Pants on Fire

Lying is part of every day life. Some lies are necessary, some are cruel, some are somewhere in between. Some are outright lies, some are lies of omission, some are what we call white lies. Nobody likes to be lied to. And yet, we all tell lies, and are lied to all the time.

  1. When we first met and started flirting with each other, I asked him if he was married and he said he was divorced.  After going out a couple of times, something didn’t feel right, so I did some investigating and found out he was married. “Well, ya,” he finally admitted, “but it’s my second marriage and I was divorced — you never asked if I got married again.”
  2. I told Tara a joke one day. A year later we were at a gathering and Tara told the joke to the group, but told it as if it was something that had actually happened to her just recently. Suddenly, all the zany stories Tara had told about her life became suspect.
  3. “How many guys have you had sex with?” my daughter ask. “None of your business, my child,” I say.  “I know at least two,” the daughter responds, “and what about when you “go out” with that French guy?” I make no acknowledgement or denial of her assumptions.
  4. Margo is excited about her new haircut and asks everyone at work what they think of it. It’s horrible and makes Margo look like a prisoner-of-war. Most people tell her it looks great.
  5. The doctor told us not to tell our dad that his cancer is terminal unless he specifically asks. Dad went through the recommended surgery and chemotherapy, making plans for the future. We said nothing. I kept thinking, I’d want to know. But, he never asked. Eventually, the doctor told him truth. Within days, Dad went into a rapid decline.
  6. I arrive to pick a friend up for a movie we’ve been planning to see for weeks. She answers the door saying she’s suddenly come down with a massive headache and can’t go. Her teenaged daughter appears and says, “She’s not really sick. Her boyfriend is coming over and she’d rather be with him.” Disdainfully, she turns to her mother and says, “You’re such a liar.”

Some of these lies were necessary for one reason or another. Some cowardly. Some just silly. And some just weird.

I’m sure we’ve all been impacted to lesser or greater degrees because of someone else’s lies. Perhaps we’ve even made some significant impact, for good or bad,  on others because of our lies.

Some people believe there are no grey areas when it comes to lying – that any lie is wrong. Some people think you can’t go through life and get along with people without telling lies on pretty much a regular basis.