Growing up I was known by my friends and family as the Queen of Imagination. In other words, I could out-lie just about anybody, including my four sisters. Just the other day, one sister admitted she\’d always admired my ability to “elasticize” the truth. It seems I had an uncanny ability to take the truth, bounce it around, stretch it this way or that, mold it to my liking, then serve it back to the recipient without ever cracking one facial expression. I was the master of deceit. This isn\’t exactly what I had in mind for a legacy, so after surviving my teen years, I decided the truth would undoubtedly set me free.

I vowed then to always tell the truth.

How have I done? Hmm…would that scoring be on a scale of 1-10? If so, I\’m living somewhere around an 8, with an occasional 10. Sometimes. I\’ve found that it\’s hard to always tell the truth. Especially when you love your family and friends and the last thing you want is to be their ticket to “Bluesville.”

Just last week I met a friend of mine at the mall. She walked up to me and I almost didn\’t know who she was. She had practically NO hair. She asked how I liked her new haircut. I\’d seen lawns with better ones, but I knew she had scrimp and even skipped lunch with the girls for two days that week just to have the funds to go to this famous “Hair Whisperer.” So I said, “You know, you\’re haircut really does bring to mind that phrase, There\’s a new girl in town!” She beamed. As we shopped, I made sure I walked four paces behind her. That\’s one Whisperer who should be made to do time…

But at least I had told the truth…sort of.

Like this tiny little infraction wasn\’t bad enough, my vow to stay true was once again tested. And within a week of the other! Guilt consumes me.

A close friend asked me if I would join her and her new boyfriend, who I had yet to meet, for dinner. At first, I was totally up for it and thought, how cool! This would give me two things…a chance to get out, and a finally a face to put with all of the stories she\’d been sharing about him. Girls talk…it\’s what we do. Good thing he doesn\’t read this column. I hope.

We met at a local Mexican restaurant and my first impression upon meeting Mr. Right was that she needed to take a refresher course in Math. There IS a big difference between 5\’3” and 6\’1.” Hello? The guy came to just above her navel. Okay, maybe he wasn\’t THAT short, but he was short. She\’s a comfortable 5\’7” without shoes. The next thing I noticed was that he was ambidextrous. He could chew with his mouth open and talk to us, giving me a clear mental image of what train wrecks must resemble.

Putting these two things aside, Mr. Wrong ordered for her, ate off her plate, and shared a rather loud burp telling us that meant he really enjoyed his meal. It was on the tip of my tongue to say we could tell that by simply looking down the front of his shirt. Can you say, BIB? But I held my “truth” inside.

The next day I ignored the telephone rings. I knew she was dying to compare notes, and wanted me to give her the girlfriend “blessing” for the happy couple. After all, love me, love my boyfriends or they must go, am I right? Finally, after so many unanswered calls, I caved and answered. She of course asked, and I said the only thing I could think to say, “You know, he is definitely someone your Mother would love.” Another truth gone bad, but it had the desired effect. She dumped him. Who wants someone Mom would choose?

If you want to know if your diet\’s working, don\’t ask me …step on the scales. If you want to know if those pants make your butt look big, don\’t ask me … ask the sales clerk…they\’re on commission.

Don\’t test me, I\’m running out of imagination and half-truths.

Besides, I\’m using what I have left on ME. “Oh honey, you are soooo clever and funny.”

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