People you know: In Asheville, honesty is the best policy

Living in a small bustling city with millions of fabulous things to do with your time, it can be hard to go out without seeing someone you know. I understand this phenomenon well. I grew up in a small, creative, New Age town where it was always very difficult to go out without seeing someone you not only knew, but had probably screwed as well. This could’ve easily happened to me in this much-smaller-than-it-looks community too, but coming from that mentality made me diligent about hooking up outside of my social circles. So it was only by cosmic design of the universe when I’d suddenly realize that the ass in front of me at the show at the Orange Peel did look familiar for a reason.

I do see, though, that it holds true: The longer you live someplace, the more your chances increase of running into people that you’ve had encounters with. Let’s say you’re out with some guy that you met at the Open Mic you’ve been going to. It’s sweet, it’s genuine, and it’s based on common interests rather than your OK Cupid scores. He is a recent transplant, untainted by knowing too much of what’s going on. He’s still in the honeymoon phase with Asheville (and boy is that thrilling). When you look at him, there’s nothing to remind you of the random, end-of-the-night-at-the-bar experiences you used to have when you first moved to town and wanted to get to know as many people as you could.

You’re really hitting it off, when in walks someone you used to hook up with when you’d drive home a little tipsy and a little horny and they conveniently lived around the corner from that crappy ranch house you used to live in right off Leicester Highway. Or, no, wait, it’s that guy who occasionally drunk-texts you and demands to know why it was only a one-night stand. You can’t tell him it’s because after you hooked up you realized why he looked so familiar and it was because your friend had hooked up with him after that crazy night at Broadway’s and had then texted you in the middle of the night to tell you how psycho he was. You had to borrow your roommate’s car and go pick her up, hoping like hell you were more sober than you’d been two hours earlier when you’d left the bar sullenly because your crush was making out with your co-worker. Unfortunately you cant ever go back to ‘80s night. Or wait, OH SHIT, is it your baby daddy/mama? Or is it your baby daddy/mama’s, best friend’s life partner’s yoga teacher, who you actually really wanted to date at one time too, but he was dating that girl you did wilderness therapy with and she was friends with the first roommate you had when you moved to town, and lived in the crappy ranch house. A few minutes later, your baby daddy/mama calls. “I thought you didn’t like blondes…”

See how this can get convoluted fast?

I learned a long time ago that being caught in a lie is no fun. And I do believe that any untruths you tell will definitely come back to bite you, especially in a small city where everyone is determined to be sexy. Now I must admit, I love getting my ass bitten (if I was going to get my ass bitten every time I told a lie, I might be more inclined to tell them). But as it stands, I’m going to stick with being honest, and find other ways to have my derriere be a diner’s delight. So I can’t help but tell the truth: I’m a New Yorker! Now, I know in these parts, it’s not always seen as a very nice thing to be direct and to the point, and there’s all that “when in Rome” crap.

I think you do yourself, and everyone around you, a big disservice when you are more willing to lie than be truthful about what you’re up to. Sure, it might piss some people off if they are not ready to hear your truth, but those that will remain are who you want in your tribe. The more I come clean with my doings, the more my human experience deepens. You can try to change my mind, but I’m pretty convinced to stay true to my tried methods of communication, which involves throwing my cards (or even my panties) on the table.

Really, in a city like Asheville, there’s no way to have secrets for very long. Unless you want to move out to a double-wide in Marshall, start a sustainable farmstead, and fall off the side of the friggin’ mountain, you’re going to be faced with your lies every time you go to Izzy’s. So if you want to have a life full of the richness that Asheville has to offer, you must be prepared: There will always be someone who sees you at the beer festival, or out at Scandals, who you’d never expect to be there. And since they already know someone else who is intimately involved in your life in some way, it won’t take long before your potential clandestine fling is the latest news on Facebook.

So please, do yourself and all of us a favor. If you want to date around, screw around, have five lovers or none, do it! But just be honest about it. Own your sluttiness (or lack thereof). Be yourself and deal with the consequences. Either way, we’re all going to find out. And I’d rather hear it from you than your Baby Mama’s kundalini partner’s bartender’s midwife.

Spyce is an educator and entertainer focusing on sexuality. Find out more about her at


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2 thoughts on “People you know: In Asheville, honesty is the best policy

  1. Lynette

    I own it. I also own the right to say, “It’s none of your business who I’ve slept with. If you ever ask yourself, ‘I wonder if Lynette slept with ______?’ assume I have and if it doesn’t sit well with you, take a walk…a walk away from me.” Just sayin…

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