Liars don’t go far in life or they end up being wildly successful

I own this book and I used to bring it out at dinner parties to spark conversations. I don’t do that anymore because it’s not fun to annoy your friends. But it does pose some very interesting questions and I still enjoy flipping through it to ask myself questions. I don’t always know the answers.

how far



What is the strongest opinion you hold? What is the biggest lie you’ve ever told? What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Who have you most feared in your life? What is the strongest craving you get? What have you lost that you would most like to retrieve? Where and when have you felt most uncomfortable being nude?

In , the bestselling authors of the If . . . series launch their signature format in a new direction: What and where are the limits that make each of us the personalities we are?

Five hundred thought-provoking questions, illustrated with compelling black-and-white photo-graphs, help you explore the world around you and relive your funniest, scariest, weirdest, greatest, and most indelible moments. Our answers to these queries reflect our priorities, define our limits, and probe the boundaries of who we truly are. Running the gamut from the worst boss to the most euphoric moment, these questions can help us discover more about ourselves, our friends, and our family members.

So, I’m going to randomly flip to a page …

Okay on page 36 we have: Who have you been most frustrated by in your life?

Jennifer in fourth or fifth grade. I don’t remember the whole story but we were in the playground and she did something wrong. I think she threw a rock or stick. I was standing beside her during the crime, but didn’t participate.

The next part of this memory is Miss Trefler coming over (I think it was her because I remember it was a teacher I liked — which made me all the more bitter).

At that point, I thought for sure Jennifer was going to get it. But the teacher was not sure who did it — and we did look very much alike in our matching Dorothy Hamill haircuts — so she asked us.

So there we were facing the teacher. I don’t know what my child brain was expecting but I was shocked when Jennifer lied and said it was me. I was no goody-two-shoes as a kid but I wouldn’t have lied.

I still remember the sting of the injustice and how frustrated I was. I could not believe she was blaming me. That day I learned people can really suck.

I wish I could say that Jennifer became a crackhead and now I’m a successful cookbook author, but I have no idea what became of her.

But liars don’t go far in life or they end up being wildly successful — another lesson I learned a bit later.

Now, I do tell the occasional white lie. And my friends know I’m prone to hyperbole and exaggeration but I’m a genuine person.

Not too long ago in the adult playground, someone told me a lie. I knew it was a lie — it was so obviously a lie given the context — but I did not call the individual on it. It actually amused me a bit (since now I get amused and not as pissed off) that this other kid in the yard actually thought I would believe such a far-fetched explanation. Writing this post made me remember this incident and made me think about how I feel about people like this.

Adults really are just children with discretionary income and bigger feet. Some become crackheads and others famous cookbook authors but most of us just become taller versions of who we were in fourth grade.


  1. Thank you. Do you think I can quit my job and become a cookbook author? I mean, I can write and all — I just need a few recipes.

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