An interesting thing about having my mother staying with me is seeing how my values have changed over the years. Every so often she will say something from a world view that is completely alien to me, one I realize that I grew up with but have moved on from as I have become my own person.
This reminded me of all the "stories" that were invented by my family as excuses for not doing what they couldn't be bothered putting themselves out for. These excuses always got bigger and more complex as they went along and they would be really proud of the story lines they spun.
Moving away from home and being surrounded by people who valued the truth, woke me up to the fact that these "stories" or excuses were actually just lies that were embroidered to make them feel that they had escaped from a commitment. The smug satisfaction of having fabricated a falsehood that got them off the hook far out-weighed any sense of it being dishonest.
Seeing the lies for what they were really opened my eyes to how differently I see the world. Now I take the opportunity to ask why an excuse/lie is needed and why we can't just give an honest answer? If my daughter wants to leave an event early, she can just say that she needs to go and exit graciously - no need for a convoluted story to make herself feel better. If we don't want to do something, then why not be politely honest and accept that it might cause us a little discomfort because we are disappointing someone?
Sometimes being a grown-up is about allowing others to see that we aren't perfect - that we feel like piking out on an event, or not attending in the first place. Sometimes we have to take the flak that may come from that decision. Lying might let us escape from that, but maturity comes from facing the consequences of our choices - not hiding behind some pretty wrapping paper and hoping we can keep our story straight.