In our everyday lives, we tell lies and listen to lies in almost every aspect of our existence. “No, I have never seen him/her ever in life.” “Yes, he’s your father.” “Girl, that dress looks good on you!” “Of course, this is my hair.” “Your cooking is phenomenal!” “I’ve never done this before.” “I love my job.” In most cases, any of these statements are lies, fabrications, and sheer falsehoods. Yet, we can’t seem to help having mendacity as a way of life.
There has only been one person in my life who has never lied to me. There’s never been a lie of omission, a “good” lie, or an out and out fairytale. Part of me feels as if I should hate my older brother Brian Hayes for being so damned truthful. When I was four, he disproved the existence of Kris Kringle. We went to bed at our normal time, then once my mother went into her bedroom, we hid in the closet and watched as she put our gifts under the Christmas tree. Bye bye Santa.
On the other hand, he’s always been straight up with his opinions, his truths and facts. He refused to stand up with me at my first wedding. Not because he hated whom I was marrying, but he thought it was a huge mistake on both of our parts. Sigh. We could have saved a lot of drama by just listening to him. For the record, he stood up with me at my second wedding. That’s a good omen for us to work out as a couple. Fingers crossed.
I am, (or used to be,) an extraordinary liar, fibber, king of omissions, etc. I told different kinds of lies than most people though. I didn’t tell lies about things I hadn’t done, or feats I hadn’t accomplished. I lied about the things I’m most proficient at, claiming novice status in an effort to sound humble. I told “good” lies in order not to hurt anyone’s feelings, and “sweet” lies in an effort to encourage folks, no matter how deficient they were. My deceit comes from a good place I guess.
When I became a father to my oldest daughter, my lies were part of my parental package. When my first marriage affected my child, I let the blame be put on me, acquiescing because I believed the truths of the matter would cause life-long scars. So, I let a false picture of me be ingrained in my child’s mind, thinking it wouldn’t matter in the long run. Wrong. Even now, after all of the truths have been confessed, admitted to, and discovered, the damage has been done. I should have answered every question, explained every decision, and put cracks in her heart, rather than let her believe the worst of me. There’s still time, right?
With my youngest daughter, I’ve finally realized that truth, brutal, honest truth, is the best lesson I can give. I remembered how the truths my brother delivered left no questions in my mind, and how they prepared me for the disappointments the world will deliver. No matter what question she asks, I tell her the truth, because all lies, no matter how well-intentioned, are still lies. The problem with this though, is I’ve been forced to be honest with myself. Not so easy, and certainly not without painful introspection.
“Daddy, why is it so hard for me to make real friends?” “Daddy, why don’t the boys like me?” “Daddy, have you ever cheated on a woman?” “Daddy, what are your thoughts on abortion?” “Daddy, do I have to move out when I finish college?” “Daddy, what should I look for in a mate?” Sigh.
I want her to be prepared, to strive for happiness and greatness, yet I can’t let her be naïve. Most of all, I want her to be alright.
“Kym, it’s hard for you to make real friends because it’s not time yet. In this day of social media and instant gratification, real human interaction is rare amongst your generation. Be patient. College will be different.”
“Kym, the boys like you, but they don’t chase you. You’re a unicorn, and unicorns aren’t as easy to catch as a mule. Mules do what the boys want them to do, and they’re easier to capture than a unicorn. Don’t worry. When the boys become men, they’ll recognize the worth and value of a unicorn. Your season will come.”
“Yes Kym, I have cheated. Maybe it was the allure or the secrecy I enjoyed, but it was never worth it. The only person I cheated was myself, because once you lose someone’s trust it’s hard to ever fully get it back. Be honest and say you’re not ready for a committed relationship. Always give the person you love a choice.”
“Kym, I’m not in favor of abortion, unless rape or danger to the mother exists. Yes, it’s a women’s right, but I think the father should have a say in the matter.”
“Kym, I want you to stay with us, until you have a reason to leave, such as marriage or relocation. We push our kids out too early, leaving them unprepared, with no savings, no credit, and we expect them to survive. I want you to thrive, so you’ll be buying a house when you leave, not renting an apartment. And if your reason for wanting to move out is based on wanting to do “adult activities,” then go get a hotel room.
“Kym, as far as a mate is concerned, look for someone who makes you laugh, think, blush, daydream, and gush. And make sure you’re operating out of love and mutual respect, not lust. Lust is fleeting, but love stays constant.”
I’ve come to realize that the truth is a mandatory part of everything. Trying to make sure that Kym understands how people think and react, has helped with my own evolution. I don’t lie to myself anymore. I get it. My apologies to my daughter Amari for not always being truthful with her, because it might have been exactly what she needed. Thank you to my brother Brian for his honesty. Mendacity is an affliction that I’ve learned to live without in all aspects of my life. The truth will set you free…
Marlon S. Hayes is a writer, poet, author, blogger, and Daddy. Follow him at Marlon’s Writings on Facebook, marlonhayes.wixsite.com/author, Sangria Infused Musings on Facebook, and on Amazon, where his books can be purchased.