Lying. Some suck at it. Like my husband. Some are talented. Like me. It is a talent to be finessed, and in certain situations can be used creatively and quite appropriately.
If you’re going to lie. Be unique. A one-of-a-kind. I was eighteen when I learned you could call in to work. No way! Sure thing, my friend said. That day I learned what could go wrong with a car, besides the obvious. Did you know what a distributor cap was and that it could crack, rendering your car useless? Feel free to use this one. It worked for me several times.
When my husband has to make up an excuse for why I don’t attend some event, he fails miserably.
HUBBY: “I told them you couldn’t make it because you had to relax from all the work you’ve been doing lately.”
ME: “Really? Who taught you to lie? ‘Cause you suck at it. Sit down before you hurt yourself.”
Me: “Check in with me prior to any events, please. I’ll prepare a statement next time, okay. Relaxing??”
Is it a writer talent, to lie? I think so. Lying requires being good with words and creative. Ding! Ding! Liars = writers. I know a group of authors who have banded together to do promotion, workshops, and offer resources to other writers. And what do they call themselves? Why, The Liars Club of course.
Can telling the truth get you in trouble? Ask Jim Carrey here in Liar Liar.
Does the truth have versions? Of course not, so go for the whole shebang. All truth or fantastic lie. Don’t go in halfway.
Test me. I can do it on the spot anytime. My mind loves to work quick to invent. Some would say this is practice for Improv. For a mother with such a talent for it I have a son who absolutely won’t do it and equates it with stealing. “Mom, Sam lied about that! Can you believe it?!” Well, yes, son I can.
Okay, seriously this is not a talent I should be teaching my son but we all know there are times we do it, and need to do it. Whether it’s to prevent someone’s feelings from being hurt or as a defense tactic.
Used to working my own hours, I ended up at a marketing job once where we were on the clock and had to punch in. This went against every rebellious fiber of me, but I needed a paycheck. One day, new on the job, my work was done and no one was around – so I left. Why not?
The next day I was summoned to the office of the bullish President. His minions gathered around, arms crossed. The conversation went like this.
BULL: “Where were you yesterday?”
ME: “What do you mean?”
MINION: “We looked for you and you were nowhere to be found after 2pm.”
BULL: “Who do you think you are the President? You think you own the place and can do whatever you want?”
ME: “I had an appointment with a printer across town to get samples. No one was here, so I just went to the meeting. It ran late so I went home afterwards.”
BULL: (deflated.) “Oh, I see. Well, thank you.”
MINION: “Where’s the samples?”
ME: “They’re in my car and my husband had to take my car today. I’ll bring them in tomorrow.”
BULL: “Oh, okay. Thanks.”
This is a clear example of a defense tactic that was creative and used appropriately to save my ass. (I soon left that job to a much more freedom-loving job where I was not required to use my lying talents).
When I got engaged, my mother passed on her mother’s ruby engagement ring to me. Beautiful, big, and fragile. The only item she had of her mother’s who died when she was five. The setting was old and the stone fell out. I looked and looked for that stone, to no avail. My mother asked me why I didn’t wear it. “I will, Mom!” Before my wedding I had the stone replaced. She was so happy to see me wearing it and said “So glad you didn’t lose it!” Yes, mom. And I’m glad she didn’t know that I did. It would have broken her heart. Clearly a case of not hurting someone’s feelings.
We took my son out of school last year for vacation over the approved number of days for absences. I wanted to call him in sick some of those days so he wouldn’t have unexcused absences. He refused. “That’s lying, Mom! I can’t lie to the teacher. What if she asks me if I’m feeling better?”
Sigh…I don’t think my son will be a writer when he grows up. But I know he’ll still find his own freedom in the truth. Plus he’ll be able to count on Mom anytime for a believable whopper. (Definitely not his Dad).
Have you ever had to lie to save yourself or just to not hurt someone’s feelings? Would you admit to it?