If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything – Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
Uh oh….I caught one of my friends in a lie. (No, it’s not you! It’s one of my friends who doesn’t read my blog! You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?)
It’s just an itty bitty one. The kind of lie that makes it easy to get out of something without saying, “I don’t want to do that.” The problem is that she doesn’t keep a diary of lies told so she contradicted herself a week later. Oops!
I wasn’t even offended. I lived in New Jersey for a while so I have a thick skin. You can tell me if you don’t want to do something or you don’t like something and I’m ok with it. I probably don’t like some stuff about you too. (No, not you directly, just some clothes you have or movies you like.)
Statistics say that people lie several times a day. Most are harmless and for convenience. For our purposes we will not talk about those lies that result in death.
“No your butt doesn’t look big in those pants.” This is a tough one. I can’t even imagine telling someone their butt looks big, even if it’s jinormous. Perhaps changing the strategy to “that color of black isn’t as attractive as some of the other black pants.” Or maybe the problem is that they should wear black instead of lime green stretchies.
“You new hairdo is flattering to your head shape.” There is nothing worse than hearing the truth about your new haircut when you hate it yourself. Yes, I know it grows out. That doesn’t make it easier. This is an acceptable lie no matter what. Guys are exempt from this one. They really don’t care about their hair so let ’em have it.
For heaven’s sake, don’t go asking bald women if they are done with chemo. I have a friend who gets asked that all the time. She has a condition. If people don’t stop asking her about her semi-bald head, her condition will include maniacal homicide.
“Sorry, I have to go. Someone is at the door (or the phone is ringing or I have a meeting)” This is a beautiful lie because it can’t be verified unless the person is at the door.
The problem with lies, even those itty bitty white ones, is that you have to remember what you said. Sometimes the truth comes out in other ways.
“I’m sorry I can’t join you. I have a headache.” Then another friend talks about the great time they had at another function. Oops!
My personal favorite is when a phone conversation is going south. You start to act like the connection is bad and you can’t hear, then you hang up. Works every time (or maybe the other person knows what you’re doing and gives up?) This one is especially good for conversations with boring people.
There are spousal lies. Most of these are told when the couple is young. There is a certain point where both parties just stop the deception because no one cares. Yes, the butt lie fits here but you need to continue to deny its growth. Some examples of early lies include these.
“I’ve saved you money. This stuff was on sale at incredible prices.” Truth be told the purchaser took a red pen and marked down the tags herself. Hopefully she will get the credit card bill first. (I had a friend who did this ALL THE TIME!)
“I had to work late.” This one covers a lot of territory from a quick drink with the boys (but not enough to make the eyes glassy) to a quick shopping trip (hide those packages).
We are not even going to discuss the ultimate deception of an affair. That is just a blatant lie totally unacceptable at any time. It comes under the category of lies that may result in death.
As for my friend, I will continue to take her at face value. She’s a nice person who doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. That is so sweet. She thinks I have feelings.
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
― Mark Twain
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
― Oscar Wilde
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
― Gloria Steinem
PS: Just a note — The beloved husband is a descendant of Mark Twain. He has the same fuzzy eyebrows. Twain was considered the black sheep of the family. I married the white sheep.