‘I’m popping out to get a packet of tissues,’ My colleague announced to the room. ‘Can I get anyone anything?’ I have been fooled by these innocuous-seeming questions before, so I said politely, ‘No thanks’. (Apparently, people are unwilling, despite their liberal use of the word ‘anything’, to pick up your dry-cleaning, or just ‘pop’ to Selfridges to see if that handbag you saw last week is still there, and possibly now on sale).
‘Oh, yes please,’ One of my other colleagues piped up. ‘Some nurofen.’ Caringly (it’s pretty boring in the office- I am trying out some new personas), I asked her if she had a headache. My colleague gave me the type of stricken look one would expect in response to an request for a large loan, or a small organ donation.
‘No,’ She replied finally. Completely baffled, I spent the next 30 minutes thinking about what other, secret uses she could have for nurofen.
Unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, I began to wish she had simply lied, and said she had a headache. There are many other situations where I wish people had lied:
1. ‘Is this a suitable dress?’ I asked, as I entered a friend’s party. ‘Not really,’ She replied.
2. ‘Did you see my solo?’ I asked my Mother, after my prep school play. ‘No,’ She replied cheerfully. ‘I was having a drink with your Father. Never mind, there will be others. (There were not. Although, having drunkenly performed this solo at a Hen Party this weekend, it is probably for the best).
3. ‘Have you eaten my chocolate puddings?’ I asked my little sister recently. ‘Yes,’ She replied, looking me up and down. ‘I really didn’t think you needed them.’
4. ‘Would it be OK if I joined you for dinner?’ I asked my little sister, before the chocolate pudding incident. ‘I’d really prefer if you didn’t,’ She replied.
5. ‘I have such a funny story,’ I told my Mother recently. ‘Oh darling,’ She replied. ‘I very much doubt that.’