Pants On Fire: Little White Lies

Most people are guilty of telling lies in life, whether they are used to spare someone’s feelings, save face, avoiding trouble or making oneself feel better.There’s a million different levels of lies, from telling a friend that she looks good in a dress that closely resembles a trash bag, to the monumental porkies told throughout history by various world leaders.

I had several different ideas when I saw today’s prompt. The biggest lies told in history? The fact that both my father and ex were compulsive liars? Lies we tell our children? I’ve already discussed at length lies that I tell my students, interesting lies I’ve been told by students and advertising lies.

However, I was reminded of a little lie I was told a few months ago by a friend I haven’t seen in a while when she described her new boyfriend’s appendage as ‘enormous.’ I smiled to myself because I’d met him before, and as lovely as he is, he’s a very short man (in height). Consequently, their relationship was short – lived and her description suddenly changed by about five inches. Perhaps it wasn’t a lie she told, more of an exaggeration, but aside from the fact that I actually had no interest in knowing intimate details about her boyfriend, she felt the need to lie in order to make herself, and him, look good.

I thought about other silly lies that I have been told in my lifetime: here are the best examples…

“I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” 
Fifteen minutes actually means forty. My mother is notoriously late for everything, to the point where my sisters and I add a little bit of time onto any event in order to accommodate the fact that she is guaranteed to arrive at least twenty minutes late.

“You look fantastic!”
I allowed the hairdresser to perm my hair many years ago. After several hours I excitedly looked in the mirror, expecting long, blonde flowing curls. Instead, I looked like I was auditioning for Annie. My hair was so tightly curled that it formed a big round globe shape on the top of my head. I was devastated and when she uttered those words I simply burst into tears. Never again.

“Let me do your eyebrows for you, I’ll make them look really good!”
Long story short, I ended up with a permanently surprised look on my face for about three weeks.

“It’s only going to be a quick trip…”
My friend is a fashionable and attractive person who asked me to go on a quick shopping trip with her. She knows I only shop on my own because I dislike waiting for hours while others try on items that they inevitably don’t buy, so I only agreed when she assured me that she would be quick. I returned home six hours later. She’d bought one dress.

“I’ll bring it back later today…”
Suffice to say, two years later, it still hasn’t been returned to me.

“No, of course I didn’t tell anyone.”
Lies. I confided. They blabbed.

“Of course he likes you! He told me.”
What she forgot to mention was that she had been sleeping with him for some time. I’m still don’t know why she didn’t tell me to begin with – we were eighteen and I’d only met him a few times…

” Sorry, I only just got your message…”
I’ve been told this many times. They forget that it’s possible to see if somebody has read a message…

“I think it was really good, but…”
I’ve had this said to me several times. This was their polite way of telling me I’d done a rubbish job at something.

When it comes to lies, big or small, I suppose the best thing to remember is this:

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

31 thoughts on “Pants On Fire: Little White Lies

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  7. The perm story reminds me of one I had a few years ago. Ended up cutting my shoulder length hair into a pixie cut just to get rid.

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  9. Are not most lies told to spare your blushes or cover for your awkwardness rather than to tell an un-truth to someone ? Saves time explaining the truth sometimes.
    Is that just me who is too lazy ?

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  12. Wow. This is so true! We all do tell lies. Sometimes I like to think that I do no lie to anyone but when I look back at everything I have said for the last week I notice how many lies I actually did tell. When my husband calls and says, “what are you doing?” and I am reading my Bible or something and I reply, “nothing” I lied! Or when I feel like I have been in the kitchen for hours and I tell someone, “I haven’t sat down all day!” I still lied because I was probably sitting down in between stirring my food. This was a cool post. Also, It is going to help me be more punctuate! I am one of those people who will say, “I’m bringing it over later today” and it doesn’t ever get returned. But to be completely honest, after it not being returned in a timely manner, I feel bad and I would rather just forget about it and hope the other person does too… Ooops. I am bad 😉

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