Wednesday, May 25, 2005


My closest friends and I have been together most of our lives. Half of them are in Manila, and the other half are overseas. We keep in touch via yahoogroup, where correspondence can be on any topic from the quality of Darna starlet Angel Locsin's skin to NBA games to world politics to virgin coconut oil. In fact we're averaging about 1000 posts a month! Another friend of mine (from college) is including us as subjects in her masteral thesis on "Computer-Aided Interpersonal Communication".

Lately the guys were dredging up the names of women in their past, just for fun of course (their wives have access to the yahoo group as well). At a certain point in the email exchange, someone invoked, "TSTA!"

TSTA - Thou Shalt Tell All

When TSTA is invoked, one has to tell the other person the truth. When one chooses not to, the other person can invoke, "TSTATA!"

TSTATA - Thou Shalt Tell All To All

This time the person is required to tell everyone the topic at hand. When he/she demurs, everyone is free to invoke, "TSTATAAT!"

TSTATAAT - Thou Shalt Tell All To All At All Times

This puts the person on the hot seat, and he/she has to tell everyone everything.

There never has been any malice attached to TSTA, mostly mischief and curiosity. This is a measure of how close we are as friends, all embarrassing truths render us equal to each other. The counterpoint to this is that we should not judge each other, because we all have our idiosyncracies, and who is to say we are better than the next guy? Of course now we are more mature we hardly invoke TSTA, we usually wait for the person to volunteer the information. It's not that we don't have any privacy from each other, it's more like we're family enough to accept each other for what we are.