TALL TALES

Thin line between seduction and lies

Ok, I get it. It is a game, you are pitching, and in the process, there must be some embellishing.

In Summary
  • Say the truth as much as possible. I would even say dream more than lie. Reasonable hopes, though.
  • Go for the “when I open my second carwash, you will manage it!” Achievable and believable. 

There are things you cannot hide. Wife (ves), children and being broke. None of which is a sin by the way and two of which are not permanent situations

I was telling a friend how some man almost wasted my time. This gentleman (I use the term very loosely) from the minute he started communicating with me was trying to portray a lifestyle that did not make much sense. If you are not a drug dealer or a Covid millionaire, you really cannot convince anyone how you are holidaying in Dubai then taking a weekend off in between to spend a weekend in the mountains on the border of Spain and France. We are adults, please. Also, I do small background checks.

Anyway, from the beginning, it was one tale after another. He lied about everything. Where he worked, marital status, even age (I did not know men lie about age, I always thought the older, the better). This one was not trying to grow old; he introduced me to Otile Brown’s music. I had never heard of the young man before this wannabe young man sent me a song. All this was on the phone, reminds me of an age-appropriate song, “mapenzi ya simu sitaweza..” I digress.

The lie that made me throw up my hands in exasperation was when he claimed he was building a restaurant on a particular road. He had really believed his lie. The man sent drawings of the construction and even asked if I could help choose colour themes. He would decide he was also stressed about hiring staff and of the competition. He named the ‘rival’.

 
 

One day while reading his long lies, I mean messages, I decided to check out this restaurant. The road on which it was supposed to be on was one I used almost daily. (He had not counted on that). I drove from one end of that road to the other. Of course, there was no construction site. I checked around his perceived competition. Nothing. I was so amused. What was his plan? For how long could the lies go on? A building must be completed at some point, no?

Listen, do not claim to be a tycoon, especially to an African woman. We shall invite you to the funeral fundraising of our beloved grandma, the one we are named after. We shall call ahead and make sure the aunties have set a special seat for you. Then you stand up and contribute the grand sum of Sh900. Guy, there is no coming back from that.

I expected my friend to be shocked, nay I expected him to fall off his chair, but even with my theatrical storytelling, he did not look moved. He said, “but isn’t that what you women want?” What the duck was this one talking about, yawa? “Lies,” he said. “But you call it seduction!”

So I checked the dictionary. It says seduction is the fine art of manipulating people.

Ok, I get it. It is a game, you are pitching, and in the pitching process, there must be some embellishing. What I am asking in humility is, can we not stray too far from the truth? You have to think ahead in this game. You cannot lie about being young, I know the phone offers you comfort, and it is easy to send pictures from 12 years ago, but remember that you will have to meet at one point. How will you explain the accelerated ageing?

There are things you cannot hide. Wife (ves), children and being broke. None of which is a sin by the way and two of which are not permanent situations. It only becomes a problem when in your pitch, you fail to mention them. You need to manage your subject to achieve the desired results.

Listen, do not claim to be a tycoon, especially to an African woman. We shall invite you to the funeral fundraising of our beloved grandma, the one we are named after. We shall call ahead and make sure the aunties have set a special seat for you. Then you stand up and contribute the grand sum of Sh900. Guy, there is no coming back from that. If you had been yourself and sent the Sh900, we would have been grateful, but we had relayed your lies to the village people, yaye!

Say the truth as much as possible. I would even say dream more than lie. Reasonable hopes, though. Do not start the “when I am president” type rubbish when you have led nothing, not even a sheep to slaughter. Go for the “when I open my second carwash, you will manage it!” Achievable and believable.

 

So before you go pitching for your next relationship, entanglement, business, remember Cormac McCarthy’s words, ‘I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am.’

[email protected]