Look Me In The Eye....

Unlike many of you stay at home mothers, I have a lot of time on my hands. My children are school aged monsters, so I merrily shove them onto the little yellow bus of freedom and then scratch my head and wonder how I am to fill my day. Sure I could clean my house, or bake cookies, or even go get a daytime job, but none of that really appeals to me. Instead, I write, I blog and I go to restaurants with my pregnant buddy and bitch about our husbands.

(Don't worry, Boo, I only complain about your absence. I would never complain about the fact you can't pick up your own socks, wouldn't know what to do with an empty milk jug if your life depended on it or how you think that when you are home the world should stop and revolve around you. I just whine about how much I miss you. Promise.)

During my free hours of the day, while I wait for the phone to ring and the nice adoption people to tell me they have found the perfect disabled baby to give me, I read a lot of interesting items on the internet. Because everyone knows everything you read on the ole interweb is true, right?

I stumbled upon this ditty the other day. An interesting little article based on a study which claims the average person tells two lies every ten minutes. That, my dear internet friends, is a staggering 288 lies per person, per day.

Holy Pinocchio! Could it be true? Could we really be a bunch of serial perjurers? How do we trust anything anyone says? Are we really this dishonest? But then when you start to think about all the nontruths, white lies, omissions, exagerrations and my personal favorite, sarcasm, I suppose it starts to add up.

Because I am a bored housewife, I took it upon myself to prove this theory wrong. No matter what, I was going to tell the truth. I was filled with resolve. I was going to be completely honest if it killed me. At first it was easy. Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever. inspires honesty. And he doesn't ask a lot of questions. That helps. But then, the first challenge of the day arose. The hubs asked if I got his text message. Phew, that was an easy one. I told him I did. But then he wanted to know why I didn't text him back. Ummmm...shit!!! But remembering my resolve, I told him the truth. I told him the text annoyed me and I didn't want to hurt his feelings.

Which of course I did, by telling him the text annoyed me. I'm off to a great start. He couldn't understand how him texting me a ridiculously mushy message in which he pours out his feelings of love could possibly annoy me.

Um, hello! I'm heartless. You think he'd know this already.

After some fancy footwork, I extricated myself out of a possible argument. But I had to employ avoidance, nontruths and a variety of other tools of deception. I'm a fibber at heart.

That messy phone call had me wondering all the other times I have lied to protect my ass. I tell the kids on a regular basis that I love their singing, when the reality is they sound like they are either in pain or in heat. I tell them I love the pictures they draw for me, but while I love the fact they adore me and wish to please me (why isn't the rest of the world not similarly devoted to my every need?) I don't really think they are the next great artists of the future. Even if I encourage them to believe they may be. Then I had a horrifying thought. What about all the times I have been lied to? What if I'm not really as clever as I think? Does my husband really think that I'm the sexiest thing in the world? What if my friends don't think I'm the funny one? What if my nose ring isn't half as cute as I think it is?

But then I realised I was just being silly. People wouldn't lie to me about these things to protect my feelings? Right?


On the whole, I like to pride myself on my honesty. Even when it hurts. Or is painful to hear. I'm not always the favorite person at family gatherings because I tend not to ignore the elephant in the room. And I know a few people who disagree with my decision to always tell my kids the truth. Because honesty is the cornerstone of morality.

I'll admit, I have told a fib or two to avoid confrontation, or to avoid deflating an already fragile ego. When the cashier asks how I'm doing at the grocery store, I certainly don't launch into a diatribe how I seem to be stuck in a rut of grief, that I'm retaining water weight and my parents aren't speaking to me. I simply say I'm well and then change the subject. "How bout those produce prices?"

But I have also told a fib or two for my own amusement. Like the time I let my husband walk around all day with his fly open. People laughed and snickered at him all day long until he noticed. (All right, I was the one laughing and snickering...)

Or the time I told my sister that shirt looked good on her. But damn it, I'm still ticked that she had a bigger rack on her when she was 13 than I did at 16.

Or the time that my best friend asked if she had any spinach in her teeth, and I said no. Which was really hard to do with a straight face when that nasty green piece stuck in front kept winking at me.

Being honest 100 percent of the time is not always easy or fun.

And that's the truth. Would I lie to you?