I am a liar, but so are you. We all lie to others and we lie to ourselves. And anybody who claims they never lie is the biggest liar of all. The reality is that lying permeates all human life. ‘None of us could live with a habitual truth-teller; but, thank goodness, none of us has to.’ (Mark Twain). So called “white lies” are an important component of our social fabric, it keeps society running (Rodriguez & Ryave, 1990). A marriage without gentle small white lies would be a tricky, complicated and unrealistic existence. The question “Did you turn off the emersion before we left? “ Then the lie “of course I did” but the reality is I have to make sure I get in the door first and turn it off before anyone else realises! Some would argue that marriages cannot exist without dishonesty. “It wasn’t that expensive” and “it was on sale” are two of Michelle’s (my wife) favourites. If I told Michelle the absolute truth for a month, and vice versa, by the end I think we’d be divorced. It’s not lying, it’s simply being careful with the truth. Like when we talk about hair – Michelle assures me my “balding” has slowed and I ignore that she spends a fortune on hers every six weeks.
But I am ready to confess and share my digressions, I can’t do it anymore. It’s been going on years and now I am prepared to share the nasty secret I’ve kept hidden. I have myself tied in knots with all the lies and I can’t keep up. Michelle – Running is not the cheap sport I convinced you it once was. You thought I just pop on my runners and trot out the door powered by self discipline and the hope of keeping my belly under control, but it’s not that simple anymore. I no longer am happy with one pair of runners I now rotate 3 sets. The latest watch I bought wasn’t “bought in a sale” and it does so much more than just tell the time – It counts my steps, has a GPS, measures my heart rate all day and monitors my sleep pattern – so no it didn’t just cost €50. Yes Michelle my entry to the Dublin City marathon was a very reasonable €70, but I have to be honest that is only the start. I will need some new gear, it is a safety issue – I can’t let chafing slow me down, but I did get this “on sale” for €120. I do have my eyes on a pair of Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3 runners because all the quick fellas wear them, I’ll get them cheap on the internet – maybe €90, but that includes delivery! I can’t show up at the marathon in October without a few practice races but the entry fees are not too bad. Six or seven races for around €180, but remember I get a free T-shirt.
Of course, I don’t need the watch, the gear or the runners to complete this marathon. My old runners and gear would be fine and to be honest I wouldn’t mind missing the “practice” races. But it’s all part of the fun. So Michelle, running a marathon isn’t cheap but I promise this is the last one, honestly!
Rodriguez N & Ryave A. (1990). Telling lies in everyday life: Motivational and organizational consequences of sequential preferences. Qualitative Sociology 13, 195-210.