Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lemon Bars Intro

   Lemon bars make for an interesting topic of conversation in my friend group; whether that be politics, religion, or relationships they always seem to be at the center of every word, every argument, every action. Let me be clear, I love lemon bars.
    I was going over to a friend's house this one night, it was in between winter and spring, but closer to winter; it was cold. I hate cold weather. The way the wind cuts through your clothes like a knife through butter makes for a miserable day on the best of days. Though on this miserable day, it was poised to get much better as I was invited to MaryE's house for dinner. MaryE is a graceful, wonderful, understanding friend of mine. The first time we sat down for dinner we knew in our hearts that we had the other, and wouldn't let go for anything. We get each other, there's no better feeling. Now, three and a half years of friendship later, I'm driving to her apartment on the campus of Hardin-Simmons University expecting a warm meal and good company.
    The apartment complex MaryE lived at was one I actually lived in before moving to the Stabbin' Cabin in the ghetto of Abilene, Texas. It's a fairly nice apartment that Hardin-Simmons offers to students. She lived on the third floor, and so as I stepped out of my car, the wind cutting my face, I looked up at her window and smiled and walked up the stairs quickly as to avoid being in the cold as much as possible. MaryE had cooked for me before, and to clarify before I move on, she cooks very well; I thoroughly enjoy her cooking. And this meal was extremely satisfactory, as expected: a warm meal and good company. We ate, we laughed, we even danced; it was another great time to be had with a great friend.
    As the meal progressed it came time for dessert: lemon bars. MaryE told me that they might not be cooked all the way, or that she might have messed up the recipe, and that if I didn't like them I didn't have to eat them. Being the fatty that I am, I ate them, who's to deny free dessert? And as she prefaced, they weren't cooked all the way through, however, they were acceptable to eat. They weren't bad at all. I ate a few, and she asked my opinion on them, “Be honest! Do you like them?”; being the ignorant male that I am, I took the bait and answered truthfully. I said that they were good, but not the best I ever had, thinking that because she asked me to be honest I was entitled to express my honest opinion, whatever that may have been. Boy was I wrong.
    Being the graceful woman she is, she didn't say anything, but the mood changed for the rest of the evening; we were more reserved and I was still ignorant to the fact that my lack of tact led to the hurting of my friend. Later on she confided to me that it really did hurt her, that she wrote a poem expressing her anguish.
    Truth and honesty are a double edged sword that cuts to your core sometimes.
    MaryE and I look back and laugh at it now, but lemon bars could have hurt our relationship if we hadn't communicated efficiently. And it got me thinking, honesty sometimes isn't the best policy, and that raises an ethical concern: is it acceptable to lie or leave out information that would be pertinent to the situation? It's like the situation my ethics professor always brought up in class: if you're hiding Jews from the Nazis, and the Nazis come knock at your door and ask if you're hiding any Jews, would you be honest and say, yeah they're in the attic; or would you find valor in lying and say that you weren't hiding any Jews to save them from slavery, even death? I'm positive that all of us would answer that we weren't.
     Lemon bars, they make for an interesting topic of conversation.

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