While some call it "lying," I prefer "mislead" or "exaggerate" or "omitting the truth" because the ten commandments says nothing about these...right?
MY DENTAL HYGIENIST- she asked me when the last time was that I had been in for a cleaning. I confessed the truth. Seven years. But then she gave me a look of such surprise and horror that I added, "But I've been flossing." It's sort of true. I had been flossing....that week and solely because I knew if I didn't my gums would bleed like crazy and I would receive a stern lecture about the necessity of flossing. For the last seven years though? I'm pretty sure there was a 4 year span when I didn't floss once. Clearly she saw through my lie when she looked at the x-rays and saw my 3 root canals, 17 fillings, 4 crowns, and missing molar.
THE MAN SELLING BREAD- He was a bit of a creeper and when I left he said, "Don't be a stranger." I replied with, "I won't." I have full intentions to remain a stranger.
MY NEPHEW- He asked if I wanted to play superheroes and I really didn't feel like it. I can only be lightning girl so many hours a day. However, I am the aunt and rule number # 12 in my aunt-handbook is "never say no to playing" so I said, "Of course. I think there are some bad guys on the roof we should go take care of." In the picture we were being superheroes and I was playing the role of "captain underbite." ps- goggles make swimming so much more fun. I wondered why Vander keeps those ridiculous things glued to his head but it makes the underwater world much more fascinating. It enabled us to eat pancakes and spaghetti underwater. (apparently little boys aren't into the "tea parties" we girls like to have)
THE JANITOR- I must preface this "misleading" by admitting that he TERRIFIES me. He is the only person to ever swear at me...except for drivers and opponents on the basketball court. Oh and my roommate once but she didn't know it was me- she thought it was some other idiot driver pulling their nose into traffic. Sorry about that Jen. So clearly I was a bit intimidated to ask him to borrow a ladder but I was in dire need of one and he is the guardian of all ladders at the school. After getting the courage to ask for one, (okay, lets be completely honest- I asked the Athletic Director to ask for me), I arrived at the shed to discover a smiling janitor with the short ladder proudly displayed. I needed the tall ladder. Did I tell him this? Absolutely not. I smiled, bowed, and vowed to return it as soon as possible. He then asked if I was using scotch tape to hang posters. My response: "No way. I know that ruins the paint. I use the putty the school provides." Bold face lie right there. I tried the putty but it doesn't work. However, I don't actually use scotch tape so I felt good about not lying about that. No, scotch tape isn't nearly strong enough. I use the heavy duty tape that will DESTROY the paint when I pull it off. Oh and I've hammered a good 36 nails into the wall but what he doesn't know won't hurt him. However, I still was stuck with the short ladder which would not do the job so I found myself in a bit of a pickle. "Misleading" often leads to such pickles. I returned the short ladder to the shed and contemplated how to get the tall ladder. Should I act like a grown-up and just ask tell him the truth? Nah. I chose to sneak into the forbidden janitor world, found a huge ladder covered in spider webs that is used for outdoor painting, and quickly carried my contraband to my room where I came quite close to falling and breaking my neck. Oh the lengths I will go to to avoid the truth.
MY TEAM- While driving the 15 passenger van around the streets of San Diego for a tournament, I got completely lost. After about 20 minutes of random turning, the girl riding shotgun asked, "Coach, do you know where you're going?"
Me- "Of course."
Her- "Really? Because you often say things with confidence when you're actually lying."
Me- "Remember when your shot got blocked last game and everyone laughed"?
THE LADY WHO RANG ME UP AT A STORE- I bought a bunch of necklaces and she asked if they were gifts. They are all for me but I told her yes. No one likes looking materialistic AND selfish.
MY FRIEND'S MOM- She came out in a dress and asked if it made her look fat. I know what you're thinking. But you're wrong. I lied and agreed with her daughter that it DID make her look wide. Truthfully, I thought she looked fine but I realize I have much less fashion sense
than Stefanie so I was a "yes man" and let her mom feel fat. What a jerk.
A HOMELESS MAN- Yeah, you thought I was joking about the "jerk" comment. I recently visited Jenny in Santa Barbara and while on State Street, a homeless man asked me for a quarter. I told him I didn't have any change but I did. I had a wallet full of quarters for meters. I kept walking and didn't give him a second glance and then justified my actions because he smelled of alcohol and was just going to use the money for beer.
YOU- He didn't actually smell of alcohol. I just didn't want you to judge me for not caring more about the homeless.
And herein lies the root of most all my lies. I want to save face. I want to put up a front that I am more loving, compassionate, selfless, and cool than I actually am. So I lie, or mislead, so people won't see how messed up I actually am. So they won't see the side of me that is awkward and selfish and vain and proud. Brennan Manning spoke exactly to this tendency of mine in his book, Ruthless Trust.
"Thus, we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy, and lacquered with a sense of self-deprecating humor that passes for humility. The irony is that while I do not want anyone to know that I am judgmental, lazy, vulnerable, screwed up, and afraid, for fear of losing face, the face that I fear losing is the mask of the impostor, not my own."
So I will try to be more honest and stop trying to present a false image of myself to the world.