“Caitlyn!” I admonished, “Dad is going to be really upset with you when I tell him that you ate only two bites of your sandwich at pre-school today.”
“Well, just don’t tell him then!” pat came this smartass reply from my three-and-a-half-year-old.
Lies of omission – those crafty little buggers – the asterisks, the loopholes, the fine print used to withhold part of the truth. Told my mum what her grandchild had said and was promptly reminded that she had to resort to such devious deception when I was a kid to save my butt.
As a child, I lived in a joint family – my grandma, my dad’s eldest brother and his family, plus my dad and our family. Nana Evelyn, the matriarch, laid down the law with a loving but firm hand. You obeyed or faced the music.
So every evening, after the family rosary was said (with us kids on our knees, no less), the Pereiras sat at table for the family dinner. Apparently, I hated eating my vegetables. Green beans – yuck! Palak (spinach) – double yuck!! Gowaar – don’t even go there...
So, while the family chatted about this and that, I would surreptitiously throw bits and bobs of any green stuff under the table. Little hands with underhand plans. My sneaky behaviour escaped everyone’s attention – except my mum’s.
Once everyone had said their “Good-nights”, she would get the broom and dust-pan out and sweep away all my sins, never telling a soul.... Whew! Thanks, mum!
So what lies of omission have you resorted to lately? Failing to mention your new pair of heels to your husband? Throwing your chocolate wrapper in the bin and covering it with other rubbish so your kids don’t see it? Telling your friend that her new haircut is sooo hot but not telling her that it doesn’t suit her face? In your opinion, are lies of omission as bad as lying outright?