I was reflecting the other day on how different my life would be, if I’d been totally honest with family, friends, and strangers in all areas. I’m talking about not using little white lies in everyday situations. Bald-faced lies are much different. I make a choice not to go that far. A white lie according to several online references, is an innocent lie designed not to hurt people’s feelings.
These same sources show that a bald or bold-faced lie is much higher on the fib scale. Bald-faced is blatantly obvious/and or impudent truth, one in which the liar does not attempt to cover up their mendacity. I had to look up mendacity having never used that word. Turns out it’s a fancy name for lying and untruthfulness. Why does it start with men?
I can think back to perhaps the earliest white lie I told. Our 4th grade class was having a cakewalk and parents were asked to supply a cake. Mom baked a yellow one with vanilla icing. I participated in this event and won. Rather than take mom’s cake as a prize, I chose an all chocolate version made by another lady. My mother was upset, delicate feelings hurt.
When asked why I didn’t choose hers I had to think fast,
“Because yours was the first one taken!”
That was a winning combination of untruthful words. I’ve been on a roll ever since!
I’ve told food servers in restaurants that their food was good, when it wasn’t. I informed ill family and friends in the hospital that they looked good, when they didn’t. I’ve lied about clothing, hair, and age more than anything. I don’t know how many car salesmen I’ve fibbed to over the past 30-years.
“Mr. Hankins, what would it take for me make you keeper of the keys?”
When I should honestly should have said, “Hit the road Jack, with that price it’s not gonna happen”, I resorted to a well-rehearsed and untruthful line, “Let me think about it some more, I’ll get back to you.”
Hopefully none of those poor folks are still waiting for my call. I did this so as not to hurt their feelings, at least that’s what I told myself. In actuality, it was to get them off my back. I’m not one to endure high-pressure sales tactics. Regardless, it’s still a borderline white lie on my part.
Years ago, I worked with a guy that had severe male-pattern-baldness. He was very self-conscious of the problem. Art (not his real name) came to the shop one day wearing a shaggy toupee. He asked what I thought. What’s a fellow to say in situations like this?
Most everyone in the building commented the same as I did. Whenever Art wasn’t around the jokes flew.
“Looks like roadkill to me!” one mechanic laughingly informed a group of us.
The other day I told someone working in a grocery store how old I was. Her polite response back to me was,
“I would’ve never guessed that!”
I’m not sure how I’d felt had she honestly said,
“Man, I pegged you to be another ten-years older.”
I’m glad this gal didn’t tell the truth, because the mirror does an excellent job of that each morning.
From my research, the Bible makes no mention of any type of lie as being acceptable. Webster’s Dictionary on the other hand defines white lies as being okay. Interesting, because Noah Webster was a Christian. It’s a confusing subject for me. I don’t like spinning white lies, yet on the other hand, upsetting people with the blatant truth can be hurtful on both ends.
Had I been absolutely honest with people over time in delicate areas, I’d most likely have no friends. My family would stay away, with strangers proclaiming that Michael Hankins is a crass old man. I don’t want that label.
I don’t mind folks telling me a little white lie where my age is concerned. On the other hand, should I ever stoop to wearing one of those silly rugs on my head like some guys, please be upfront and honest in your opinion. Save me some lingering embarrassment and grief by crying out,
“Looks like roadkill to me!”