The Truth about Deception

How manipulation sabotages marriage

My best high school friend had two sisters. Along with their mother, these three girls developed elaborate plots to get their father to go along with their plans. They plotted to make his favorite foods, improve his mood, and best approach the subject at hand. Then they worked together to manipulate him. Afterward, they celebrated their success. They used these tactics often to get new dresses, go to dances, go on trips, and even miss school. He never knew they worked him.

One evening at my friend's house I got to witness how they'd "snow over" her dad. We were going out that evening for some fun. I wore blue eye shadow back then—the style in the seventies—and my friend Ella (not her real name) wanted to wear blue eye shadow too. So before we left her house, Ella applied some of my blue to her lids. After one last look in the mirror, we strolled out of her bedroom to say goodbye to her parents.

Her dad raised his brows, and red crept up his neck until his face glowed. "You two look like a couple of peacocks. Go wipe that blue off your eyes."

We ran wide-eyed to her bedroom. But before we could say a word, Ella's mom was in the room.

"Wait a few minutes until I get Dad outside, and then go on," she told us.

Ella hugged her mom and winked at me. We paused at the threshold until we heard the back door squeak open and rattle closed. Then we scurried out the front door. Ella's dad had no idea we went out that night looking like peacocks. Ella's dad had no idea about many things.

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May 25

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