by Danielle Kent
While I don’t condone lying, I’m the first to admit that I’m excessively partial to tweaking the truth. I don’t lie; I just feel that a story may not be worth telling if it doesn’t feature the occasional cannibalistic wild boar. I mean, why just have a cold when you could be bed-bound with a flesh-eating micro-bacterial superbug. The fact of that matter is that in my elaborately creative mind, when I describe something I don’t make the acute decision to excessively convolute the story, it is just a simple consequence. So, I decided ahead of the New Year that I would make the conscious decision to not excessively convolute anything. I would not tell one single lie in the perineum of the year that falls between Christmas and the New Year. And, let me tell you, honesty it not always the best policy.
Today I’m spending the day with my friend’s daughter. This is going to be easy. Oh, wait …
“Dan, what is Father Christmas bringing you for Christmas?” Please, God, don’t do this to me.
“Erm, I don’t think he brings presents for adults …” That isn’t a lie, is it? I don’t ‘think’ he does.
“Because you were naughty? Will he still bring me my presents even if I was naughty sometimes?” So, let’s think about this logically. I’m not about to shatter a six year old girl’s dreams for the sake of my magazine, but I really want to stick to the rules …
“No, just because I got too old. I’m pretty sure he will bring you your presents”. What? I’m sure he will – her dad, I mean. I never specified any identity.
“So how does he get all around the worl—“
“Oh no! Look Gru is about to combust the minion’s new space ship!” Suitably distracted.
My boyfriend asked me in all seriousness if I think he is better looking than Gerard Pique. I mean, we’re always the first to tell each other every single other person in the world that we fancy, but I’ve never directly come out and said “no you are uglier than (…)”.
Sorry, Marcus. Gerard Pique wins this round. Ask me again next week.
There is something extremely scathing about telling the truth all of the time. It is always boring and often cruel. I don’t believe that there is anyone that lives their day-to-day life without elaborating the truth at all. It is bad enough when your own mum asks you if she looks bad in an outfit (which she never does, and that is the truth) but when someone else’s mum asks you – and she does – that is an entirely different ball game. Other people’s parents is kind of a forsaken territory where you will never criticise or offend regardless of how horrendous they are as a human, so when my friend’s mum came down the stairs wearing a dress reminiscent of a thick carpet that has been thrown in a tip, I finally realised what it meant for your life to flash before your eyes.
“Do you think I look bad in this dress?” She asked me. There wasn’t even the slightest hint of a joke in her tone.
“I preferred the blue one.” I said. And ran.
I can’t wait for this week to be over – the second the clock turns midnight on New Year’s Eve I am going to erupt into my regular world of frivolous mistruths and ridiculously exaggerated life. But in the meantime, I was lying in bed struggling to stay alive. Basically, I had a mild cold – but colds are the absolute worst because if you had any other illness at all then everyone would automatically excuse you from any energy utilising activity and instead feed you with McDonalds and mop your brow. However, if you have a cold, you have to get on with it (despite everyone else being the first to complain when you walk around with a trail of snot following you everyone you go). But what could I do? If I had a cold, I couldn’t claim any more.
It is New Year’s Eve! One more day to get through, and then I am going to put this sorry experiment behind me – possibly I will never tell the truth again, who knows? But first, I have to go through all of the obligatory phone calls with friends and family in foreign countries. First to call me was my Ghanaian friend who wanted to wish me a happy new year:
“Happy new year, Dani! May God be with you and bless you for all of the upcoming year!”
In Ghana, they are very religious, and before I went my boss told me that it was best to entwine my (non-existent) faith with a few harmless white lies.
I thanked him, but stopped short of wishing him the same. You can see where this is going – a lot of awkward questions.
“What do you mean you don’t believe in God – what, at all?”
By the end of that call, I had finally reached the end of my tether. But it was New Year’s Eve, so I was going to have fun. And the second that it turned 2014? I called my friend back in Ghana.
“Happy new year! May God be with you too!”