HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: It happens to me at the airport. I'm by myself, and waiting in my very good seat in the waiting area, and, um, I have to go to the bathroom. DO I give up my good seat, and lug all my stuff with me? Or do I look for a likely trust-worthy looking person and say--could you just watch this for me and I'll be right back?
Now, obviously, this is FRAUGHT. This is asking someone to do exactly what the security announcements say not to do. But in this case, I'd be the dangerous one, right? And I'm not. Of course that someone could steal all my stuff. So, sigh, I NEVER do it, but I always think of it.
Another time, on the airplane, I was having trouble getting into my 11A window seat--because I had a bag, and a latte, I couldn't navigate myself over the passenger in 11B. "Could you hold my latte for me?" I asked 11B. She looked at me like I was CRAZY. "No, I'm afraid not," she said.
|What a terrific photo of Diane Vallere!|
So how do you know who is trustworthy? That's what the fabulous (you know her,right?) Diane Vallere is asking--
WHO DO YOU TRUST?
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about trust, which I think is a very scary subject. Specifically, I’ve been wondering what it is about trust that makes us willing to gamble our emotional well being? Is it a currency with which we shop for people who become our closest confidents, or is it a measure by which we rule out wannabe friends and partners?
Not terribly long ago, I was talking about a mutual friend with some coworkers. “I like her, but I wouldn’t trust her as far as I can throw her,” said one. We all agreed. But on principle, it seems silly that we could acknowledge liking someone who we all know we wouldn’t trust. I couldn’t tell you what that person had done to make us all agree so quickly, but there it was: unanimous votes on untrustworthiness, cast in a matter of seconds. It would have taken longer to get us to agree on lunch.
It seems that every day we encounter strangers to whom we grant our trust: the mechanic who tells us that our car repairs are going to cost $900, the sales associate who says we look good in yellow, the Trader Joe’s employee who tells us we’ll really like the Malbec/Merlot blend. So we have the work done on our car, we buy the outfit, and we drink the wine. We trusted these strangers for no reason other than we wanted to.
But maybe the car didn’t really need that much work. Does it hurt as much to learn that the mechanic lied as it does when a loved one tells us they read our private journal? Not really.
So why does it bother us so much when a person we’re close to violates our trust? Because it tells us something about that person, or because it tells us something about ourselves?
I think a lot about trust when I’m working on a book. Everybody in a character’s life can’t be trustworthy; it goes against the laws of real life. But in a mystery, where characters often aren’t what they seem, does trust play the same role as coincidence? Is it a plot device to move a scene forward, or is it an honest-to-goodness reflection of our own desire to believe the best about human nature when surrounded by the worst?
|No actual teddies were loaned for this blog|
It’s kind of like loaning out your teddy bear. Scary subject, indeed!
HANK: Would you ask a stranger to hold your latte? Would you ask a stranger to hold your baby? Have you ever trusted someone you shouldn't?
And trust me on this--one lucky commenter will win Diane's new book!
Diane Vallere lives in a world where popcorn is a breakfast food and Doris Day movies are revered for their cultural significance. After over twenty years in the fashion industry, she now writes full time, juggling the Mad for Mod series, the Style & Error series, and the upcoming Material Witness series. She launched her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at http://www.dianevallere.com/.
When interior decorator Madison Night receives a five thousand dollar bill in the mail, she knows it's a message from her past. But when she discovers a corpse while trying to learn of the bill's value, Madison suspects her former lover wants more than a reconciliation. His actions belie his intentions, and even a gallon of daisy yellow paint can't hide the writing on the wall. Madison follows a circuit of rare dollars and common sense and discovers a counterfeit operation, a jealous lover, and the true value of her independence.