Your Pants Are On Fire
Posted by Jamie C. Baker
In the words of Dr. Gregory House, everybody lies. Those may be the words of a fictional character, written by a team who was tasked with coming up with a phrase fitting of his outlook on the world, but it is a very true statement. We all lie, even the most honest people among us. I lie to my husband and say I’m fine when I’m actually bothered about something silly. My son lies to me about his behavior in order to save himself from losing television time. Employees at restaurants and retail outlets lie to their customers in order to make a sale. Friends lie to other friends in order to spare their feelings. Harmless lies are spoken all the time by the best of us.
I don’t particularly mind the tiny lies we tell in life. If I’m sick and look like total garbage, I won’t mind if you tell me I look fine in order to spare my feelings. I understand that in some instances, a lie can be appropriate. In order to avoid your friends hating your significant other, for example, it’s fine to lie in order to conceal a silly fight and keep your friends from thinking you’re dating an insensitive jerk. If you screwed up something that has nothing to do with your friends, it’s fine to lie to conceal it and save yourself the embarrassment. Perhaps it’s hypocritical, but I understand the times when a little white lie is okay. When it does no harm and isn’t done maliciously, I let it slide.
When it comes to white lies that are simply unnecessary, I have little to no tolerance for them. If you mess up my bathroom after a night of drinking, let me know so I can sort it out rather than letting me discover it later and playing dumb about it. Don’t bullshit me about not getting my text, just tell me you were busy or didn’t notice it until hours later; I’m perfectly understanding that not everyone is glued to their phone and able to respond immediately. If I piss you off, be up front about it rather that silently resentful, complaining to others about me instead of addressing the issue. Don’t be sneaky about things that you can come to me about.
Recently, I had someone do a very silly thing behind my back. It was 100% forgivable given the situation, pretty darn stupid, but something that I could have very easily forgiven with a laugh. It was 100% avoidable, as all this person would have had to do is ask me a simply question in order to have their problem resolved rather than been sneaky. It wasn’t anything that had to be embarrassing, but they made it into something horrendously laughable by sneaking around. It’s caused my opinion of this person to drop greatly, as it was lacking in class and tact. It was simply disrespectful. When asked about it, this person denied all knowledge, but a discovery later in the day showed me that this person not only did something stupid, but chose to lie about it instead of manning/womaning up and admitting that they screwed up and they were sorry.
What bothers me is that I have always been up front and honest with this person. We’ve had more than a few moments together where we spill our guts and talk about personal things. I’ve helped this person through some emotional situations and I didn’t sugar coat things, as honesty was the only thing that could help. I’ve never broken their confidence and I’ve never lied. The fact that this person chose to act like a child by going behind my back and doing something stupid, THEN chose to lie to cover up their behavior, makes me now question every single thing that has passed over their lips. I don’t know what to believe and I don’t know if I’m even willing to listen anymore.
I want to confront this person about what they did, but it’s so ridiculous that I don’t know if I could do it with a straight face, especially if they continue to deny what happened. I guarantee that they are so ashamed of their behavior that they will keep on playing dumb about it, even if I lay out the evidence right in front of them. It makes me sad that a grown person could be so childish and so afraid of the truth coming out that they would blatantly lie to cover things up. I feel disrespected; the behavior itself showed me that this person made the choice to be sneaky right under my nose, and the lying afterward showed me that this person doesn’t value our friendship enough to give me an ounce of honesty and remorse.
Contrary to what my angry rants may lead you to believe, I am a very forgiving person. I won’t hold it against you if you get drunk at my place and throw up in my bathtub (though you should count on having to bleach that mess when you sober up). I’m not going to hold a grudge if you flake on me because your crush texted you and wants to hang out. Just don’t lie to me about it and we’ll be fine. Don’t make up some story about trying to call me and the voicemail you left somehow getting lost. Don’t blame things on others to save yourself the embarrassment. I’ve screwed up plenty, I’ll keep on screwing up, and I want to give people the same leeway that I would like afforded to myself.
As far as my fibbing friend goes, I’m really not sure how things will go from here. The chances they will read this are slim to none, so I’m sure they have no reason to think that I didn’t buy their BS story. I suspect that they have mostly forgotten about the incident, since they feel that they have gotten away with it and that I suspect nothing. But I do suspect. I KNOW, and it bothers me. I am no better than this person if I let it slide, but I don’t know if I’m prepared for the backlash if I don’t let it go. I’m conflicted and it remains to be seen what I will do. All I can say for sure is that my trust for this person is broken and the window to repair it is slowly closing. Hopefully they make a move before it’s locked shut, but I’m sitting in silence until they choose to break it. Only time will tell.