I can't lie! I am probably the worst liar you've never met. Some people may think this is a virtue and something to be proud of, not me, it's the bane of my life. On the other side of the coin my only sibling, my younger brother can lie for Ireland, I'm so jealous! We are two sides of the same problem and the two extremes in our personalities have developed due to our mother. She HATES liars. As children she would brandish the wooden spoon with such agility and power (I think that's why she has arthritis now), all the time asking us questions like,"Who was in my room trying on my good underwear?" And all the time saying she hated liars and it would be much worse if we lied. I got so flustered and confused (and terrified) that even when I was telling the truth, "I didn't do it mammy", I look guilty. My darling little brother on the other hand would lie through his teeth so convincingly, "I saw Midget Wrangler do it Mammy", that I'd wind up getting trashed for something I didn't do and then trashed again for lying!
Now I'm incapable of lying, even those little white lies that hurt no one, in fact I'm almost painfully honest, exposing all my darkest secrets without much prompting! As an example of how bad my honesty problem is a friend of mine bought some books for my son that he already had, when she mentioned the name of the books on the phone and asked me did he have the books I tried to lie to save her the trouble of buying new books, "No, he definitely doesn't have those books", Silence, " he has them already doesn't he?" "No, no, of course not!" "Yes he does, you are such a bad liar!" And so on, I'm just rotten at being dishonest. Maybe the fear of my mother overcoming her arthritis and grabbing that thirty year old wooden spoon is still there.
My brother on the other hand is fantastic, his lies are multidimensional, layers upon layers of dishonesty. When he lies it is art! There are so many examples of his art but one sticks out in my memory as the best. Several years ago he was working as a doorman, my partner was in the club he was supposed to be doing the security work in, while there one of the other doormen approached him and asked him how my brother was, very concerned. My partner said he was grand, the doorman then asked if "the treatment" had finished yet? My other half intrigued said what treatment? The other man said the treatment for the prostate cancer. Oh my God! My partner nearly died. They'd even done a collection for him that they'd sent him in a Get Well Soon card. He is such a good liar he'd managed to turn a new girlfriend who didn't want him working nights into prostate cancer, he's so good they managed to overlook all the huge inaccuracies in his stories, his lies are so multi layered that it's unbelievable (?) that he isn't telling the truth! So his fear of the wooden spoon led him to perfect the art of lying!
Recently my eldest has started lying and we are trying to figure out how to deal with this. I want him to understand it's dishonest and can be destructive to relationships, but also that it is a useful social tool that we all need to master, it's a fine balancing act. As for me, I've tried really hard to learn the skill of lying but I just don't have a poker face, so if we even go shopping together there are seven words your should never say to me, "Does my bum look big in this?"