Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Finer Points of Lying

Okay, I'm not saying I'm a completely honest and truthful person every second of every day.

But at least I know how to lie correctly.

One of my biggest pet peeves (and believe me, if I keep up with this blogging thing, you'll find I have many) is when someone can't keep up with their lies well enough. They forget who they've told what to, and before they know it, they start sounding absolutely ridiculous.

My Boss is someone who, how can I put it delicately, will be about two hours late for her own funeral. The woman absolutely cannot make it anywhere on time. This is completely horrifying to someone like myself, who is always at least 20 minutes early everywhere. I will never know what it feels like to be the last person at any function whatsoever. I'm sure it all stems from some traumatic moment in my childhood, but I digress. I'll save that for another day.

Last Friday, Boss and I had to get a few work-related projects coordinated for the upcoming week. Boss would be traveling Monday thru Wednesday, so I was taking over while she was away. We went over the "who/want/when"s of the week, and seemed to have things wrapped up.

After our conversation was over, her sister called (she calls about every 4 seconds) and Boss proceeded to talk about her upcoming trip, how she didn't like the office folks she would be travling with, blah blah blah, but I overheard her say that her flight was arriving back in Memphis at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and that her fiance was picking her up and they already had dinner reservations. Thought nothing of it. Back to work for me.

(Now let me just throw in a side note here - our office that the two of us share is about the size of my queen bed. I can't cough without making her jump. It's that cozy. So any phone conversations will be heard by the other person. I try not to make a habit out of listening to them - I do admit if there's something juicy going on I do pry a bit - but I will overhear her and she will overhear me. Just no way around it.)

At the end of the day, Boss and I did the whole "Have a great weekend, see you next week, etc." and I threw in "Well, I hope you have a great trip, don't worry about things around here - and I'll see you next Thursday!"

Her answer: "Well, yes, but I probably won't be in first thing."

My first thought: "Well what else is new?"

Then the shocker: "My flight back to Memphis doesn't land til almost midnight Wednesday, so you might not see me until Thursday afternoon. I'll be pretty tired."

I had just heard her tell someone on the phone - the phone that is literally 5 feet from my desk - that she was arriving back home at 5:30 p.m.

But what can I do, I'm just her little underling.

So I smiled like I understood, and left.

Does anyone else find these kinds of lies absolutely frustrating?? I've never understood how people cannot lie properly. I'm the kind of liar that likes to calculate.

If an acquaintance asks me to do something socially, but I have no interest at all - either I want to have a "night off" or the event itself doesn't sound like fun or I don't feel like spending time with this person - I always feel the need to make up an excuse. I hate telling people that I choose not to spend time with them - I must make it sound like it's beyond my control. But it's okay, because I can always think of something good.

If I'm calling in sick to work - because I need to get my oil changed or had too many glasses of wine the night before - I will go over my story in my head and rehearse it til it sounds believable. And I tend to start actually believing my own lies (I seem to delete all memories of said actual excuse, and I seriously get a vision of myself lying in bed with a migraine, even if I'm sitting on the couch watching reruns of A Baby Story).

But I cannot understand not being a good liar. Maybe it's not something I should admit, but I'm good at it. Really good at it.

If it was an Olympic sport, I would've swept Gold, Silver and Bronze.

If only we creative liars could share our skills with those less fortunate.

But then again - why would we want to take away all the fun? I do admit I enjoy watching people get tongue-tied and try to cover themselves when caught in a lie. Or even better - watching someone who has absolutely no idea that they can't lie properly. I like to keep tally of how many versions of the lie are floating around out there.

I never do that, because I am always utterly convinced of my lie. And I have a memory like an elephant when it comes to remembering who knows what.

(My fiance laughs at me each time I tell him about one of my instances of trickery. He thinks this habit of mine is quite funny - in his own words, he "gets a kick out of it." I think it's because he knows I don't lie to him. Not about anything of substance, anyway.)

Oh well... I guess I should be thankful for the way God made me: a person who can lie at the drop of a hat.

Hey, it's better than getting caught.

Until next time...
-JessAndWill

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