Busted. Here’s how it went down….
I had been pestering hubby Greg to start putting out on the dresser his clothes, and his everyday “must-haves”, for the next day before he climbed into bed each night. He’s a grown man, and he can certainly dress himself, but I had become weary of the o’dark-thirty mad dash around the bedroom in search of matching socks, shoes, cell phone, car keys, belt, etc. He had obliged and it had been working out pretty well… until last week.
On a recent early morning, all snuggled up under the covers, I groggily started to awaken as the hubby was grumbling and bumping around the bedroom. I soon realized that he was muttering: “Dammit, where is it… I know I laid that out with my clothes…”
He was clearly on the hunt for ….something.
“OK, honey, what are you looking for?” I mumbled.
“My under-shirt,” he replied. “How can an under-shirt just up and walk away?”
Lying there, up under the covers, it slowly occurred to me: I was wearing his under-shirt. I had stayed up late the night before, watching Jimmy Fallon, and I had just grabbed it off the dresser before I jumped into bed. Did I ‘fess up? Oh, hell no.
“Well, just get another one out of the bureau,” said the gal lying there in the comfy white cotton under-shirt with the quilt pulled up to her chin.
“Fine, I’m really trying to make a peaceful exit outta here in the mornings. Sorry.”
He said sorry … to me.
Because I am a big believer in karma and the universal righting of wrongs, I did come clean as soon as he walked in the door that night and I apologized … a lot. He thought it was funny; yep, have I told you lately how cool my husband is?
I had another recent occasion where a little lie came back to haunt me. Well, it’s not exactly a lie, it’s more like an on-going sight gag. Back in my early forties, I used to joke: “Hey, don’t I look great …for fifty?” I said this so often that it became a running joke.
I turned forty-nine this past year and I made a comment about having one more year before I joined Club Fifty. My brother-in-law replied; “Wait a minute, I’ve heard you make jokes about looking great for fifty for awhile… what do you mean you’re not yet fifty?”
Ummm …. OUCH!!! Funny, but, really?! Have I now put myself in the position to have to change my tune to: “Don’t I look great… for sixty?” Well I got no one to blame but the gal in the mirror for this one.
If you’ve read my book, then you know that one of the stories included is titled: “Why It’s Always Stupid to Play Stupid” and focuses on how I once got myself backed into a corner by forgetting the name of a spouse of a colleague. The situation turned into an “I Love Lucy” episode gone bad. So I certainly have some experience when it comes to this little white lie dilemma.
All this has me now thinking: Is it ever OK to tell a little white lie?
I do have a few personal rules about this subject.
- It is ALWAYS OK to lie about babies. There was a great Seinfeld episode (honestly, weren’t they all great?) where the gang was stressing about attending a bris where the baby was portrayed as less than beautiful. OK, ALL babies are beautiful, but, I can see where from time to time you might come across a little one who may not be your ideal of beauty. DO NOT BE HONEST here. If all else fails, go with: “That’s a fine baby.” This is the equivalent of “bless your heart” in the south; kind of a linguistic get-out-jail free card.
- It’s OK to lie about your weight… or your height. All women want to weigh 125 lbs and all men want to be six feet tall. So be it. Some will argue that we should learn to be happy with who we are, no matter our weight or height. Well, good for you. For the rest of us, yes, I weigh 125 lbs…
- It’s OK to tell a little fib about how much you paid for a dress or pair of shoes. However, be warned: don’t ever ask me how much I paid for a dress. My mama taught me that asking how much something costs is rude (but I get that this might just be a southern thing). My go-to response to this question, which is not a lie, is: “It cost enough.” But if you feel the need to lie a little here, go ahead, you have my permission.
- It’s almost never OK to lie to your spouse; especially about money, sex, or kids. If anyone can give me a good reason to alter this rule, I’m all ears.
What about you: based on your own personal moral compass; is it ever OK to tell a lie?
