4 Situations When You're Totally Supposed to Lie
Everyone lies. I make bold claims like this in all my articles, but the best thing about this one is that if you even think of arguing the point with me, I can just call you a liar and I win! I win at Internet. Good stuff. And it's not even just me saying it, it's science. Me and science are tight. Anyway, to a greater or lesser degree, people find the time to be deceptive every day, whether it be an unimportant lie, like telling Grandpa that you're going to visit for real this year, or a big lie, like telling the people at Grandpa's home no, you didn't visit and you have no idea what happened.
For the most part, no one enjoys being lied to, but for whatever reason, we've carved out a few niche situations in life when not only do we find it acceptable to lie, we've pretty much all agreed it's expected and even better to lie, because the truth is just going to let everyone down. Strap on your ascot, it's lying time!
I don't work so much as wallow in my own sense of satisfaction while living off this sweet settlement I got from the time I swallowed a lug nut in the bottom of a bottle of Mountain Dew Red. But when I did work and had to go to interviews, I recall pretty much always lying in said interviews. I like to think you do it, too.
There are varying degrees of dishonesty that occur during interviews, and while some people make up work history, references, skills, family, and even endearing qualities, we'll ignore them for now, because those people are so advanced at lying that if I were to expose them here and now they'd likely have me pushing up daisies by the end of the week and just tell the authorities that I probably committed suicide by kissing that outboard motor with my hands tied behind my back and people would believe them because they lie really, really well. People like my mother. No, the lies we care about here are the ones you'll tell when asked, "Why do you want to work here?"
Has anyone ever honestly answered that question in an interview? It's amazing that when the HR person interviewing you asks it, you don't both wink and high-five while laughing and pissing off a rooftop onto elderly people in a pool, or whatever it is kids do when engaging in underhanded shenanigans these days. Of course no one answers it honestly, because the reason you want to work at Old Navy is not because you have a raging hard-on for khakis and rearranging creepy mannequin families, it's because you're flat ass broke, and 50 percent of all the Old Navy employees you've ever met seem to be at least half chimp, so you think you can really excel there.
"Yo, that hoodie looks bangin' on you, bro, I'd buy two!"
HR people don't expect you to tell the truth, they just want to know you're not too stupid to properly answer a question. They want you to tell them a pretty lie, not an ugly truth. So when they ask, "What is your biggest weakness?" you know in your heart that an integral part of the answer is your love of methamphetamines, but in the interview, you're going to say it's that you like to take on a lot of responsibility, sometimes maybe even too much. Then you'll twitch and rub a suspicious scab and the interviewer will put a little check mark next to your name.
When they ask, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" you want to say you can't even remember where you were last week, but you're going to say you have an eye toward management, because it sounds slightly more responsible and less sociopathic.
The entire job interview process is to see how you act in a job interview, if you're prepared, if you can think on your feet, and if you can get through 10 minutes without swearing, masturbating, or punching someone. Lie your ass off -- just make it sound reasonable and you'll probably be folding polo shirts in no time.
Celebrities lie like knockoff Persian rugs thrust into the fierce gravitational pull of Jupiter all the time. Admittedly, it's never important, barring the odd celebrity murderer we've had to endure being turned into some kind of bizarre carny act of feigned indignation, but look at any typical train wreck in the news. Lindsay Lohan, for instance, may not even be Lindsay Lohan's name. She lies so much that no one should be surprised if we find out in a month she's actually Fred Savage.
Lindsay Lohan has a court date, she says she's sick and can't make it, and then TMZ films her at the mall buying the latest gold-encrusted douche nozzle from Fendi. Is Justin Bieber smoking pot and grabbing fan boobs? Of course not. Until pictures of him driving a bongmobile with a weed hat and a handful of statutory jug spread across the Internet, then he shrugs, tells us to fuck ourselves, wipes his ass with a $1,000 bill, and hosts SNL.
"I dunno, it just seemed like a silly pants day."
No one cares that celebrities lie about stupid shit, so why do they do it? Did Justin Bieber lose fans after they found out he smoked weed? Maybe, but he probably gained more -- at least it makes him seem human now. On the other hand, you'll get a crusty sack of human effluence like Chris Brown (whose main contribution to culture has been the insulting tweets he's inspired from the Iron Sheik), who may be pathologically incapable of doing anything honest or honorable at all. He may literally be a piece of shit. Like designed in a lab, forged from the scrapings of numerous outhouses and litter boxes, and infused with a fractured scrap of Ike Turner's soul, a sixth grader's education, and terrible taste in body art. And despite his criminal violence, his terrible attitude, his asshole demeanor, his marginal talent, and his arrogant lack of remorse for anything he does, he not only has fans, he has vehement defenders. People just don't give a shit. And so celebrities never need to be held accountable for lying.
