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chyna's avatar

Have you ever been privy to all sides of an event or a story in which no part of the same story resembles each party's telling of the story?

Asked by chyna (33863 points ) July 8th, 2012

I stayed with friends last weekend and their neighbors had just got back from a vacation at a lake.
The little girl comes over and says it was the most boring time she has ever had. There was nothing to do but sit in the lake.
Husband comes over later and says it was the most miserable time he’s ever had. It was hot, the lake was hot and he had to put up with the in-laws.
Ran into wife at the store and she said it was the best vacation they ever had. Kids loved the lake and stayed in it, husband and her family had a grand time cooking out for each other and playing card games.
As she walks away, I’m thinking, were these people on the same vacation?
Do you have any stories where the parties telling the story does not resemble any part of the other person’s telling of the same story?

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26 Answers

bookish1's avatar

That’s not the Rashomon I remember.

JLeslie's avatar

Sure. Especially if the kids are teens that sounds definitely possible.

Plus, some people need to make it sound like a vacation was great. There is an expectation that vacations are supposed to be good, relaxing, fun, and some people feel obligated to report all vacations in such a manner. Some people always look at the negative. Besides all those things, each person of course has their own experience. As far as temperature, if my mom and I went on the same trip and it was 85 every day and blue sky sunny I would be thrilled and she would complain. We are about to go to Alaska together, and I will probably feel if it was just 10 degrees hotter it would have been even more enjoyable, and she will be ready to move there.

It also makes me think of my SIL who would go on vacation and still be juggling the kids, and doing everything for her husband. It was never a break for her, while the husband and kids had a grand ol’ time be served and accomodated.

Coloma's avatar

Hahaha….different realities going on.
Sounds to me as if SHE, the mom, is just playing up the facade of ” happy little family vacation”.
Surely the woman can’t be that deluded, and surely the kid and hubby must have shown their boredom and irritation at least somewhat during the vacation.
Hilarious!

Have you asked the family dog about his experience? lol

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Peed in the lake, water was warm.

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom LOL… yes, and ” they never knew I swiped a burger when they weren’t looking and licked the chocolate bars they were saving for the S’mores around the campfire.” :-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@bookish1 Thanks for teaching me a new term. I can’t wait to use ‘Rashomon Effect’ now.

Have you ever heard the story about the Blind Men and An Elephant?

As for being privy to this effect, yes, both as an outsider and as one of the people involved. It’s quite fascinating, isn’t it? One time, our youth group was out on a hike, and we came across a fox. When it fled, the leader asked us, “What color was the fox?” The answers varied from red to brown to grey. It’s a shame that no one got a photo of it.

Earlier this year, the SO and I spent a week in Barcelona. Despite being joined at the hip the whole time, an outsider, upon hearing our personal tales, would think that we took two different vacations.

Kardamom's avatar

The other kind of event where this situation is prevalent is when a couple goes on a first date. I recall one of the Jellies set up 2 of his single friends. The woman had a miserable time because she claimed that the fellow was silent and boring and she didn’t want to date him again. The man had a wonderful time and thought it was the beginning of a new romance.

I’ve sat through movies, where me and my companion were the only ones laughing (it was a comedy) and I wondered if the other people in the theater were watching the same movie as we were.

Just yesterday, my friend called to tell me that the owners of the stray cat that had been coming around, had been located. He said a couple from the next street over came by and asked my friend if he’d seen an orange cat that they had lost. He said no, but a brown and black tabby had been coming around for months. Then the couple took out a picture of their cat, a brown and black tabby! It was their cat. But this cat (which I’ve seen multiple times) is not orange in any way, shape or form. But the owners were describing it as an orange cat. How weird is that? This is the Color of the kitty in question.

bookish1's avatar

@Kardamom: Wow. That is not an orange cat!

@Pied_Pfeffer: You’re welcome… You should check out the movie some time too :D

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s insane! The only resemblance to “orange” is the fact that it is tabby striped!

bkcunningham's avatar

That looks like a Halloween cat. Spooky. You don’t see solid black cats much anymore.

Kardamom's avatar

@bkcunningham The cat in question is a black and brown striped tabby, not a solid black cat LOL.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bkcunningham It wasn’t solid black. It was black and grey striped tabby.

I see solid black cats all over around here. Should have gotten my cat neutered sooner!

bkcunningham's avatar

I had an orange Tom who chased tail even after he was neutered, @Dutchess_III. That was the best cat in the world. RIP Sparky.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But he didn’t continue to reproduce and scatter baby orange Sparkies all over the neighborhood.

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh, no, of course not. The girls loved him though. He got hit by a school bus and lost his tongue. He lived about 8 years after that. He was 14 when he died.

augustlan's avatar

This happens to me fairly regularly in regards to arguments between other people. My kids and their dad, my friend and her daughter, a friend and his fiancee… each person has a completely different outlook on what happened, and on what’s behind it. It’s fascinating!
Crazy-making at times, too.

Adagio's avatar

I can’t think of a specific example right now but I call this multiple realities, they all have validity.

Kardamom's avatar

@Adagio Even the orange cat story?

Coloma's avatar

OMG! I lost my Siamese a few years ago and neighbors said they kept seeing a saimese cat hanging around their barn, it was an ORANGE cat!
I thought everyone knew what a siamese cat looked like, apparently not.
Wonders never cease

Kardamom's avatar

@Coloma Wow! An orange Siamese cat, now that would be something to see. Maybe they thought they saw it after eating one of your brownies. Ooooooh, the colors!

Adagio's avatar

@Kardamom The orange cat story???

Edit: I didn’t read the whole thread when I answered…

In answer to your question about the validity of the orange cat, why not, if they see it as orange then that’s their reality, of course describing the cat as orange to others would not be at all helpful when trying to locate it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I want an orange-cream Popsicle. I do.

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom LOL..you’re matching me superbly tonight, fun and funny you are!
@Dutchess_III Oooh, 50/50 bars…yummy!

DominicX's avatar

Reminds me of that “Blind Date” segment on The Simpsons:

Moe: Yeah, I really felt a connection. I definitely would like to go out with her again.
Moe’s date: He smelled like puke!

But yes, I have experienced that. Most recently was an instance where my roommate’s bong mysteriously disappeared after leaving it in my other roommate’s room. The stories they tell of the circumstances surrounding it don’t match up. One of them is flat-out lying to me. I have a pretty good idea which one is lying, but I still don’t know the full truth…ah, drug-related mysteries…

Coloma's avatar

@DominicX Haha…bongs….so 70’s. Kinda makes me wish I kept my, what would now be, vintage bongs.
Sounds like it has all the makings for a great mystery story. The butler stole your roommates bong, no, wait…. the Dingos ate it! lol

Kardamom's avatar

@DominicX The dude who actually stole the bong, was probably standing there holding it in his hands when he told you that he didn’t know what happened to it. Probably because he had just used it and was, ahem, a bit absentminded. You could also probably guess, because he just ran up to @Dutchess_III and grabbed all of her orange-cream Popsicles : )

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