Have you ever fantasized about any of your wife’s friends? Is the reason you’ve held off having children because you aren’t sure if your wife is the right one for you? Do you often wonder why you’re in your current relationship? When you’ve been out of town on business, have you ever wished you didn’t have to call your partner? Have you ever had sexual relations with someone of the same sex? Have you ever masturbated at work? Covered for a friend who was having an affair?
Questions like these lead to money and trouble on Fox’s new game show, Moment of Truth, where contestants are asked twenty-one increasingly personal questions before a live audience, and their supposed loved ones, in an effort to win $500,000 by answering honestly. Prior to airing, contestants are hooked to a polygraph, where their answers are recorded and analyzed by specialists to determine the validity of their responses. Loved ones are able to nix one question of the twenty-one if they, themselves, don’t want to hear the answer because sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
When Phil and I watch shows like this, I inevitably repeat the questions, waiting for his answer. “Is there a part of my body you find revolting?”
“We’re not doing that.”
“We’re not going to watch this if you do that.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve turned whatever I’m witnessing into a question within my own world. We’re watching a film about a paraplegic. “Would you still be with me if I became paralyzed?”
“Could we still have sex?”
Or, “Would you still be with me if I lost an arm?” “Which arm?” I never get serious answers, and the truth is, he’s incapable of giving me answers anyway. Because until you’re in that situation, you really don’t know what you’ll do. You can guess, but you don’t know.
Though we’re all quite aware of what’s happened in our pasts. If you were imagining it was your ex kissing your neck as your current did so. If just yesterday you were IMing with someone you promised never to communicate with again. And then, sometimes, it seems, people lie even to themselves.
It’s called denial. Reshape things into an account they’re comfortable living with. I presume the Wasband and his family have done this with his past, shaped his behavior into some shade of acceptable.
Then there’s the whole “Indecent Proposal Factor” to consider. Is the money worth it? Can you really work through it with the knowledge that your partner wants to cheat on you, even has someone picked out, looming over you in your day to day? I’ll say this, for people who aren’t on game shows or hooked into lie detectors, they somehow still half-detective their relationships, hunting for something they don’t even really want to know. It’s indecent of them to be scanning his web history, pilfering through the boxes he keeps beneath his bed. I used to bring that kind of thing on myself, without an option of pushing a button, without a $500,000 prize. I did it for free, to myself. I wanted the truth at all costs, and I still do. I just don’t go digging around for it anymore because I finally feel safe, which is frightening to admit, as if I’ll be jinxing it. Because I was always so afraid of someone pulling something over on me. Being lied to sucks.
I think the show is too easy. “Man, if I were on that show, I’d make a shit pile of money because I’m not afraid to tell the truth to anyone.” And I’m pretty sure I’ve already excavated all the lies I’ve told myself over the years. But none of that’s true, really. There are things I don’t talk about. Reporters ask me that often enough. “Is there anything you won’t write about?” Yes, but I won’t tell them what, obviously. I think we all have secrets best (for everyone) kept where they are.