I have a group of women friends – we call ourselves the Irregulars. Most of the group has decided to go a week without lying, or at least try to. Long story as to why we’re doing this – it has to do with a book one woman in the group is working on.
Anyway, this is the week. We started Monday morning. How have I been doing? Well… it depends on who you ask. See, that’s the problem. Although we had a discussion on how to define “lying,” we didn’t come to a consensus. Some say anything that is not the absolute truth is a lie. If someone asks you, “How are you?” And you automatically say, “Fine,” it’s probably a lie. More than likely you have an ache or you’re tired or some such. If someone asks you to go to lunch and you say you’re really sorry, but you can’t, you have to examine that statement. Are you really “really” sorry? Or are you actually not all that sorry?
If you tell a joke and both you and the person you’re talking to know it’s a joke, was it a lie? For example, one person in the group was at work and met up with a fellow co-worker who was unloading heavy boxes. He suggested they change jobs for the day. She said, sure, let me put this in my office and I’ll be right back. He was kidding. She was kidding. They both knew it. But she said she told a lie because she had no intention of coming back, regardless of whether he knew that.
I say that wasn’t a lie because there was no intent to deceive. But if you agree that even jokes are lies, then I didn’t last an hour on this experiment. But other than jokes, I’d say I’ve done pretty good. ‘Course it helps that my husband left Tuesday morning on a business trip and I’m alone in the house with two dogs who have no sense of humor.
This does bring up another question, though. Every person in my Irregulars group is a writer. So, for those who write fiction, does this mean we have to go all week without writing? After all, the definition of fiction is not true. Hmm, don’t remember that coming up in our preliminary discussion of what constitutes a lie.
5 weeks ago