What White Lies Do You Tell?

A friend just got a strange haircut that makes her look like a young David Cassidy. She asks your opinion. Careful, because you have two options: one is the truth. “Janine, you look like a young David Cassidy.” The other, which I’d recommend, is to tell a white lie. “You look great, Janine. This haircut is the new bob. If I wasn’t so attached to my Rapunzel-like cascading waterfall of a mane, I would totally copy you.” She smiles, you smile, you both go home happy. No harm, no foul, and the end result is a win.

But what about the white lies we tell for no sake other than our own amusement?

Sometimes, if I don’t feel like telling people my real name, I offer the alias Carol instead. Carol — poor, sweet Carol — has been offered up as my pseudonym ever since I was a sophomore in high school. I am Carol any time I don’t want to reveal my true title, any time I don’t like someone that I’m meeting, or any time I’m bored at a bar and feel like messing with an unsuspecting man who, at the end of the day, is just trying to buy me a beer.

My friend Dee does a similar thing to strangers. She works in fashion, but makes up random professions because she’d rather not get into the inevitable conversation that starts with the world’s most annoying question — “how do I look?” — from the uninitiated. So instead of acting as the one woman version of that TLC style show, she tells the men she meets that she’s a professional chef, or a commodities trader. Once she was an ophthalmologist which was rather bold but then again, you don’t meet many ophthalmologists in general at the bars we frequent so mostly, she’s safe.

My friend Jess used to claim she could freestyle rap. We’d be at a party when suddenly she’d let her fake fact slip, and within two seconds a crowd would be surrounding her with a Glee stand-in on beat box. She’d fake a freestyle by repeating the lyrics to “Bad Boys For Life,” and somehow never got caught. (Except for that one time she did, but people were so impressed that she knew all the lyrics by heart so everyone forgave her white rhyming lie.)

I suppose there comes a time in life when one decides to stop telling white lies for the sake of amusement, but until that time comes — Taylor Swift, you’ll let us know right? — let your self indulgent white lies fly, and for the love of all that is Carol, PLEASE tell us yours.

  • Kandeel

    Lying to the pizza place about how they put a piece of pepperoni on my pizza [im a vegetarian] so i get a free pizza ooops

    but who wouldnt do it for pizza?

    • Ehhhhhhhhhhh I mean free pizza is nice but at the same token that’s someone’s livelihood. Plus, resources #EarthWeek, yo

      • Kandeel

        True but i dont eat pizza too often but you’re right about that. You’re making me rethink my little white lies Em!

        • Haha I only say this because I used to be the kid who, when I asked for a water cup, would do one squirt of lemonade for 3 squirts water. That is until my mom caught me and gave me the talk on livelihoods, etc and I cried because she was so disappointed in me. It’s very likely that these places are turning profits on us too, though, in ways we don’t always realize. Maybe it evens out?

  • Joshua Michael

    oh you’re having kids? thats great!…..

    • hahahhahahahahahahaha! This is the best comment I have seen in the history of Man Repeller. I think we should be friends.

      • Joshua Michael

        whats stopping us?

        • You’re right! I’m on Twitter! @amat0ria 🙂

          • katie b

            I love you BOTH for making/liking this comment…

  • Amelia, you don’t look like a Carol. Carol sounds like a boring type of girl. Sometimes if a guy asks for my name, and I don’t want to give my real name, I go by Michelle. My mom almost named me that after the Beatles song.

    • CDJ

      you are so lucky you were almost named after a Beatles song. my future son, jude will really appreciate that.

      • I love that! Actually, my friend from high school is a HUGE Beatles fan and he named his cat Jude. So cute. I absolutely love that song!!!!

  • Quinn Halman

    I’ll tell a tiny, little fib when my friends ask if he’s cute. We all have different tastes..

  • Jessica Rose

    Little white lies…make life a lot easier!


  • Dilya Fedorova

    “You are NOT fat at all, your boobs grew”

  • courtneyzott

    “I’d love to see more pictures of your children (dog, cat, guinea pig, Carnival cruise, etc.)”

  • Andrew

    “I just threw this on.”

    • Kate Barnett


  • I lie about having food allergies because I don’t want people to know how insanely picky I am about food. . Lol.


    • Lauren

      lol I too am an avid user of the “I don’t like it so I’m allergic” white lie. Most commonly with nuts. I hate nuts so much that I am allergic to them! Except when it’s peanut butter & jelly, which I’ve decided doesn’t count. So ultimately my appetite and logic of choice are consistent with those of a five year old. Ah well.

  • Marah Smith

    My phone is constantly “acting up”, when really I’m just horrible at responding to texts. The day I turn on my Read Receipt’s, will be the same day the whether forecast for hell is “light flurries”.

