In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Little Lies.”
The Daily Post has asked: As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?
“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place”
This is what one Henry Louis Mencken said about lying and truth.
If a person has murdered someone, or has stolen something or done something he or she should not have done, then it would be difficult for that person to be immediately truthful about it. Unless and until it is clear that there is no escape.
So is it with something as simple as telling your (exact) age. Women as well as men hide their age if they can, and yet not really labelled as liars.
Even before you ask a woman, “How old are you?” , you know very well that the reply won’t come easy. The replying party will fidget or look downwards and after a hesitant hmmm and ohhh wellll…she will tell that she is around 40 or that she belongs to this and this age group.
Rarely do we come across a woman telling her age directly and confidently, in a straightforward manner without even an inkling of hesitation. Exceptions are those men and women who look much older than their age. Normally, if some rare woman indeed tells her age openly, she should be considered an honest and truthful person. Shouldn’t she? But…she is not. That’s because even if she is telling the truth no one will consider it a truth. Because, nobody believes a woman when she tells her age.
So, whether she wavers or she tells her complete truth, either way it will seem as if she is telling a lie. But a lie that most people accept. Age and height are tentative, always left for others to guess. Unless and until it is a job interview or a competition based on age as criteria, it doesn’t even matter whether a person is 31 or 33, 45 or 49.
Age is a fake and frivolous criteria. It is very biased to judge people on age alone. An older person can be a better worker, an older dancer might be a better dancer – life of the party. A younger person with no sensitivity, no skills, education, taste, class or style should not be deemed better than somebody slightly older but fine in every other way.
Hence, there should be no need at all for any human being to lie about something as fickle as age and yet people are compelled to lie. This is a fake world that glorifies youth and beauty therefore women often dilly-dally when telling their precise chronological age. They have a fear that they would be judged by others on the basis of age. It is this judgmental world that makes them liars.
After reading this article, make sure not to ask any woman her age because she won’t tell the truth. And even if she does, you won’t believe she is telling the truth. So what’s the point in making someone indulge in sweet lies.