d had there. It makes me wonder if Mark’s parents think that the meals they prepare for our sensitives are as bland as Paul does, and they have to eat it every night.
I know that we were taught in our social skills classes years ago about proper manners and small talk. The teachers admitted it was usually small lies that were used not to hurt the other person’s feelings, which made sense but doesn’t make it easier to do in practice. Paul just seemed so comfortable lying to them, like it was second nature to him. I suppose it made his father feel better about his cooking abilities, assuming that they couldn’t hear him dismissing them in Mark’s room afterward. If you lie to protect a person, then if they find out then they can be hurt both by your actual feelings and by the fact that you broke their trust. Maybe if I was better at lying that would be less of a problem, but my father can always tell when I’m not telling the truth. So it seems safer to me to just be honest all of the time.