Palmares-Moises: Faking it

Michelle Palmares, Darwin Moises
·4 min read

M: Sheena is working from home. She lives in a dorm. But at the height of the pandemic, her rich uncle was kind enough to let her stay with his family so she can be safe from the pandemic. In the course of her office Zoom meetings, she got close to Carlo. And he eventually became her boyfriend. Now that things are getting back to normal, her uncle is hinting if she can go back to the dorm. It shouldn’t have been a problem, except that Carlo thinks she’s rich and that it’s really her house. She’s known in the office for having a beautiful house as seen from her background. How can she transition to her ordinary dorm setting? How will Carlo feel if he discovers that she is not rich? Simple. Tell him the truth. That she just temporarily stayed with her uncle and that she will soon go back to the dorm where she was staying before the pandemic.

DJ: We live in a world where lying has become a fairly common occurrence. That’s why a background check to uncover fabrications is now a lucrative business. It’s hard to understand why people tell lies particularly when there is no clear purpose. Sheena is not in a life-and-death situation at all. I agree, Mic. She has to tell Carlo the truth. A wrong can be made right only by doing the right thing. I know it’s not as simple as that, but there really is no other way but through. She can say she’s sorry and hopefully, the sincerity, humility and strength it takes to admit a bad decision can go a long way in helping him hear and accept her confession. Where there’s a will, with prayer and a bit of luck there can buoyantly be a way.

M: Why is she scared that her boyfriend will find out that she is not rich? Does she feel that that is what drew him to her? Might it be because she is pretending who she is not? It has nothing to do with the house but about her character. If she has been untruthful with her boyfriend simply because she is embarrassed about being poor, it would be good to check herself first before thinking of what her boyfriend might think about her not being rich. I don’t think he fell for her during their Zoom meetings because he saw an opulent house in the background. If he did, he is as fake as her fake house.

DJ: This is more than just about her being poor. Lies erode trust which is, by the way, an essential component of a strong relationship. Once it’s broken, it’s hard to rebuild. I suggest for Sheena to examine her motives. And this is not about Carlo but about her. Is lying a recurring episode? If it is, it’s best that she solve this first before trying to fix what she has with Carlo. If it’s a one-time big-time thing, it helps if she comes prepared for his reaction. Let him vent if he’ll want to and be ready to listen to everything he’ll say about the situation. People, at the onset, don’t care much about the reason behind except that they’ve been lied to. It’s possible her confession might prompt him to consider the relationship and her in a different way. But if she’s learned her lesson, that’s the silver lining. She’s a wiser person this time around.

M: This online setting gives us a wide variety of virtual backgrounds. We can pretend to be in another city, another country or even another planet. I think people will understand if we choose a better background to hide messy rooms or a small and cramped space. But to carry on and deceive people by pretending to be someone else, I think that needs to be settled first. We can better take stock of who we are or what we want to be if we look deep into ourselves. There is no shame in being poor, especially if you do your best to not only better your circumstances but also ensure that you act with and keep your integrity. What is shameful is if we dislike our situation and try to cover it with a lie to make it appear that we are better or richer or more beautiful sans the filter. Be honest to Carlo, and take this opportunity to let him get to know the real you.

DJ: The only way to fix this problem is for Sheena to face it head on. We’re all human. Sometimes, we get things wrong. No matter how good our intentions are, we mess up. Hopefully, Carlo can accept that. Whatever the outcome is, however, I’m positive that this can turn things better than they were before—for Carlo or for Sheena or for the both of them—whether together or apart.