Pants on F*cking Fire

Honesty is the best policy. That’s a lie. Everything is a lie. Why do we pretend like lying is the worst thing that someone can do? It’s ridiculous. Pretending is lying, to yourself at least. Nice things that we do for others are lies. Exaggerations or things more beneficial for us than purely altruistic. Compliments? Mostly lies. Talking about how important the things you did at work were? Boring lies. Filling out applications or interviewing? Boastful Lies. Visiting your family? A smorgasbord of lies. All day, everyday, everything is less than truthful at best. Sometimes we aren’t aware that we’re doing it, whether due to denial or it becoming such a part of your life that it becomes too natural. You can’t even keep track of what’s real or made up. Sometimes we consciously tell bold face lies right to someone’s face. Your boss, your mother, your best friend, and of course, your significant other. Looove you. (not a lie)

Let’s all just be honest for once and admit that lying is something that we all do and it’s not always moralistically wrong. Mommy lies, Daddy lies, even the wonderful Jerry lies. Can we try to get through a day without lying because Jim Carey is probably tired of proving this point by himself after all these years. Day One: The only reason I haven’t lied before leaving the house is that I haven’t talked to anyone. There is a chance however that I have lied to myself while thinking in the shower: today won’t be that bad, maybe you can get some things done after work, I’m sure my little guy is supposed to look like that. Driving to work is full of lies “I can’t believe I’m going to be late, I left plenty of time”. I stop for breakfast anyway because my boss doesn’t deserve having me be on time anyway. (lies) They don’t pay me enough anyway: False, I’m terrible at my job. “You have a nice day too” – Untrue, I could care less if that barista has a nice day. Actually I probably wish him pain and suffering for putting too much milk in my drink. And finally, “I’m sorry officer this is the first time I was texting while driving.” That’s a double lie, because I text all the time and this time I wasn’t even texting but looking at porn!

Do you know how many lies we commit in an 8 hour work day? A “good morning” to all of you miserable bastards, but to be honest, we all know I don’t care about any of you. “Hey boss”, Why are the numbers down? Well now she’s just asking for a big batch of dishonesty. Nearly every interaction that we have with clients is a lie. I really am sorry, I really did my best, this won’t happen again. Almost any answer given to co-workers is a lie too depending on where you work. “How’s your day going?”, how’s my day going? The corporate culture could not possible support the depressing and explicit laced tirade I would need to deliver to answer that simple question honestly. We lie because we don’t want to disappoint management, we don’t want to bring down morale, and we want our clients to feel special. It really is dishonesty coming from a good place. But it’s complete BS. Because we ARE disappointments, and we don’t feel any better about being there than anyone else, and these clients are certainly not special. Some of them are downright loathsome.

Finally when you get home there is room for a little honesty. “How was work?” It sucked. “Anything interesting happen?” No. Boom, honesty. I mean you could try to lie, but it actually takes more effort pretending to be excited about an email forward of a monkey wearing a winter coat or Jan’s new recipe for chicken salad. You can be truthful at home with your girlfriend…at least for a little while. Until you hear the words “Do you want to help me with….” You then have two paths to follow and either one will be a lie. Yes, I would love to clean, help with classwork, hang something on the wall, fold towels, whatever. Of course you don’t want to do it, if you did you would have come in and picked up the laundry bag and not the Xbox controller or the sponge instead of the bottle. So instead you can dishonestly say yes and do the right thing, or you can lie to try to get your way out of it. I can’t help with whatever you want because I’m sick/upset/busy with work (don’t look at my laptop screen)/allergic to soap/don’t know how to use a Swiffer/can’t read. I’ve heard people say that you should just be honest in these situations anyway. That is untrue. Or thoughtless. “Honestly, I don’t want to help you because I’m selfish and I couldn’t give a shit how the apartment looks as long as its stocked with booze and something even remotely edible to eat.” Yeah, that’s just what every girl wants to hear.

Living with someone is a breeding ground for lies. “I don’t care what we eat”. “I don’t care what we watch”. “I don’t mind that you fell asleep during sex”. But telling the truth is just a little more hostile: “You’re pathetic and have no libido, I don’t care about the Bruins even in the slightest and I’d honestly rather watch any of the trashiest reality shows that we can find, oh and if you make chicken one more night in a row I’m going to cut you up and fry you, go to hell.” Even if that bout of honesty sends you to separate rooms you’re still not done lying. Mom calls, “I was just going to call you(1), yeah everything here is going great (2). Just watching TV with girl (3), yes she’s doing pretty good too (4). Work? Work sucks. How’s dad? Well I’m sure he’ll feel better in no time (5). Yep. Yep. I took care of that last week (6). Of course. Yeah I’m a little distracted, just really busy lately (7). Alright well I’ll call you later this week (8).

If you really want to uphold this supposedly noble goal of truthiness, you can’t just avoid people in person and turn your phone off, you need to step. away. from. the. computer. The worst is Facebook. Facebook is chock full of lies. My favorite thing is to read all the birthday wishes. You could argue that the people who haven’t seen you in 15 years don’t really care if you have a happy birthday, but that’s too easy. I miss you (nope). I love you (nie). I can’t wait to see you/we need to hang out soon/we should definitely go out and do that thing that we used to do together. There’s the winner. At least when people do this in person, it’s understandable: it’s way too awkward to tell someone, “Hey, cool running into you, but I probably won’t make any attempt to see you again, so until the next random encounter, cheers.” I understand why you say it, even why you need to add each others numbers in your phone even though it’s a pretty good indicator of your lack of friendship right there. But online, you’re going out of your way to lie to someone. You could just say happy birthday, or you could say nothing. They received 175 wishes, I doubt they care about the person who used to laugh with them in the back of Philosophy class. I can’t wait to see you soon, what a load of crap. You’ve already waited 7 fucking years, I think you can wait a little longer.

I’ve been told that more reasonable people think lying is okay, what really makes it wrong or right is the intent. But that’s a tricky criteria to nail down. I’m not lying to hurt someone. Great, you’re not a complete sociopath. But most people lie to avoid hurting others: no that dress looks fine, yes you did a great job, no I’ve never thought about her that way. But where is the line between I don’t want to upset someone with the truth versus I don’t want them to be upset with me because of sharing what I truly feel. Isn’t that to avoid you getting hurt (not them), whether physically (flying objects), emotionally (triggering the release of how someone really feels about you back), or mentally (now I need think about how they’re thinking about what I’m thinking).

Which is why I think it’s okay to be selfish and lie, to everyone about little things, every single day without remorse. My personal line was that I wouldn’t lie to people I care about regarding big things: “What? No way, I didn’t lose my job”, “I’m sorry, the Doctor said I have 6 months to live”, or “It’s your baby” (admittedly a tough sell). You might have a different line that you won’t cross, but don’t tell me lies about how you don’t lie, period. It’s insulting and dishonest, and it would actually help other people trust your judgment more if they know you really didn’t think Maria’s new hideous hair cut looks good, that you actually can wait to see booger-picking-Brian from that Senior year Ethics Seminar, or that you actually enjoy making the goddamn bed with your girlfriend as soon as you get home. Be free, embrace the lies, and we’ll be much happier. (I’m lying)

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