A false statement deliberately presented as being true, a falsehood; something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression: LIE.
A false statement deliberately presented as being true, a falsehood; something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression while speaking to one's meddlesome, overbearing Jewish relatives: SELF PRESERVATION.
I'm attempting to teach my dear, naive little sister how to lie to my mother and grandmother, and pretty much any crazy relative we might have. Yes, this will take awhile.
She met a boy that my family heartily approves of. He's good on paper and my family would sell any one of us to a guy that's good on paper for a couple of goats and some jasmine if they could. (As Middle Eastern Jews, we clearly have different priorities).
And now, the endless questions and prying have begun. "So, did he call?" "When did he call?" "What did he say when he called?" "What did you say when he called?" "Does he want to see you?" "When does he want to see you?" (I think you get the drift).
And my darling little widgeon of a sister all doe-eyed, trustingly answers all of their questions, thinking they're trying to help her. But she doesn't know they're actually looking at her like the wolf looks at Bugs Bunny when he wants to eat him, with a big red apple stuffed in her mouth and miniature chef hats on her legs. They want to get her married off as soon as humanly and legally possible.
So I of course feel compelled to run interference. Because I'm not going to let her be the Play Your Cards Right Girl. So I answer for her. "No, he didn't call. He's not interested. She told me. Leave her alone." Of course, he's called her every day. But if they know, if they are given any confidential information they will use it to torture, break down and harass my little widgeon into insecurity and desperation (I'd like to offer Exhibit One, her neurotic older sister, me, as proof of the veracity of that statement).
She knows to follow my lead when I answer for her. My mom looks at me, "I didn't ask you if he called. I asked your sister." And I say, "Mom, do you really want to make her talk about it and feel bad all over again?" And my little actress takes her cue, puts her head down, looking all sad. And my mom looks back and forth, trying to gauge the situation, because she already knows I'm not to be trusted, but she doesn't know I've got my sister in a crash course for manipulation and lying.
And she foolishly tries to circle in and attack from another angle, very sweetly this time, "But I just want to know if he called you?"
And my sister looks back and forth between us, not quite sure which way to go.
Lady, I see you coming from a mile away. "Mom, don't you think she would have told you if he called? (creating a false sense of security). Why are you trying to make it worse for her? (creating guilt). Leave her alone. (Looking at her levelly, maintaining full eye contact) Mom, he didn't call her. (Then the clincher - leaning and whispering conspiratorially) I'll tell you about it later."
Now she thinks I'm going to impart some sort of gossipy information that my sister is too upset to talk about.
As comprehension dawns on her face, my mother says, "Ohhh, okay, I understand."
And my sister looks at me in awe that I've not only managed to deflect this onslaught of questioning, but I've managed to create a situation where my mom will actually feel bad about bringing it up to her for fear of stirring up any residual negative feelings.
See, I think that an emotionally and mentally healthy, beautiful, intelligent 19 year old needs to date without pressure to get married. Because that's just crazy talk. No Grandma, no one NO ONE gets married at 19 anymore. BECAUSE THE BRIDE'S NOT EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO DRINK AT HER OWN DAMN WEDDING!
In private I grab her by the shoulders and tell her "Don't let them get to you. DON'T TELL THEM ANYTHING. ANYTHING." Repeat after me: "I will not be a Stepford wife. I will not be a Stepford wife."
Who knows, in a few months she might be as good a liar as I am to them, and then she can sneak off to Vegas with a secret boyfriend like I did at her age. It just takes practice.