I once lied about my children. Completely lied. All to save someone’s feelings.
It started when a client happened to be passing through Chiang Mai. We got on very well so I was excited to meet her for a coffee. We instantly began chit-chatting and she mentioned that she had bought my kids a present (I only had Ella and Ariya then). While I was in the middle of thanking her, she casually asked ‘they are two boys aren’t they?’
I didn’t know what to do. So of course I chose the most ridiculous options and told her ‘yes’. I instantly regretted it, but at least I would save her feelings. Plus, once I’d thanked her for the gift we could move on, never to mention my children ever again.
How wrong I was!
We sat down, ordered a coffee and she asked me to tell her everything about my kids because she’d love to get to know them better. I was mortified. But I managed to spend the next hour talking about my two boys ‘Tom’ and ‘Dan’. Essentially retelling stories about my kids who did not exist.
It was ridiculous. I am ridiculous. I was flustered the entire time, and when I’m flustered, I talk. The more I talked, the more flustered I got. After an hour of me rambling on, time had come to say goodbye. I thanked her for the thoughtful gifts and we both went on our merry way.
I got home exhausted and explained what had happened to Chas. He sat there and listened and very calmly said ‘you need to tell her the truth’. WHAT? That’s exactly what I do not need to do! I felt sick at the thought. He explained in this day and age we would connect through social media and she would find out and that would look really bad…
So that’s how I found myself writing an email that started with:
It was wonderful meeting you yesterday after so long… [blah blah blah]
Thank you so much for your thoughtful gifts! However, I have a confession to make. I am so sorry for not saying at the time, but I actually have two girls – Ella and Ariya…
(and so it went on)
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!?!
We may not have worked together since, but she was incredibly understanding and as Chas predicted, we are now friends on social media and she would have indeed found out that I’d lied all those years before.
Moral of the story – just tell the damn truth!