  • The pseudonym is a must. Mine is generally Margot, but it’s been several others. If I’m out and about with friends, etc and they wish to pursue boys on the beach and so on, I always stay back and am the foreign friend. “Oh sorry, I can’t tonight, you see I have to go back to Bristol tomorrow — that’s in England, you know” is a typical escape. But then if I’m feeling into I do my best danish accent and spew a few facts about Copenhagen (which I’ve never visited), like about the great bike culture or healthcare policies. I’m just really not the girl that goes pursuing or looking for beach bums or boys in fast cars, you know? I need this defense of persona.
    However I can also maybe be too honest. The other day I told my friend that her boyfriend uncannily resemblesd Allen Ginsberg’s boyfriend , Peter Orlovsky. It’s true, but I think perhaps the prospect of her boyfriend resembling a man who likes other men may have not been the best choice, when, you know, she’s counting on his liking her.

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I have learnt to bend the truth so that I don’t tell people what I really think – this is a lot nicer and makes them feel better. I also white lie about things that I don’t want to tell people. I have never had botox; does it hurt?


  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Really? When did you call? No…didn’t get your message…yeah sorry..my phone has been so glitchy lately.

    • Michelle

      oh my god, yeeeasss!! I do the same thing on Facebook, “gosh, sorry… you know. the “system”. just. ugh. ” hehe saved…

  • katie b

    When people ask where I bought a certain article of clothing, I lie so they can’t go out and get it and end up looking like mini-me.

    • I SO do this. Or I say, “oh, I got it online I can’t remember which site” haha.

    • Michelle

      I always say like, “oh, this thing? ha! got in at a local store in *insert foreign country/town/community* but I can’t remember the name… sucks hehe” beat it.

  • Moira

    “You smell so fantastic. What is that perfume?” ME: “….blah blah Victorias Secret perfume.” (total lie..never give your Holy Grail scent to anyone)

  • Aline

    Like to tell I’m sewing shoes in a shoes factory. Because I love shoes and sewing.

  • Nicola

    I once told a guy I was a vet then had to spend some time pretending like I knew how to “calf a cow”. I also make up names in Starbucks- they have never once spelled my name correctly so now I use Irish names to see how wrong they get them. It always adds amusement to my day

  • CDJ

    *checks box* “i have read and agree to the terms of use”

    also- i once told this guy (this dad) at a bar that i was a professional figure skater. we happened to be up near a ski resort so i told him i was preforming the next day. i also mentioned i was in the olympics. he believed it all and when i gave him a fake name he said he has heard of me before. i then got introduced to his son and friends, all believing i was a professional ice skater.

    • Andrea

      I don’t really understand how that’s fun. The guy was just being nice by talking to you, so why mess with him?

      • CDJ

        he was wasted and creepy. don’t knock my version of fun.

  • Brie

    i’ve used the name Roxanne since i turned 21. my BFF and i were terrible awful bar hopping people for a while and the fact that these men didn’t know who i actually was, was hilarious and downright safe, if yaknowwhatimean. also, i don’t white lie to my friends. i pride myself about telling them the truth no matter what and they appreciate it. (i think). just b/c i don’t like it doesn’t mean i don’t support whatever they do.

  • hellpellet

    My bar alias is Martha. I use my alias any time I’m annoyed with someone I’m meeting. Or when a guy wants to buy me a beer. My friends know it’s the sign to skedaddle.

  • Nina/Denise/Lydia

    Thank the lord–I thought I was the only one who got this kind of thrill out of being someone your not, even if just for a minute. In some ways, I’m sure its my failed dreams of living a double agent life manifesting themselves into me pathetically becoming Nina, or Denise, or Lydia for the Starbucks barista. I love it every time.

  • Keilit

    I just can not tell people if I hate their presents. I smile, thank them and even if I don’t wear that hilarious cardigan ever again, they still think I loved it and I made them happy by telling an innocent white lie.

  • what about white lies to yourself? “yeah sure just go with that hairstyle today it’s kind of cute” half burying the truth; “i look like Vivienne Westwood attempting the man bun”

  • Grace

    When I’m bored at a party I decide to show off because who doesn’t love showing off when your audience doesn’t recognize you are showing off. How do I show off? I take a double of whiskey (I agree, not that cool) with no chase and tell a story as my chase instead. And my story reveals how I suffered this hidden yet giant scar under my throat which of course happened when I was 8 yrs old chasing jackels with my best friend Ishmael while I was living in Africa with my missionary parents. I even add that the incident was the reason my family returned to America…because I was getting in too much trouble. The lie has never failed to get me drunk or keep me from being bored at a party.