A Little Bit More on Lies

An anonymous reader sent me this link to the top five things people lie about:

    1. Age
    2. Alcohol Consumption
    3. Sexual History
    4. Changed Appearance
    5. Job

I am very pleased to see that I haven’t lied about any of them.

Well, except no. 1 when I was little in order to get into bars.1 Oh, and no. 5 a few times when I didn’t feel like answering the usual questions you get after you say you’re a writer. “Have you published anything?” “Would I have heard of you?” “Can you set me up with your agent?” I said I was a dental assistant. Oddly, that didn’t inspire any questions at all.

How about youse lot? Any of you lied about the top 5? What are your most common lies?

Feel free to be anonymous.

  1. Don’t try that at home, kids what are under 18 (in Australia) or 21 (in the USA). []


  1. Reverie Books Reviews on #

    I lie about my job. Since I *do* do photography though it’s not my sole job I say I am a photographer. And not a nanny as my 2 days a week job really is. Doesnt hurt… right?

  2. Cat Sparks on #

    My problem is that I don’t lie enough. I feel compelled to tell folks what I truly think. Am trying to teach myself to shut the hell up. Not everyone needs to know what i truly think.

  3. Sherwood on #

    Never lied about age–even when I was young I resented that “women don’t tell their age,” because it seemed ridiculous that women had to pretend to be younger (i.e. sexually available) when men didn’t, and also it implied that old women were worthless. Not that I R an old woman, it doubly annoys me!

    The rest of the stuff I never lied about, but I think that’s because I grew up during the hippie years. I did lie about how much pot I smoked (saying I did more than I actually did) and I also lied about liking some “natural” foods and suchlike that I thought were gagsome. But that was the times.

  4. Sir Tessa on #

    I obfuscate about my job all the time, for pretty obvious reasons.

    I like about my age too. I like to tell people I’m twelve.

  5. PixelFish on #

    1. Age – Sometimes I forget right after a birthday, but I generally don’t count that a lie. Also, people tend to think I am about 6-8 years younger than I actually am, so I find it fun to shock them.
    2. Alcohol Consumption – Nope. (My Mormon mother thinks I’m a raging alcoholic though because I drink at all. I drink maybe twice a month.)
    3. Sexual History – Nope (It’s not very exciting but there’s no need to lie about it.)
    4. Changed Appearance -Nope (I change it all the time, but I figure people know what hair dye does.)
    5. Job – Nope.

    Things I have lied about:

    * I am very skeptical and when people start talking about astrology or ghosts or paranormal things, I try to be polite about it, and sometimes this leads to people thinking I believe in those things, when I do not. (Unless they are doing something directly harmful or unhelpful to themselves, I tend to leave those topics be.)

    * I used to lie about bands/TV shows/movies when people asked what I thought about them and I had no idea what they were talking about. Time has broken me of that habit mostly.

    * People’s choice in clothing or jewelry or baby names. Just because I wouldn’t get it doesn’t mean it’s not perfectly fine for you.

    *I commit lies of omission to my parents re: my atheism. They know I don’t go to church, but I’m finding it hard to out myself. My sibs all know though.

  6. Nicholas Waller on #

    When I went into pubs under-age I never lied in terms of explicity mis-stating my age – I was never asked as I looked about 18 enough. Of course, there was an implicit untruth in placing a drinks order while aware I was not in possession of sufficient orbits of the sun.

    The first alcoholic drink I had in a pub was when I was 16 and was bought by my father, who then told the landlord the truth (a friend, inasmuch as your regular landlord is a true friend); he didn’t object (and when I was 18 he employed me as a barman).

    The only time I was actually challenged about my age in a pub I was already 19.

    As for consumption, I expect most people who don’t religiously record every last drop underestimate how much they drink, even if they’re not strictly lying.

    Changed appearance – I haven’t anything to lie about; it is naturally obvious from greying hair and eating too many pies.

