My Lie Detector

I guess everybody lies. I’ve even lied to children, “We’ll go for a walk this weekend,” knowing perfectly that isn’t true. As an adult I understood my parents saying, “Later” was a way to prevaricate. I even remember one of the family ethics debates about little white lies vs. full out lying. They couldn’t answer my question about the color of really big lies.

As a naturally gullible person, I usually believe people. Now I have kind of a scheme for separating lies from truth. Every prediction about the future is a lie of sorts, and the vaguer the promise the more likely it is never to happen. Some promises are wishful thinking on the part or the promiser; some are a little more tangible, a simple “if” or “when” statement isn’t completed, for example, “When pigs have wings, I’ll ____________.” Those a person has to evaluate based on the likelihood of the conditions being fulfilled.

Really vague promises like, “I will make America great again,” or “Hope” are meaningless but very attractive. I shook my head whenever Obama’s poster, “Hope,” appeared and people cheered. I couldn’t help imagine (and create a cartoon in my mind) for the opposition, “Despair!” It was a lyttle cynical [ha ha] I thought, campaigning on “Hope.” We can’t live without hope, but what does it MEAN? And “Make America great”? You mean it’s NOT? And HOW? WTF?

Other kinds of lies are more complicated. The lie I hate most (and I have friends who do it) is the “not saying,” or “holding one’s peace,” lie when what’s going on is a cooperative activity. What can happen in this situation is one partner is silent while the other is active, then when things don’t go the way the silent person wants them to, they take control. They might have had a better idea in the first place, but for fear of something (I don’t know what; this is not my modus operandi) they don’t open their mouths and say, “Why don’t we do X instead? What do you think?” These people are probably good card players, poker faces, cards to their chest.

I’m not that person. If I absolutely MUST do something a certain way, I do it alone, but this is a kind of lie meant to save peoples’ feelings. I think we all tell lies to save peoples’ feelings. I did that recently. It’s a reality that we’re not always in the same place at the same time psychically as our friends are, but saying, “I don’t want to,” can be hurtful. Why hurt someone if you don’t have to?

My mom was a fanatic about lying but a liar herself. Her entire life was a lie, as I learned right before she died. But as a mom she seemed to hate lying. She was convinced I was a deceitful little bitch and would drag me out of bed at 2 am and point a light at me saying, “You can’t go back to bed until you tell me the truth.” Since I was by-and-large a truthful kid (yes, I’d lie about stealing chocolate chips out of the cupboard) I never knew what she was going on about. My brother, on the other hand, who grew up to be a hardcore alcoholic, started the lying and conning game at a young age. My mom adored my brother and never wanted to believe what she knew to be true. So I became a scapegoat for stealing silver dollars from my dad’s nightstand and various other “crimes” my brother committed. Yeah, that was sadistic, but turns out my mom was also an addict and a liar so…

Sadly, I’ve had romantic interests who were 100% pure liars (because I’m gullible). So, here’s Henry Rollins to explain liars. It’s exactly right. It’s how gullible people like me are conned by hope.

11 thoughts on “My Lie Detector

  1. Visceral thoughts and transparency overcome many people but ya have been able to keep steadily on track despite travails and hypocrisy in Da Boogie Down of what ya life has become! A celebration 🎊 for the strong independent woman who depends only on 🐻 and ya other pets to sustain ya! Ya writing is so open and true, hope and make anything great? Really ha ha. Keep at it MK ya are GoodπŸ™β™’οΈπŸ•πŸ₯³β€οΈπŸŒŽπŸ‡©πŸ‡΄πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‘πŸΎ

  2. Just today I was talking to my oldest daughter about πŸ€₯ and how I don’t lie! Of course I do so it’s eerie reading your thoughts because you mirror my own so I agree with you πŸ’― with you. Jajaja Evening Enjoy πŸ˜‰ it πŸ™πŸ•β™’οΈ

  3. This was exactly the topic of the homily at Mass today. Lies. Seems many have a problem and the majority of the lies we tell are to ourselves…. Your childhood must have been an emotional rollercoaster.

  4. True words. I try not to lie because things get too complicated. I mean, one has to keep track of which lie was told to which person. Too much trouble.
    I will be quiet and watch another adult mess something up. I won’t fix it either.

    I know of a person who claims there first line of defense is lie and deny.

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