I try not to lie in life, I try my best to be honest and truthful even if I know in the short term it’s going to upset someone but I’m going to take this opportunity to tell my two boys that the most important lesson I can teach them is, somewhat ironically, to lie, or at least be economical with the truth..
I’m minded of this because my assistant at work today, a woman, has just asked what age another woman we were having coffee with was.. If it was a bloke asking me this question then I’d just say oh…probably getting close to thirty but because it was a woman asking me I reflexively fall back on defensive habits and immediately take years off and suggest 25 without hesitation. She laughed at me and I looked at her puzzlingly, ‘of course she’s only about 25’ I said and soundly completely convincing and then she asked my other assistant and he said “ohh about 21 – 23..’ which was even lower than my reckoning..
You see, we men, have of course developed a defensive mechanism of never answering certain questions truthfully and this has come about because of long conditioning by the opposite sex. I used to naively answer questions honestly and I got kicked hard in the shins or lost nookie rights because of the simmering resentment, and slowly but surely this lesson has been hammered into me (shins!).
So, we blokes generally get very nervous about questions like this;
Does my bum look big in this?
What age do you think I am?
What weight do you think I am?
Do I have a mustache?
And we can only reply positively to any of these questions and extremely positively at that, and the thing is, woman are always on their guard, they can detect the slightest micro-hesitation, the barest hint of hesitation and read that as a negative, for example when I was dating J in my twenties;
J. Does my bum look big in this?
Me. Why, of course not!
J. You bastard, you hesitated!! you lying toe-rag, everything mummy said about you was true, I hate you!
Me. Sigh.. makes bed on settee..
So you see, we men have to practise saying things like ‘of course not!’ and ‘not a day over 21!’… over and over again so we get it word perfect and say it as convincingly as possible because, be warned, every single woman’s bullshit detector is finely tuned..
One of my friends fell foul of this rule a while back and in circumstance when he least expected it… He was doing the proper supportive thing and sitting all the way through his wife’s labour as their first son was born, 36 hours of having his hand squeezed to a pulp but infinitely more preferably than actually trying to squeeze something the size of a cantaloupe melon through a space even a golf ball would balk at… talk about fetopelvic disproportion..
Anyway, babe number one eventually popped out and of course he was covered in blood, amniotic fluid and probably some meconium as well, his head was squashed to a conical shape and his skin was white and wrinkly, if truth be told he actually much more resembled ET than an actual baby – at least that’s what he told me afterwards.. So anyway, the midwife hands baby over to mummy and new mum is was very pleased and she says to new daddy “look, isn’t he beautiful?” and new daddy hesitates for a micro-second, a micro-second, he stumbles and says “why yes, of course he’s georgeous…” but it’s years too late, he hesitated for a microsecond and new mums bullshit detector is going off like a klaxton… “you swine, you think he’s ugly, you don’t like him and I hate you…all this work, all this effort and you don’t like our son!! how could you…!! and no matter what he says, there is no way he is ever going to recover from that stumble… So guys, take it from me, if you ever have the good fortune to have kids, for Gods sake practise practise practise saying “OMG s/he is absolutely and completely gorgeous!” and for heaven sake, make sure there is absolutely no hesitation in your answer or you will be reliving that moment in time for the rest of your life… 😉