  7. Rebekah on #

    I haven’t lied about any of these, though that doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment if you’re sixteen years old and have never had alcohol, a job, sex, or a significant change in appearance.

  8. Diana Peterfreund on #

    I’m surprised “money” isn’t one of the top five.

    “Oh, I only spent $20 on this dress…”

    “We can’t actually pay you any more…”

    “Business was so bad this year…”

    “You’ll get a much better return on the investment…”

    “The check’s in the mail!”

  9. Becca on #

    My driver’s license tells any interested individual that I weigh 20 pounds less than I do. It wasn’t a lie a few years (kids) ago – but it is now. Oh, the shame.

  10. Jude on #

    I’m too honest, and I raised a too-honest daughter. She’s never told a lie, and that’s not a lie. She’s 27. When she was little, if she did something she thought she might get in trouble for, she just wouldn’t say anything. Maybe someone should study her. I’m 54, haven’t consumed anything alcoholic since before I became pregnant with her, so that means roughly 28 years ago–ah, except one swig of schnapps at a night parade in January in Breckenridge, Colorado, which didn’t help me get warm in the least. I don’t wear makeup (that’s another kind of lie) and have only changed my hair length a couple of times. I’m proud to be a librarian. And I can’t remember ever lying about my sexual history, although it rarely comes up in conversation these days. My one omission which helps in my current job is that I don’t tell people I’m an atheist. I’d tell them if they asked, but they assume that because I like to sing religious songs and I like the Bible that I’m a Christian. It’s safer for them to think that.

  11. Chris S. on #

    None of the above. But I like to lie about my name when waiting for a table in restaurants. I try to pick something elaborate and interesting for the host to call out. Hepzibah is a favourite, but I’ve also been Calliope, Elizabetta, and Brian (for a change).

  12. Q on #

    “Not I!” said the seventeenth letter of the alphabet.

    I try not to lie at all, but I don’t quite reveal all the truth all the time, either.

  13. tess on #

    I haven’t lied about any of those things, but I’m thirteen, so if I had, something would probably be up. Mostly I lie about little things to make people feel better (“I love your hair like that!”) or stuff to make me look cool (“Yeah, I love Jane’s Addiction”), and even those I don’t do much. I guess I’m pretty honest!

  14. Klara on #

    The only time I ever lie about my age is when I’m on the internet. I’m just not comfortable with people I’ve never met knowing too much about me.

    I don’t drink and don’t plan to so I don’t lie.

    I have no sexual history and don’t lie about it.

    If blond high-lights count as ‘Changed Appearance’ then yes.

    I don’t have a job cause I’m still a teen, so why lie?

  15. Gillian on #

    Why lie when telling the truth is more misleading?

  16. Jenny on #

    I’ve occasionally lied about #2, but by overestimating—the people who ask about it tend not to trust me unless I say I drink more than once every couple of years. My most common lies are little lies to get out of situations that would otherwise make me uncomfortable–like Pixelfish, lies of omission to avoid awkwardness in social situation or talking about my unconventional opinions with conventional people, or things like “I’m sorry, I forgot to do X” or “I couldn’t do X because Y” when I actually just didn’t care enough to do it. I’m trying to break myself of that last.

  17. Patrick on #

    I never lie, but Diana owes me $10.

  18. Ellen on #

    I don’t lie about any of the top 5… Don’t think I ever have, mostly because as a teen I didn’t drink, had no sexual history to speak of, had boring every-day jobs, and my age and appearance changes were pretty obvious (if I ever died my hair, it was to colors like neon purple, so…)
    Currently, the only thing I really lie about is my religious beliefs (father is hardcore Catholic, I am agnostic, and I just don’t want to upset him by explaining that I don’t agree with his views. It seems better to just let the subject go untouched). When I was younger though, I lied a whole lot more. My most commonly lied about topics:
    Who I was talking to online (I claimed they were school friends. Really they were usually internet friends. Luckily none of them turned out to be the psycho killers),
    And whether or not I was planning to run away to another country (and stealing my birth certificate to apply for a passport without my parents knowing). Unfortunately they noticed when I bought the plane ticket. Whoops.

