The great philosopher Kant summed up my thoughts on lies when he wrote ‘One must lie to live’. Except, Kant never said that. I lied. After scrolling through three pages of quotes about lying on Good Reads without finding one that didn’t paint lying as an awful, immoral act, I decided to make up my own quote. My philosophy studying friend (deepsarchasm) informed me that Kant was actually completely against lying under any circumstances. He also informed me that Kant was an outcast.
Most of us are guilty of lying at one stage or another. At this very moment across the world, there are people in the act of lying. A dissatisfied married woman just answered her husband’s question with “yes I came” after five minutes of missionary. A chocolate stained mouthed child is denying eating the last slice of cake. An office worker with the arms of Mr Tickle is about to claim that he benched 250 pounds in the gym at the weekend. I want to argue that lies aren’t inherently bad. They can serve to protect the feelings of others. Although admittedly, they are often rooted in selfishness. They can protect us from accountability or simply just aid us in looking cooler.
These reflections on lies are not new to you, I’d be lying if I said they were. I cannot provide any new insights to this topic but what I can do is share some of my best (worst) lies of my life. So without further ado…
- “My boyfriend got me a weekend ticket to Longitude”
Last year, I got a weekend ticket to Longitude. A friend had been ranting to me about how he had no one to go with and so, I hastily bought a ticket about three weeks before the music festival. The next step was to secure work off for the weekend of the festival. A quick look at the work journal revealed that about four other employees had already booked this weekend off. It would be incredibly difficult to get work off, especially since I had taken the entirety of June off in order to do the Leaving Cert and then jet off to Spain. Although I had observed that my boss had a soft spot for those taking off work to be with their significant others. The problem was that I didn’t have a significant other. In fact, I had just broken it off with someone. He was now an insignificant other. However I hadn’t yet informed my boss of the break-up. So, I decided to let on that we were still going steady. I arrived at work ready to fight my case. I told my boss that my boyfriend had gotten me a weekend Longitude ticket as a birthday present…of course, I could always refuse to go…throw the tickets back in my soulmate’s face. Thankfully my boss, the hopeless romantic, couldn’t accept that possibility and granted me the weekend off work. Unfortunately, this was not the extent of the lie. I had to go through the fake break-up a few weeks later. Giving the best acting performance of my life, I stared sadly into the distance, waiting for a colleague to ask me if anything was wrong. It took them awhile to notice. I had to sigh. A lot.
2. “My cousin is in a coma”
In sixth class, I was a pretty sad child. My girl squad were constantly leaving me out of things. Since they were all villagers and I was but a mere country living girl, they claimed their actions were out of convenience. It was simply easier to call for one other and hang out on their greens like all the other cool estate kids did. The worst thing about this situation was that they’d always bring up times they had hung out without me IN FRONT of me. As a very emotional being, this upset me greatly. One particular day, the girl squad and I were chilling on a trampoline. Then came the line “Remember that time…”. I didn’t “remember that time”. I wasn’t there. All of my built-up sadness released itself in the form of a breakdown. I started bawling crying. My friends tried to comfort me and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t want to let on that they had hurt me especially because they were being so nice to me then. So I blurted out that my cousin was in a coma. I don’t know where the lie came from. Probably an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t think I ever told them that it wasn’t true. They probably think my cousin is still in a coma.
3. “I did it”
Since those two previous lies don’t show me in the best light, I’ve decided to include one of the most selfless lies I’ve ever told. Growing up as a twin, I had to share baths. Bath time was usually a fun affair. My twin and I would play with toys, make bubbles and splash each other. But one day the fun stopped. One day, my twin shit in the bath. Understandably, I wasn’t happy about this. However, this sort of bad ass behaviour wasn’t out of character for her. She was constantly getting in trouble and I knew that this shit would push my parents over the edge. So I took the blame. I told my mother that I had shit in the bath. The reaction was different because it was me. All I got was a sympathetic look and a sigh.
To conclude, trust no bitch (i.e. me).