Sarah’s fake boyfriend was five-foot ten, rowed stroke seat for his high school’s varsity crew team, and was training to get his EMT certification on the weekend. They met at a church event, but Jeff and I knew him for school. We all used to take AP Physics together.
Of course, we would never surrender all of this information to Ted at once. The man was as unrelenting as he was greasy, and once he got the idea into his head that he wanted to conquer Sarah, there was no shaking it.
The boyfriend cover was the best we could come up with for her. He would hound each of us about it, at length and separated – as any good interrogator would. Piece by piece we would feed him the details.
There’s the problem with laying down a convincing lie: you want to keep the story simple so it won’t collapse under its own weight, but you don’t want to be grasping at straws when the questions start coming in.
The middle road solution: a concise and uniform back story that you can draw upon, but only when necessary. Researchers claim you have a different look on your face when you’re remembering something, than when you’re making it up. Call it an easy tell.
I’m not a liar – at least not a compulsive one.
When I do lie, you’d better believe I have good cause. If you ask the high-and-mighty types, they’ll tell you: honesty is the best policy – but we all know that’s crap. There’s a reason you don’t tell your friend her new hair color makes her look like an angsty tween, ask your cousin if his Prius can outrun a Rascal mobility scooter, or nark on your amicable coworker when they show up to work late.
I’m not saying you should become a complete sociopath – just protect the people who are good to you. Because in that right, loyalty is far more valuable than honesty.