In my line of work, I see plenty of fakers. 

There are certain people who pretend to be sicker, weaker, or more helpless than they really are in the hopes of home delivered meals, lift chairs, housekeeping, and the list continues.  They want assistance with bills but manage to get new braids.  They struggle with timelines and returning paperwork, but are the first to remind me of holiday assistance programs and complete the required applications. Their words and actions rarely match and their lives are often chaotic from living in this state of disharmony.

I call these the professional fakers.  They do the best they can based on their environment, social supports, natural inclinations and the beauty of self-deception to get their essentials met.  They know exactly how to look and what to say to get what they need and desire.  These pros have spent a life time perfecting the art of deceit with a focus on various government programs and charitable organizations.

However, if doing whatever it takes to get one’s wants or needs met requires a bit of twisting, then aren’t we all fakers at some point in this life?  For example, who tells the complete truth in a job interview or first date? 

It’s hard to always stay true to one’s self, to follow one’s intuition and remain self-aware.  When our inner voice and better judgment are ignored and we break from striving for an authentic way of living, a second group of faker is introduced, the petty fakers.

I would guess that I’m not alone in this observation and human experience.  In fact, in the spirit of confession, I admit that I am an occasional member of the petty fakers

My most recent descent into that world started a few days ago.  Our neighbors dropped off a still-warm plate of brownies drizzled with a strawberry sauce.  (Yes, they were delicious and immediately eaten.)  My husband and I decided shortly after licking the plate clean to repay their kindness by not only returning the dish, but also to deliver a fresh batch of cookies.

However, time ran out this weekend and we were forced to make a tough decision: either we return the plate empty or do something despicable and nearly unmentionable.  Martha Stewart would cringe if she were to read what happened next.  

We bought a box of fancy caramel chocolate chip cookies, carefully arranged them on the dainty dessert plate, Saran-wrapped the entire thing and prepared for the delivery.  I secured a not-to-be-broken-even-on-death promise from my husband to never speak of the caramel chocolate chip cookies again and pushed through the door. 

As I trotted across the street with cookies in hand, I felt a twinge of guilt at the deception and the ease of returning their kindness.  When they asked for the recipe, I panicked and considered telling the truth.  Instead, I stuttered out a denial, claiming it was an old family secret and ran back across the street, leaving them wondering what kind of mental condition plagued this strange deliverer of cookies/returner of the plate. 

The point is that we all have needs and sometimes it involves finagling the truth and looking the other way to get them met.  In this case, it was harmless (unless the neighbors have some weird food allergy).  My husband and I wanted to express our appreciation and didn’t have the time to bake up that fresh batch of cookies that we envisioned.  We were willing to offset the cost of a box of gourmet cookies and a lapse in authentic living for the time and mess saved by being petty fakers for the day.   

Additional resources on authentic living:           

2 thoughts on “Monday’s Confession on Faking It

  1. Nice post. I do not have any professional fakers as friends (cross my finger), and for this I am happy, but have come across quite a few. Business is ripe with such characters.

    As for the petty-fakers, it is a funny group to belong to, as I had a similar experience with your story above. I think the guilt we feel as petty-fakers is a stiffer sentence than the crime we commit 🙂 And that is a good sign…as we know being genuine and authentic is the best path to take.


    1. Thanks for reading! I think you are right that the guilt is far worse than the crime for petty fakers. It the unnatural break from our path that feels so wrong. I just had to confess to get back on track.


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