Look forward to your responses; and that’s not a little white lie.
scoccargo saysMarch 22, 2013 at 5:18 am
Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to create a fairly excellent article?- but what can I say?- I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to obtain something carried out.
AneteAlgold saysMarch 21, 2013 at 9:16 am
Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I are going to be coming back to your weblog for much more soon.
LissifsaVaisp saysMarch 20, 2013 at 11:21 am
Nice post. I learn something far more challenging on different blogs everyday. It’s going to often be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice just a little some thing from their store. I’d prefer to make use of some with the content on my blog no matter if you do not mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.
Sninlytasty saysMarch 19, 2013 at 4:51 am
Spot on with this write-up, I really think this web site wants much more consideration. I’ll almost certainly be again to read far more, thanks for that info.
vansarto blog saysMarch 12, 2013 at 10:54 am
How is it that just anybody can create a weblog coupled with get as popular as this? Its not like youve said something exceedingly impressive more like youve painted a quite picture around an issue that you know nothing about! I dont want to sound mean, right here. But do you actually think that you can get away with adding some fairly pictures coupled with not seriously say something?
Rada Francis saysMarch 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Very interesting blog. I don't think it's ok to lie at any point. Yeah sure, maybe about babies being cute when they aren't really (because as we all know most babies are pretty ugly when they are born lol).
I think it's important to point out to people if they have gained some weight because it is not just about the looks, but also about the health factor. It can be a real concern and if someone is asking a question if they look fat in this, or if a certain piece of clothing looks good on them, I don't think one should lie.
I wouldn't want to keep on gaining weight just because I'm oblivious to the fact that I am gaining weight, I wouldn't want to go out in some dress that looks ridiculous on me lol.. so, others may want to and need to hear a true opinon as well.
Kim D saysMarch 11, 2013 at 10:35 am
Rada, I have one gal pal, Dani (been one of my best friends since I was 14), who I can count on to tell me the truth ("um, yeah, that skirt does make your ass look huge…"). Everyone needs at least one person who they can rely on to be honest whenever it is necessary.
Michele Lewis saysMarch 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm
Super cute! I don't have a poker face and I have a super guilty conscious so the closest I get to lies are lies of omissions, in an attempt to not hurt peeps. I can exaggerate my weight! 😉 I, too, weight 125! hehe Oh and I'm also perpetually 29!!!! Have been for 11 years now. 🙂
Kim D saysMarch 9, 2013 at 9:44 am
"Perpetually Twenty-Nine" – I many have to use that for a story title! 😉
Jacqueline Gates saysMarch 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm
Absolutely agree with the last one in particular. I've been married to my Husband Muffin for nearly 31 years and the only time I lie is at Christmas and Birthdays …..
"Did I hear a parcel arrive?"
"What did you do today?"
Otherwise, I've been 35 and 120 lbs for a decade now …
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm
Jacqueline, your husband muffin is a lucky man indeed.
Vicki saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm
Not that I spent my life as a habitual liar…I went thru life ALWAYS being caught or accused when the story was told. I have learned to try & view those experieces as one of life's lessons to always think of the consequences…karma…guilt…& other's feelings.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm
Vicki, as you know I gave up guilt for Lent back in 1997. However, I am a big believer in karma. I know you're a good person – that's why you can't get away with a lie. It's a good trait, I promise!!!
Jean saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Really enjoyed your post and can see where most folks figure its okay to tell the "white lies" for the reasons you've listed. I try not to lie, but I have on realized after I've said something that the truth was just stretched. As for the weight thing….. I don't ask and I don't tell!
Thanks for the entertaining post!
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 11, 2013 at 10:41 am
Jean, I like you're don't ask/don't tell filter about weight. I might have to create a DA/DT filter for my brain!!
