As a writer, I have a love-hate relationship with the act of lying.
Author’s note: that’s not really true. I actually love to lie when I write, but feel the need to say “love-hate” so you won’t think I’m pathological or anything.
In all honesty, when it comes to my interpretation of lying, I tend to embrace the positive. Life is short, and words have a way of magically working themselves into quotes that you post on Facebook in the form of a haiku when you’re buzzed causing super-embarrassing apology status updates the next day about your drunk attempts at poetry.
Author’s note: when someone says “in all honesty,” or “to be completely honest,” or “I’ve just got to be honest with you,” they’re probably lying. Also, I made that thing up about life being short and Facebook and stuff.
Yet in just about every modern-day scenario, the word “lie” is associated with villainy. Consider my version of Urban Dictionary’s definition, which is someone else’s interpretation of reality and general take on the word.
Author’s note: did you get that? If you said “yes” you’re a liar because it doesn’t make ay sense.
Lying, adjective: not telling the truth
1. What your wife thinks you’re constantly doing.
Kristen: “How do you like my bathing suit?”
Steve: “It’s one of my favorites.”
Kristen: “You’ve never seen it before. You’re lying!”
2. Getting drunk and kissing your girlfriend’s best friend, then covering it up when your girlfriend asks if you got drunk and kissed her best friend.
Jessica: “Are you sure you didn’t kiss my best friend last night?”
Ryan: “Nope, I didn’t. Honestly. We were just exercising our lips.”
Jessica: “Strong lips are hot! I love you.”
3. The ability to use the least amount of information, distort it, and add something completely absurd while you rip a small tear in the space-time continuum and slowly change the topic.
Me: “Did you clean your room?”
My son: “I did. And it looks beautiful. But not as beautiful as you. There is nothing in the world that can match your beauty. Or your timeless sense of style. Plus you look so young. Can you make me some dinner?”
4. Constantly fabricating things to make someone else look bad.
Ten year-old boy in my son’s class: “Taylor can’t fart on command. He’s lying!”
5. Someone who represents what they are not, especially when being chased down an alley by an undercover cop.
Liar: “No! I’m just a writer researching a crack dealing, money laundering, law breaking, schizoid character for my first novel!”
Author’s note: most people who contribute material to Urbandictionary.com are on some type of hallucinogen. This statement may or may not be somewhat inaccurate.
None of the interpretations above are positive, yet anyone who attempts to tell a meaningful story has to be a liar. Period. And where’s the harm in that?
Author’s note: those quotes above aren’t real. I made them up. Or maybe I didn’t. You decide.
If you want to make what you write memorable, you’ve got to embrace lying as a form of art, and not in a “Hey, it’s Memorial Day and I love face-planting into the pool in front of the whole neighborhood, plus I always win the lubed watermelon race across the deep end when I’m trashed, so I think I’ll just fall off the wagon for the weekend then back on when Tuesday rolls around.” You’ve got to commit.
Author’s note: You aren’t a better swimmer when you’re drunk. You’re not better looking either, and contrary to popular belief, you can’t do the moonwalk on concrete. And don’t even think about trying to write. (These statements are true as far as you know.)
So what am I trying to say? I’m not really sure except lying isn’t all bad. Especially when you’re writing. But not when you’re under oath. Or one of my children trying to get away with something you hope I’ll never find out about. Or Batman. In those instances, it’s pretty important to stick to the truth, and that’s my honest opinion.