I lied today.
Here’s what happened:
I’m patiently listening to a lady named Janet tell me all about her life. I’m nodding graciously at intervals to show my interest and widening my eyes at all the appropriate moments. In case you can’t tell, I pride myself on my listening skills.
So, I’m nodding along, and smiling. Then, out of the blue, she asked me a question!
My answer to her question would normally have been “No.” But, my timing was lousy – I was just starting one of my “showing interest nods.” My head and neck had already started the “yes” motion. I couldn’t stop myself. I might have sprained something if I had slammed the breaks on that nod – there was too much momentum behind it.
So, now, through no real fault of my own, I have lied to a stranger about something of little or no importance. She had innocently asked whether my daughter is in middle school. My daughter is not in middle school. She is only nine. But, by nodding in the affirmative, I’ve led Janet to believe that my kid is in middle school.
It might have ended there.
It gets worse. Janet must have seen something in my face that sparked her curiosity.
Maybe she thought to herself, “There was something fishy about that girl’s nod.”
So, to satisfy herself as to what the hell is going on with me, she asks me AGAIN if my kid is in middle school.
I’m trapped. If I tell her the truth now, she’ll know I lied before.
How the hell am I going to explain to a stranger that my head just had too much momentum?
So, this time I lie on purpose.
I don’t want to give Janet the impression that I am the kind of person who lies for no reason, nor do I want her to think I’m a crazy circus freak who has no clue as to whether her head is bobbing up and down.
Yep, you read that last sentence correctly. I intentionally lied so that she would not think of me as a liar.
But, I’m feeling about as guilty as possible over it. I really want to fess up, but do I?
No, I do not.
And, in case you are wondering if this can possibly get worse, it does.
Janet is a smart girl. Maybe she caught that I didn’t look in her eyes when I lied the second time. Again, I don’t know what she saw that gave me away, but she was definitely onto my evil ways.
She was relentless. She talked for a few more minutes, maybe so she could catch me off guard, and then she chirped out, “So, what middle school does your daughter attend?”
The jig was up. I couldn’t think of the name of even one middle school! Not one! If there was ever a time to lie, this was that time. But, I couldn’t hesitate too long! She who hesitates is lost and looks like a liar!
In a panic, I blurted out the truth, “Charlotte goes to Blah-blah Elementary School.”
Janet barely missed a beat. She immediately started talking again like nothing was amiss. Good old Janet.
But, there was a rift between us now. She knew I lied, and I knew she knew I lied, and I knew why I lied, but I couldn’t explain it to her without sounding like a jackass.
So, I feel the need to apologize even if she never sees it.
Janet, if you happen to read this, I hope you’ll forgive me. I acted like a bobble head doll, and lied to cover it up. I’m sorry.