TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, February 11, 2004
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Truth will not always set you free; little white lies never hurt anyone

COMMENTARY
Jennifer Hall

There is a saying, honesty is the best policy.

What the originator of this message didn’t realize, was that this was in fact, a lie. I find that in very few situations this message actually rings true, especially when it comes your parents.

What you are probably thinking is that I am a dirty rotten liar. In truth, I am not.
I only lie when it is necessary to the situation.

Case in point.

What do you do when your parents ask, “Why do you have two toothbrushes?”

The honest answer, “Why Mother, my boyfriend spends the night, we sleep in the same bed, and instead of him using my toothbrush every night, we got him his own.”

The dishonest answer, “Why Mother, the second toothbrush is mine, I use the one with little bristles to reach my back teeth and the one with big bristles to brush the front.”

If you slip up, you can easily recover with a lie, “Why Mother that’s (insert boyfriend’s name here) toothbrush.”

Mother replies, “Why does (boyfriend) have a toothbrush at your apartment?”

You reply, “He spends the night. (Pause) But only because I sometimes get scared when I have to be home alone. And he sleeps on the couch (awkward silence).”

I think that we all would go with answer No. 2 as to avoid the “your sister had sex before marriage, and look where she is now,” conversation.

Case in point two.

Another instance when lying is appropriate is when your mother asks, “Why are you slurring your words? Have you been out drinking, and why do you smell like smoke?”

The honest answer, “Mother, I am so s**t faced. I can barely walk. I smoked a whole pack. I’m tired and I’m going to bed. Get me some water.”

Following this you will get another talk, “Your sister drank when she was younger and look where she is now.”

The dishonest answer, “Mother, I’m slurring my words because I’m so tired, I can barely walk. I smell like smoke because they made us sit in the smoking section at Chili’s. That’s all.”

Once again, I think we all would go with answer No. 2.

Case in point three.

Your parents ask, “How were your grades this semester?”

The honest answer, “Mother, Father, I failed miserably, I didn’t pay attention in any of my classes. I skipped class when it rained, when I felt sick, when I was tired, when we had a party the night before and on the second Friday of every month. I got three D’s and two C’s.”

The dishonest answer, “Great, better than ever, three A’s and two B’s.”

The honest/dishonest answer, “Well, three C’s and two D’s, but it wasn’t my fault. I went to every class and studied for every test. It was the professor. He was out to get me. And besides, ‘D’ is for diploma.”

Answer No. 1 and answer No. 3 will only result in yet another talk, “Your sister failed out of college and look where she is now.”

As you can see there are several situations when lying to your parents is acceptable.

There are times when you need to decide between the truth and the $20 you know you will receive if you tell them you made A’s.

Parents don’t need to know about your boyfriend spending the night, and they don’t want to hear about your late night out with the girls.

So keep it simple, keep it secret and keep your sanity.

Jennifer Hall is an advertising/public relations major from Kingwood.

 
 
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