Dayna Camp saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Ha! I enjoyed your post! About your question, is it ever ok to lie?, I have always been a "tell the truth" girl. But several years ago, I had a family member who had an uncanny control over me, ask me very pointed questions and I always felt compelled to tell the truth. The truth many times got me into trouble. One day I decided I didn't have to tell her the truth so I didn't and ever since then things have been great! I no longer feel controlled and manipulated. I can't believe I've just admitted that I sometimes tell lies!
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm
Dayna, sincerely hoping for you a life where you never feel manipulated or controlled; and that is no lie.
marquita herald saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm
What timing. I had to suck it up and tell the bold honest truth earlier this week and the whole experience just made me ill. Occasionally I'm asked to review a book – on occasion I will do it, but my policy is that if I cannot honestly give a good review, then I will provide the author with feedback in lieu of a bad review. Well it finally happened – a book so bad it really was a struggle to get through it. I stressed and stressed over how to provide feedback that would be in some way encouraging – and seriously considered just taking the easy way out and giving a good review. Finally – as you did – reflected on the karma thing, and did the best job I could of being completely honest with the author. Whether they choose to blow the feedback off, or take the opportunity to learn is up to them – at least I feel I did the right thing in the end.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm
Marty – that is the PERFECT example. I swear, if someone did not like my book, I would want an honest response that wasn't mean, but instead offered specific advice regarding where the book could be improved. I can appreciate how you must have struggled with your decision and I KNOW you were diplomatic and thoughtful.
Kate Lindsay saysMarch 8, 2013 at 11:01 am
I adored this morning chuckle. Thanks. 🙂 I love Lucy and Seinfeld, are classics and just remembering them make me laugh. You in your husbands shirt could for sure have been a Seinfeld episode.
I can totally relate to the white lies "rules" though I can usually get around the awkward without actually lying.
Babies – always say something nice!! Always!! I use qualifiers there when necessary like "sweet", "tiny", "innocent" Then I feel like I have complimented truthfully. I can say something nice without commenting on the beauty.
The bride that was mentioned by Angelina, exactly! Let her have her day. But I can still say something without giving my personal views on the dress choice. "She's beaming!" or "She's so happy".
We have so many adjectives from which to choose……
But I have been 125lbs for years 😉
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm
Hi Kate, love all the gals in "Club 125" with me! Maybe we should create a "gals book of adjectives" – when a little lie just wouldn't do…
Terry Hanley saysMarch 8, 2013 at 10:43 am
I'm sure it was a funny story, but I stopped reading after you asked the hubby to start putting out on the dresser. Really ? At your age ????
GET A ROOM !
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm
LOL, Terry, you WOULD make it something dirty!!
Elise saysMarch 8, 2013 at 10:30 am
What a great way to start off the day! Thank you for the smiles 🙂
I'm probably a little too blunt to even consider lying, lol
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm
I know what you mean Elise – I'm the Queen of Blunt. I constantly have to have this little ticker tape going on in my head: "Are they ASKING for my opinion?" If not, I try to keep it reined in; it's a struggle…
Maverick saysMarch 8, 2013 at 9:50 am
You are all liars – I happen to know that most of you have lied about sex and all of you have lied about money. Kids are a different subject, most of you admit to having them but none of you will discuss how they got there. You ladies are a crafty lot.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Now Maverick, no name calling on this blog please!! And yes, by gal pals ARE crafty; and wicked smart and funny.
Kathi Casey saysMarch 8, 2013 at 9:39 am
I prefer to think of things like weight or height as exaggerations, not lies. Just as Nathalie mentioned, as a youngster I told lies to get attention and it always comes back to bite you in the butt. It's a slippery slope. Where is the line when a little white lie becomes a big fat lie? It's much easier to say something like – what a sweet baby, or look at all that hair, than to tell a lie so as not to hurt someone's feelings. Thanks for this thought provoking post – love your posts! I can just hear Greg asking how a tee shirt gets up and walks away! 🙂
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Yeah, Kathi, since you know Greg, you more than most can see how the whole t-shirt thing went down. I think I may have to buy him a pkg of FOTL for our up-coming anniversary (FOTL = Fruit of the Loom 🙂 ).