  19. Rachel on #

    I haven’t lied about the top 5 (except for age when I was 12 and checked the “over 18” button on runescape so they wouldn’t send my parents a form) but I do tend to use the “my sister did it” excuse. Basically if I want to discuss something tremendously uncool I will say “I was doing such-and-such (ie playing with my dollhouse) with my little sister” instead of disclosing that I do, in fact, still play with my dollhouse, watch disney channel movies, etc. (I’m 15, if that gives any context)

  20. Julia Rios on #

    I don’t think I’ve lied about any of those except job. I hate talking about my writing with random people (or, um, you know, family members and friends a lot of the time), so I’ve been known to play up the other aspects of my professional and/or domestic life to escape that.

    Sexual history is not something I tend to talk about, but I don’t consider telling someone nosy enough to ask that it’s really not their business anything close to lying. Anyone who needs to know does.

    Most of my lies tend to be social lies (to avoid unnecessarily hurting feelings), or lies that protect me from having to share true things about me with strangers. I’m reserved (which may seem funny considering how much I comment over here, I realize). I get weird about it sometimes. If the checker at the grocery store asks me if I am going to go watch the big game that day, I’ll probably say yes even if I don’t plan to because it avoids having to talk more and be open.

    Oh, but recently (this is a lot like the alcohol consumption lie, I think!), we decided to go out and get donuts from a major chain donut store. On the way (just before the donut shop) we ran into some friends who were healthily out for a healthy family bike ride with their healthy kid, and they asked where we were going. We totally lied and said we were just out for a walk to enjoy the weather, and then we walked extra slow so that they would be out of sight before we went in to get our donuts. This was probably unnecessary, but, uh, yeah…

  21. PB on #

    I lie about my job. Since I *do* do photography though it’s not my sole job I say I am a photographer. And not a nanny as my 2 days a week job really is. Doesnt hurt… right?

  22. Anonymouse on #

    I have never lied about my age, even when I was under 18, or my alcohol consumption (which has never been very much).

    I may have, slightly, drank more in pubs while underage than I have since turning 18 nearly 3 years ago, though. Since it was my mother buying the drinks, I feel I was sanctioned.

    Though I still think it was cool spending an afternoon watching a family friend put his liquor license on the line by serving me scotch and Coke when he knew full well I was 16, having known me since I was born. (Considering it was country NSW, and the man in question owned not only the pub, but also the petrol station and the supermarket, I think we were pretty safe from the one cop in town.)

  23. Kylie on #

    No. 5, Job, made me laugh because it reminded me of my teacher, who told us this story:

    “I hate going to dinner parties, because when you’re an adult, people always judge you by your job. When people ask and I admit social studies teacher, they always launch into their horror stories of school or talk about their favorite studies, and I just don’t care. I really don’t. So in the summer, I love to tell people I’m unemployed. My wife never likes it when I say that.”

  24. emmet on #

    i don’t think i’ve *lied* about my sexual history per se, but i’ve probably permitted certain misconceptions to flourish on a couple of occasions.

    actually, i did tell a blatant lie about it at least once by accident…but that was more a combination of poor memory + sub-par counting skills. i realised my error about 5 minutes later and awkwardly adjusted my statement. under most circumstances i probably would have let that one slide too, but since context was private conversation with somebody who was, um, you know, included in the most recent chapter of said history, it seemed like one of those truthfulness=goodidea situations. 😉

    also, the above paragraph contains potentially misleading statements + half-truths, due to irrelevance of allthedetails.

    so actually, it’s possible i lie about my sexual history pretty much EVERY TIME I SAY ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY RELATED. awesome.

    most of my lies are accidental, or the result of being overexcited + either wanting to tell a good story or HONESTLY BELIEVING what i am saying at the time.

Comments are closed.