They say honesty is the best policy. But is it? It is. Actually, honesty is one of the qualities I find most attractive in a person. (Another one is nice hands.)

Honesty is so important and yet a lot of times it’s hard to find in people. I am not saying any of you are liars. I don’t know you. I am sure you are sweet and nice and have never “accidentally” dropped a speeding ticket down a garbage disposal. Maybe you have never uttered so much as a fib (unimportant lie) in your whole entire lives. But let’s face it, you probably have. We all have. Well, I haven’t. I am always honest. 

Okay, see? That was a lie. And I am sorry. We might not go around spewing huge, sweeping, outrageous lies, but in one way or another most of us lie every now and again. I actually read a statistic that on average people lie four times a day. I don’t know exactly what four lies people are telling each day but I do know that people tend to lie about their age, their weight, their natural hair color, and how cute their friends’ babies are. “What a cutie-pie. Look at those ears! They are…. oooooh s*** one can’t miss them! But so cute.” 

I also know that people lie on their résumés. People lie under oath. People lie to their doctors, which I have never quite understood. I know you might be embarrassed about how you got that bite on that particular part of your body, but you have to be honest about it so a trained professional can help you. 

I really try my best not to lie. That’s true. I try to give my honest opinion on things. I try to tell it like it is. Give it to them straight. Lay it on the line. Be up-front. Keep it real. Not say false… stuff. I don’t know any other sayings. I try not to lie. 

Sometimes it’s hard because I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. So there have been times when a friend will get a haircut and I will see it and my initial reaction is “Oh my God, you look like a stray cat who got caught in a wind tunnel.” But I obviously can’t say that because that would be an insult to cats. So I have to say, “I love it! It looks great!” But when I say it my voice goes up about three octaves. “It looks greeeeaaaaat!” So I am certain they know I am lying. 

How come when we lie our voices go up so many octaves? It’s a dead giveaway. Every time, people! It happens when we dole out compliments we don’t mean and it happens when we say things like “You didn’t have to get me anything!” and “You haven’t been invited back to the house since the urn incident of 2004.” And it’s a mathematical fact: the higher the octave, the bigger the lie. “I didn’t even hear my phone ring!” is usually like a four on the scale. “You think I am sleeping with someone eeeeeelse?!” is off the charts. 

I can tell when people are lying to me when they start their sentence with “I have to be honest with you.” They may as well say, “Listen, I am about to lie straight to your face.” Why do people need to clarify when they are being honest? Does that mean everything else they have ever said has been a lie? Yesterday they said they liked my sweater, but they didn’t say they were being honest. Does that mean they hated it? 

It’s so strange to me. It almost feels like they are giving me the option to not hear the truth. As if when they say, “I have to be honest with you,” I might say, “No, no. Please. Only lies right now.” 

For the most part, we are honest people. Which is good because when you think about it everything around us is based on the honor system. Look at the airport baggage claim. We all stand around a conveyor belt totally unsupervised and all those bags are there for anyone to take. I know because I was at the a couple of years ago and I took four. I got some good stuff – three oranges, four mangos and a large man’s nightshirt. 

There are a lot of places that rely on us to be honest. Banks put out candy and hope you only take one or two pieces. Restaurants put out toothpicks. Libraries have those giant statues of lions out front. They are practically begging us to get a crane and a flatbed truck to cart those things away. 

Think of how honest we are expected to be when we go to the movies. We pay for one ticket but in theory, we can sneak into as many theaters as we want once we are inside. We can even pay the child’s price and sneak in our own popcorn and vegan appetizers. Not that I have eeeeeever done that. (three octaves)

And as much as certain people and places rely on us to be honest, we rely on others to be honest with us. I mean, in the U.S. you hand over your car keys to a complete stranger at the valet parking just because he is wearing a vest. (By the way, now you know why I wear a lot of vests and have too many cars.) It’s nice to think we can trust each other. It would be depressing to walk around every day thinking people are lying to us all the time. I prefer to believe people are good and honest and respect me enough to tell me the truth. It’s not easy to find those people all the time, but they are out there. They are usually the people who don’t hesitate to tell you when you look tired or that you have spinach between your teeth. They might be blunt and sometimes they might hurt your feelings with their candor, but honestly? You will in the end appreciate it. 

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