Angelina Romero saysMarch 8, 2013 at 9:35 am
I am completely fine with telling "Little White Lies" especially in the circumstances that you outline. Example: If you are attending a wedding and let's say the Bride, is less than cute, let alone beautiful, do you tell her that? No, you tell her that she is a beautiful bride and let her have her day! Just like your example of cute babies, there certainly are babies that just are NOT cute. Enjoy your style of writing.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm
Every bride definitely deserves to have her day. But, here's a question: if your best friend asked you to help her pick out wedding dresses, and she was leaning toward one that you did not think looked good on her – would you share your opinion, or fib a little to make her happy?
Suzanne Michelle saysMarch 8, 2013 at 9:33 am
Hi Kimba…. What an entertaining article. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so it's not easy for me to lie…..However, I do find the most positive thing to say when it would simply be hurtful to tell a person my opinion. And, really I think we are talking about opinions in the context of babies and appearances. When we are talking about betrayal and such, it's not the best policy to lie.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Suzanne, you are so right – I can't think of any circumstance where it is OK to betray someone. Betrayal will just eat at your soul.
Robin Hallett saysMarch 8, 2013 at 9:21 am
You made me laugh out loud – wearing his undershirt while he was looking for it! Classic 🙂 I do that sometimes, and I know the place you describe when he apologized to you. oops.
I do think it's okay to tell a little lie here and there, and my criteria is usually around not hurting someone's feelings – let's say I know they weren't invited to the party I went to last night…
I feel it's fine to do that.
Thank you! I enjoyed your writing 🙂
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm
I'm with you Robin, every once in awhile someone's feelings out-ranks the need to be brutally honest. "Brutally honest" almost never turns out well…. thx for stopping by.
Nathalie Villeneuve saysMarch 8, 2013 at 8:56 am
I think it's OK to tell a little white lie now and them as long as it doesn't haunt you and keeps you from sleeping. When i was a little girl, I remember lying for no good reason except that I was in need of more attention. I got over it…I think…LOL …Oh, I weigh 125 (wink)
I can just imagine you in bed with your hubby's shirt…cute…I'm glad you came clean..ha ha…and that your husband thought it was funny…it really is.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 11:59 am
Nathalie, I can't imagine you ever being anything but kind and thoughtful, even as a child!
Linda Macapayag saysMarch 8, 2013 at 8:50 am
Funny, as when a "friend" lied to me last weekend – he said it was because he didn't want to hurt me. So, when I found out the truth (which was inevitable that I would in this circumstance), did he think he was going to hurt any less? NO – It hurt much more. In fact – he did not like me calling him a name (such as a LIAR), but his actions showed it was okay for him to lie to me. No, it is NOT okay to lie to me. We are no longer friends.
Loved this blog, Kim. For the circumstances you stated above – lying or fibbing is okay. I do not usually advocate lying, though. There are circumstances (like asking ones weight) that is really none-of-their-business.
I tell my son that it is better to be honest and face the consequences, than to lie – get caught and face my wrath and much more severe consequences after hurting his Mom (or someone else).
BTW – You DO look great! 🙂
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 11:57 am
Hola chica. Sorry someone that you considered a friend made you feel bad about yourself. And I happen to think that all us babes from TLHS class of '81 look pretty darn good!
Debbie K. saysMarch 8, 2013 at 8:45 am
Your article made me smile!
Every day I think most of us have the opportunity for Little White Lies but like yourself I avoid them at all costs!
Loving to keep life simple, truthful and even give a warning label of "the good, the bad, and the ugly" but still…….honest.
Enjoy the great Karma!
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 8, 2013 at 11:55 am
Debbie, a friend this morning reminded me of this quote from Mark Twain: "If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember anything." Keeping life simple really is a good rule. Thx for stopping by.