Inching down the slippery slope to chronic social insincerity, New York woman Beth Malone, who had always prided herself on being an extremely down-to-earth, authentic person, knowingly made a promise to go to lunch with an acquaintance that she never intended to keep.
"It happened so fast, while I was trying to get away," said Beth, who explained that she'd run into her former neighbor, Emily Spears, in a local coffee shop, and immediately worried that Emily would corner her into hearing all about the latest developments in Emily''s online business selling custom-designed pants for women. "I was in the process of turning away when she suggested doing lunch, and I heard myself saying, 'Yes, let's do lunch.'"
For Beth, it was an awful moment. In the past, she'd made fun of people who said things like "Let's do lunch." To hear herself now uttering those very words - and worse, disingenuously - made her realize that something had to give, or she would become just like everyone else: slick, shallow, superficial, fake. She immediately did a one-eighty on her sincerity, and determined that she would indeed "do lunch" with Emily, and soon.
And not only that, she would make swift and appropriate amends for her briefly plotted deception.
"I asked if she would show me some pants samples," said Beth, who has never had trouble buying jeans off the rack, but felt it was important to demonstrate her faith in Emily's custom-pants business model. "She promised to bring some that would be perfect for my body type, which means I'll feel obligated to buy them," said Beth. "Which is totally fine. I'm sure they're very nice."
The two sealed the deal by making a lunch date for the following week.
Staying firmly on the authenticity track, Beth explained that her parting words to Emily, "Great to see you," were wholly sincere in the sense that she is truly grateful not to be blind.
"Authenticity is everything," said Beth, who has already plugged Emily's custom-designed pants business to a friend who recently gained some weight. "I'm not perfect, but I'm trying."