Somewhere along the line, celebrity culture brought with it the idea that everyone famous should be a role model, and so they have to be good and moral people, with few exceptions. Every so often a Colin Farrell will come around who will conduct interviews in which all he does is swear and profess a love of whiskey from the word go, and we just file him off to one side as a normal human who is also famous, but everyone else is held up as some kind of insane pariah if we discover they like sex or they punch out the odd paparazzi. So they will lie about it, whether it be a lie about who they're dating, the existence of a sex tape, a feud, or being hospitalized for "exhaustion," and then in a week's time the lie will be exposed and literally no one will give a shit, so it's hard to guess why that middle step of lying had to even occur.
In all likelihood, lying to children evolved as a pastime for parents, just to see what kind of stuff they could get the little chuckleheads to swallow, and then afterward they'd get together with other parents and laugh about what suckers they'd spawned while eating their lunch snacks. The Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, their potential to succeed ... we just cloak children in lies and see how long it takes them to figure it out.
In more subtle ways, it's just so much easier to lie to kids under the guise of protecting them, which is often a way of saying that it makes you uncomfortable to tell the truth. If little Billy walks in on Mommy getting railed by Daddy and Daddy's friend Julio, then asks what's going on, odds are no one is going to explain a Chinese finger trap to Billy. They'll just say he's sleepwalking, or Mommy's losing a really weird game of Risk. Sex, death, and any mildly complex math is much easier to explain to a child with a lie than with the truth, and it's so commonplace that some people would argue that the weird people are the ones who would tell kids the truth rather than shield them from life's myriad horrors and perversions.
If you really want your mind blown on this particular subject and the potential moral quandary represented by telling a child that no, the clown is not going to do anything bad to us, we're just in his basement waiting for a surprise party, you could look into something called Wittgenstein's ladder, which is basically a method of taking really hard-to-understand concepts and information and presenting them in a happy, easily digestible manner until such time as you understand them -- then you can ignore the bullshit part. It's lying to someone with the intention that they're going to recognize the lie eventually and learn something in the process, so it's actually beneficial to be deceptive. So feel free to tell your kids it's cool to taste the cat's bum, because they will eventually learn that the true lesson is that it's mostly never OK to taste the cat's bum.
If you haven't told a lie during sex, then you're doing it wrong, and all of your sexual partners are dissatisfied with you. No one ever told you that before? It's because they lied to spare your sad, truth-spewing heart the trauma.
Sex lies are the best lies ever and are a good 10 percent of the fun of sex in general, the rest of the fun being various squishes and oomphs. I don't mean the depressing lies, like "Yeah, I guess it's big enough" or "Sure, Felix is a manly name" -- I mean the dirty talk lies you'll toss out just to go along with whatever filth your partner enjoys.
I'm willing to concede that you may not even have dirty talk in your sex life, in which case I feel like it's OK to call your entire sex life a lie, one that you willingly live each and every time you scrub your nether grubbies against a partner's barely engaged fun zone. But for the rest of us, lying in dirty talk is all but essential. It's where you can say the most ridiculous, nefarious, depraved things and you're probably going to be OK so long as you don't cross into the realm of "cattle smeared with poop" or what have you that so few people really get off on these days.
I don't know either, and I wrote this whole column. Not the cow, me.
No one takes the stuff you say during sex at face value. If you talk about how you want to hump on top of the Sphinx, it seems awesome in the moment, but it's not like you're expected to buy tickets to Egypt after you've finished and used Wet Ones to mop up your lovin's. Likewise, you can bring up how, yes, you've always really enjoyed the idea of being called a worthless man-hole and you'd gladly wear heels around the house when you clean up because it sounds fun and sexy.
Sex lies are the one and only time you can cut loose in life and just say any awful and/or awesome thing you can literally never say at any other point in time without making someone stop what they're doing and give you that look. You all know the look -- the one where their brow furrows just a bit, their stare is intense, the nostrils flare as they exhale just ever so slightly louder than is necessary, and they shake their head because you are disgusting and disappointing and they're trying to puzzle out which one is winning out.