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When you think about lies and people being untruthful, you might picture mean manipulative people — like the stereotypical sales person trying to get you to buy something, the guy you meet in a bar with his 101 pick-up lines, or politicians saying what people want to hear in order to get elected. But in reality, a lot of good people who generally live honest lives tell lies — myself included. They tell them not because they’re looking to gain from a situation, but because they want to others to feel good or to feel better about a situation.

Sometimes it's OK to lie (Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Sometimes it's OK to lie (Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Think about it: Humans created the idea of heaven to ease the fear of dying. Parents tell their children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to make Christmas and Easter more fun. Husbands and boyfriends tell the women in their lives their butts don’t look fat in those jeans. Women smile and say thank you, when their boyfriends or husbands buy them a slinky negligee for their birthday when what they really wanted was a pair of comfy sweatpants.

I am not always able to tell those white lies. If I don’t like a gift, it shows on my face. If someone asks me if they look good in an outfit, and they don’t look good, I tell them so. Ask me my opinion on a situation, and I’ll tell you exactly how I feel. You might think it’s good to be so honest, but my actions have hurt people’s feelings. When dinner is made for me as a surprise, I should say thank you and eat it — or some of it — regardless. I should not throw a fit like I did with the infamous Sloppy Joe supper made by my boyfriend years ago.

As a parent, however, lying is part of the game. “Mom, can I have some candy?” “Let me think about it.” “Mom, can we go to the mall?” “Maybe.” “Mom, can I go to Horror Nights with Amanda?” “We’ll see.”

The true answer to all of those questions was “No.” Why didn’t I just say no? Because I didn’t want the battle. While our kids are young, we can get away with those responses. Soon, however, they figure it out — “No, maybe! Maybe means no! Why caaaaaan’t I!” Read the rest of this entry »

I know the benefits of eating healthily and exercising. But the truth is, I do those things — or try to do those things — because I’m vain. I worry about what I will look like if I don’t take care of myself.

It wasn’t always like that. When I was in my teens and 20s, I ate junk and cared very little about the benefits of exercise. Exercise was a way to socialize. In high school I played sports — basketball and softball — and made friends with fellow jocks. In college I took aerobics classes (complete with my Olivia Newton-John outfit and headband — “Let’s Get Physical, Physical”) and joined a gym because I wanted new friends and I needed something to do other than study and go to bars.

And after college, forget it. I worked as a reporter where Dunkin Donuts coffee and doughnuts was my regular breakfast and late-night deadlines meant eating pizza or subs. Exercise was walking to and from my car and sometimes taking the dog for a walk. Fortunately, I did not put on a lot of weight. I was blessed with good genes, I guess. (Thanks, Mom!)

But as I started thinking about having children, I became concerned about my physical being. I knew that I should exercise. By then Jane Fonda’s aerobics videotapes were the rage, and I bought one complete with the step to go with it. (I still have that step!) I got pregnant and soon added pregnancy exercise videotapes to the collection. Read the rest of this entry »

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