How white are your lies? Do you ever tell any?

Do you think you are unbeatable with them — those tiny fibs you need to sail through so-called civilized society — but do they harm anyone given life from your lips?

My roommate called me on a Monday afternoon once.

“Hey Katha, are you home?”

I told him I was not and asked why. He wanted me to let Ori (his German Short Hair dog) out, but as he won’t be able to make it before 8:00 pm, he was wondering if I could. I had to tell him I wouldn’t be back before 10:30 pm as I had a class that evening.

I would have gladly done it if I were home as I share a very good friendship with Ori — in fact I do let him out when my roommate is not home — but it was not possible that night.

Another Monday afternoon… a few weeks later… and another call from my roommate.

“Hey Katha, are you home?”

“No, I am not… it’s Monday, remember, I have a class tonight! Why? What’s up?”

My roommate – “Oh yeah! I totally forgot – I was going to that Thai/whatever exotic place with Jennifer (his girlfriend) and with a few friends of mine – I was wondering if you could join us! Too bad you have a class tonight! It would have been fun!”

Yeah right. I knew he was fibbing to me.

Maybe he really wanted me to join — but I think he was testing my honesty about having a Monday night class.

I also had a tingling in my mind he had a different purpose when he called. It really doesn’t matter, I guess. It’s not at all a big deal for him to test my honesty.

Or is it?

My intuition told me he didn’t have a date with Jennifer and there was no Thai dinner. He was either testing me — or he forgot I had a Monday night class and he felt he had to make something up to cover his forgetful memory.

Does he know his “white lies” are not as white as he claims?

I find it amazing. In fact I try to put myself in the shoes of the white liar.

If I were in my roommate’s position I would have surrendered — “Gee… sorry… I can’t make it back home tonight… Ori had to go out… completely forgot it’s Monday and you had a class…”

Does that sound too naive to just tell the truth? Or does society demand a cover story?

Or, there is a chance of the other person thinking — “What a jerk! Called again to ask a favor!”

But what if, when one knows the actual truth hidden behind the “white” of the lie?

Doesn’t that little vulnerability makes a person more human rather than the tinge of over-smartness?

I am not sure. What do you think?