December 19, 2009 8:47:00 PM
Shannon Bardwell - [email protected]
Isn''t it interesting that a guy can get arrested for asking for a dollar for a hamburger but any number of people can call you during the family supper hour and ask for money?
The call went something like this:
"Is this Mrs. Bardwell?"
"Yes, it is."
"Well, Mrs. Bardwell, I''m calling on behalf of the ABC Association, and we are asking for donations to help support the families of the ABC."
"Thank you for calling, but I''m not interested in donating at this time. Also, I think I''m on a no call list."
"Mrs. Bardwell, that list does not apply to charities. So, Mrs. Bardwell, what is your first name? May I call you by your first name?"
First, I''m wondering if the no call list doesn''t mean no solicitation calls for charities, what exactly does it mean? Then I''m wondering if I really have to give this guy my name. Shouldn''t he already have my name from his call list? Apparently that was the moment that, in a nanosecond, I decided to lie. I''ve always taken great pride in my truthfulness.
"My name is Sarah."
"Well, Sarah ..." and he goes on and on and on. Now I''m feeling really guilty and cringe every time he calls me Sarah, so I told him I would send him $10. I considered the money my personal penance for lying.
Then he asked, "Do you feel comfortable with this, Sarah?" I must have sounded terribly uncomfortable.
There I went again. Suddenly, in one phone call I had become a pathological liar.
I said, "Yes," but of course I did not feel comfortable, not at all. I had promised to donate to something that I didn''t want to, and I had lied twice. Later I had to admit to my husband that I lied to the ABC Association and we owed them $10.
When the envelope came in the mail addressed to "Sarah Bardwell" my husband delivered it with a smile, and I enclosed my $10 check and was reminded of the whole ordeal again. Good, check mailed, commitment complete and life went on until the next time the phone rang.
"May I speak to Sarah Bardwell?" the caller asked.
I smiled and answered truthfully, "I''m sorry, no one by that name lives here."
Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.