This is a Lie I've Told Before

I’ve always been a liar, but a good one—never caught much. Perhaps I should’ve been—not getting caught made me confidant.  Honesty feels optional at times. 

The truth is though that honest people don’t function well in our society. “How are you?” doesn’t want a real answer.

Makeup isn’t about being honest—lipstick was designed perk us up when we are un-percolated. Don’t even get me started on concealer. Highlighter. Contour. It takes 15 minutes of enhancing my face to tolerate looking at myself in the mirror. When I say I am a natural beauty I mean that I don’t wear blue eye shadow and also that I hope my improvements fool you.

Shall we consider deodorant another lie? After all, it is designed to make us less ourselves, more pleasing to others.  No one wants us in our natural state.


My spoken lies are designed to make one of us feel better, to evade, to always be pleasant, to refrain from offense. Isn’t the world prettier that way?

The lies of my youth:

I brushed my teeth before bedtime 

I ate all my vegetables

The dishes were still wet in the drying rack so I couldn’t put them away.

 Grew into:

I don’t have any homework 

I didn’t wave to those strange men through the window at the pool while wearing my white and black polka-dotted bikini and of course I didn’t give them my phone number. 

Later matured into:

I don’t want a relationship right now. 

I’m low-maintenance.

I don’t care what we do tonight. 

Of course I don’t think you’re crazy. 

I can’t tell you’ve gained weight. 

Let’s get together sometime, I’ll call you next week. 

(Of course I never said this to you—I am referring to someone else. I am always sincere when I say that to you.)


Instead of lying what I meant to say was—

I don’t know what I meant to say instead. 


I only wanted to avoid:

getting caught, 



A life that wasn’t too much work, too sad, too filled with obligations not of my choosing. 

I didn’t know how to tell the truth without hurting one of us.

Don’t we all prefer it this way?

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Copyright © 2024 Lara Lillibridge

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