Little white lies are critical in maintaining the ebb and flow of everyday life: they are the lubricant in the hamster wheel of life. Without them, people would have to tell the truth all the time, and I am pretty damned certain the world would be a worse place for it.
Because whilst we’re all told as small children that honesty is the best policy, it becomes clear rather too quickly that it’s not always the case. A gentle “you look a little tired today” is vastly preferable to “holy mackerel, I had no idea human beings could even look so grey.”
It’s a phenomenon of which I was reminded during a recent end-of-day phonecall with The Writer…
Now, it goes without saying that, if you’re a girl who’s not recently graced the covers of Vogue, mere mention of supermodels is enough to make you reach for the chocolate, safe in the knowledge that even in a million years, 999,999 of which are spent either in the gym or under the knife, you are never, ever, ever going to look like that.
So learning that one’s boyfriend has spent a proportion of his day sitting opposite a leggy beauty with porcelain skin and an incredible rack and amazing lips and hair down to her (definitely not childbearing) hips doesn’t fill a girl with self-confidence.
That he was there in a professional capacity merely to talk about her latest PR tie-up doesn’t change the fact that she’s a leggy beauty with porcelain skin and an incredible rack and amazing lips and hair down to her (definitely not childbearing) hips.
But, love him, he did the decent thing: he lied.
Not about the fact that he interviewed her, nor how hot she was, because there’s no point in fibbing about that: you can say that Gisele looks like the back end of a bus all you like – it doesn’t make it true, and it doesn’t make anyone feel better about the large slice of office birthday cake they had earlier in the day. No, he was far cleverer about it.
“I spent lunchtime interviewing Hot Supermodel for this latest thing she’s doing,” TW said as he pottered around his kitchen and I lay in bed trying to stop the cat chewing my toes through the duvet.
(There was a split second pause whilst I mentally reached for the chocolate.)
“Oh, really? How was she? Is she really hot?” (I know, I know – I don’t help myself.)
“Yeah,” said TW, faint crashing noises in the background.
And then, without missing even a heartbeat: “She’s really dull, though.”
And suddenly, just four little words from a man who’s previously dumped women on the grounds of their not being intellectually up to scratch, made me feel that, maybe, being a leggy beauty isn’t the be-all and end-all.
Give the man a medal. And pass the chocolate.