Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" is the title of a book by Al Franken. Franken, who used to be a regular on Saturday Night Live back in the days when that show was really cutting edge and not just a weekly assault on good taste, graduated from Harvard with a degree in Political Science, also wrote "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations". Both good books, considering.
I say that because I am "borrowing" Franken's title for this post.
The subject for today is Lying. My fictional second husband, Gregory House tells us that "Everyone Lies". And I believe Greg is correct. Everyone does lie to some extent. We all tell little white lies, even if it is only telling our best friend that "no those jeans do not make your a** look like twin bulldogs fighing under a sheet" or " size doesn't matter." Both lies. But those lies that we tell to spare people we love. Polite society would crumble if we all went around speaking our minds. That priviledge is reserved for the very young and the very old. When your three year old tells embarasses you by speaking out about someone's weight, height,lack of hair or general butt ugliness, they are told that it isn't nice to make those remarks. That a lie of omission is socially acceptable. My mother in law and several older women I know are hurtful to others under the banner of "telling it like it is"..."for your own good" or, my personal favorite.
"telling you this in love". Trust me. If someone is going to tell you something " in love" you don't want to hear it. And lord knows, if they tell you "in Christian Love" take cover. You don't want to hear what is coming. In fact you will probably be praying for them to lie, wishing that they had lied.
The thing about lies is this.. it is almost inevitable that you will get caught in your lie. The bigger the lie, the more intricately woven, the more likely you will be caught in it at some point.
(just watch "Larry Boy and the Big Fib"!) And when you do get caught, it is vital that you man up and own your lie. Accept the consequences and move on. Don't stand there with your metaphoric pants around your knees and continue with your lie. It is over. Especially if the person who catches you has some kind of physical evidence of your lie. To whit: If they are standing there with a photo, archived IM conversation, phone tap recording, ANYTHING CONCRETE own up to it. It's your lie, you own it. Be a man for once. Or a woman. This kind of concrete evidence is impossible to escape. So don't stand there, mouth gaping and say it isn't true. Admit that you lied. It will only hurt for a second, like severing a limb.

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