Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

As children we're taught to tell the truth. Then when we grow up we teach our children the same thing. Don't lie. Be honest. Always tell the truth. You know. But if we're being honest with ourselves, we're all liars.

If someone asks you if these pants make their butt look big, and they do, it looks huge, what do you say? Yes in fact your butt looks ginormous. No. You lie. You look fine. Great. Spectacular.

When children ask you about the existence of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny? You lie through your teeth. Santa Claus will only bring you presents if you're a good girl. He will fly here in his magical sleigh with his flying reindeer and slide down the chimney and eat the cookies and milk you left for him and leave you lots of presents that didn't cost your parents any money. Santa breaks the bank around here. He's pretty generous. But he will definitely eat the cookies and milk. The Tooth Fairy will leave you money under your pillow if you leave your rotten baby tooth for her. As long as mommy remembers to get cash out, or the Tooth Fairy might be writing a check. The Easter Bunny will leave you a basket of candy just for the heck of it. That's what Easter's about right? A basket full of candy and hidden eggs.

When the beloved family pet dies? Fluffy went to live on a farm in the country. He'll be happier there. There's lots of fields to run around on and horses to chase. What do the people who live on farms in the country tell their kids when a pet dies?
When someone asks if you liked the present they bought for you, even though you didn't? Sure. It was great. I loved it. I always wanted a Snuggie/ChiaPet/stinky scented lotion that gives me a rash. Awesome. We lie to spare people's feelings. Then you return it for store credit. At least I do.

When invited to go somewhere we really don't want to go? We invent an excuse. I have a dr. appointment. I have to wash my hair. I can't go out after dark. I'm not feeling well. People rarely say I don't want to. It feels like we're sparing someone's feelings by giving what we consider a more acceptable excuse.

Sometimes we lie because we think its better. We don't want to hurt someone's feelings, we want our kids to believe in impossible magic, we don't want to be rude, we are scared to tell the truth.

Eventually if we keep lying to people they might not believe anything we say. People will only believe lies for so long. If you say you're going to do something ten times and you never do, then no one will believe you anymore. Keep crying wolf and someday that wolf is really going to appear and everyone will downplay its arrival, because you said it got here a long time ago.

Are we wrong to tell our kids to believe in Santa, cause its a lie? Or should we keep telling them things to try and extend the short period of time where they believe everything we say? I would rather believe that a fat man in a red suit comes to my house on Christmas Eve and eats the cookies and leaves presents than believe that everyone I know has been lying to me my whole life.


Kerri said...

I find few things more annoying than parents who won't tell their kids about Santa because they don't want to "lie" to them. Oh, please. Way to take away one of the most fun, magical experiences of childhood. You know what? My parents "lied" to me about Santa & now that I'm all grown up? I still trust them. And I no longer think Santa is real. Basically, I'm well adjusted. Their horrible dishonesty did no permanent damage. I say- let kids be kids. It doesn't last for very long anyway.

Also? I liked your "washing my hair" excuse. Did you see Can't Buy Me Love in the '80s? :)

Jennifer said...

I did see Can't Buy Me Love, but not just in the 80s, I watch it whenever its on! I think my reference was probably more based on Saved by the Bell when Kelly doesn't have money for a prom dress so she tells Zack she has to wash her hair. Classic!

Santa is one of the funnest parts of being a parent. Wait till you can have someone call your kid on the phone at Christmas time pretending to be Santa, its awesome!

NikkiDarlin' said...

You really blog about things that make me think. Makes me wonder what am I going to tell my daughter when she starts askig some questions?
I'm adding your button to my blog!

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much! Just tell her what you think is right, I'm sure it'll be fine.

V said...

This is so so true Jen! You really need to write for a newspaper or magazine! I love your brain lol.

Alexa Mae said...

You're awesome!! I agree COMPLETELY!!!! Love your guts.

Ash and Jon said...

I ain't gonna lie, i'm SUCH a liar. I do tell people that look no-so-great in clothes, it's cute!! - guilty! haha I must say this post got me the giggles. It's kinda cute, but absolutely TRUE!!

You have a beautiful family. You're blessed. I'm going to follow now (=


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