I cannot remember the first lie I ever told. It was probably something silly and childish like I brushed my teeth when I really hadn’t. And although I cannot remember my first fib, I do remember the first time I learned the consequences of lying.
Your nose grew.
I don’t think it was the intent of Disney, or maybe it was, but the movie Pinocchio scared me into telling the truth. The other thing Pinocchio instilled in me was the idea that wishing on a star was a legit thing that could alter your fate. Finding a shooting star was very difficult. It required me to stay up past my bed time to seek out said star. It also forced me to stay still with great attention to detail, two things I was terrible at. Telling the truth was a lot simpler. There was no way I wanted my nose to grow into a tree branch fit with leaves and bird’s nest. So I told the truth. Somewhere along the way I stopped.
When people refer to human nature, there are a lot of things that come to mind instantly; sex, greed, violence, aggression to name a few. I would say lying has to be up there with all of them.
We all know lying is bad, but it is rare for us to completely abstain from the deceitful act.
We reason that a lie for good is worthy of the lie, “you look good in that dress,” or “she wasn’t good for you anyways,” are a couple whoppers we use without guilt because we think it’s in the best interest of our “victim.” White lies are another example of fudging insignificant details to enhance a story we rationalize as harmless.
Who decides what lie is good and what lie is bad? Are the lies that don’t hurt anyone good lies, even though one could argue deception is inflicting harm by misleading? The logic we use to justify lies are subjective and in turn can be dangerous.
One only needs to look at what’s going on in our world today to see how convoluted the art of lying can be when used with purpose.
It was Mark Twain who said, “the Lie, as a Virtue, A Principle, is eternal; the Lie, as a recreation, a solace, a refuge in time of need…man’s best and surest friend, is immortal, and cannot perish from the earth while this club remains”
Is he wrong? Surely, the lie is immortal. Adam & Eve were the first documented liars and falsehoods have been served up ever since.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is, yes, lying is here to stay. There’s no going around it. What we can do is learn to curb the lies we tell and limit the pain we dispense. Much like we’ve learned lies now have new euphemisms like “Alternative Facts” we can help to unload “alternative lies”. We can work hard to find ways to tell the truth while still being thoughtful to our respective subjects. If not to everyone, at least to the people we love.
That’s something worth wishing for.
On to the questions.
Dear Relationship Quarterback,
I am blessed to have two healthy boys and an amazing wife. Ever since I can remember I have been dreaming about the day I can take them to a baseball game. My oldest son is 3 years old and I want to take him to his first game. My concern is about my wife. I don’t want her to feel left out with all the fantasies I have in my head about taking my kids to sporting events. How do I make sure I don’t leave her behind?
Blessed in Baltimore
There is nothing like taking your kid to their first sporting event. As I’ve said many times in this column, being thoughtful is 95% of the trick to a successful relationship. The other half is communication :). If you don’t want her to feel left behind, set up something that she’s into to do with the boys on the next excursion. There are plenty of activities to plan your day, and with Spring Break around the corner, you’ll have more than enough opportunity. Take the initiative and set something up you’ll know she’ll enjoy and you’ll all be able to enjoy peanuts and crackerjacks at the old ball game.
Dear Relationship Quarterback,
My girlfriend and I are taking the big step of adopting a puppy, or buying a dog. I’m not sure what the correct term is but soon enough we’re gonna have a furry pet in the house. We’ve been going over names and I want to name him Russell Terrier Westbrook. She thinks I’m an idiot. She wants to name him Duke. I have to ask, though, what better way to celebrate one of the greatest statistical seasons in NBA history than by naming a furry little pet after him.
Owner of Dog (maybe) in OKC
I would never condone deceit or lying, but like everything in life, rules are meant to be broken. Earn some major brownie points and say you’ll go with Duke, but then start the sabotage. Refer to using the bathroom as “dropping a deuce” although sometimes you misspeak and you say “dropping a duke” talk about the Green Day album Dookie a lot, play the album nonstop, which isn’t a bad thing. Start buying a whole lot of Duke University paraphernalia and say you have to start watching a ton of Duke sports on TV because they are related to the new dog you are about to get.
If she doesn’t grow skeptical of the name after all your covert espionage, just call him Westbrook when your girl’s not there…
Or, you can just go with Duke and the next time a big decision comes up casually bring up the dog as a bargaining chip. But be careful, it might backfire.
When my wife and I were talking about marriage the last name change came up. She was skeptical about it, because she is an independent woman. I was steadfast in my desire for the name change because I’m a traditionalist when it came to this topic.
That’s when things got interesting.
I’ll never forget this: we were driving to dinner and she said, I’ll change my name if we name our first born son my last name. Instantly, I loved the idea and agreed in a mili-second. The turn of events caught her off guard and she was caught flat footed. I had captured a very rare W.
In full disclosure, she still hasn’t changed her name after many years of marriage, but our son’s first name bares her surname nonetheless. (sigh)
Submit your questions via email to [email protected] or in the comments, below. Watch this column weekly for answers.
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