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sweet little lies

June 20, 2011

I am one of the most honest people you will ever meet. I’d like to think this is because I’m just a very good person but the truth is (lame pun intended) that my honesty stems from two things:

  1. I have a deathly fear of karma, and
  2. I am a moron (per Ali).

I am kind of a moron sometimes. Just the other day for example, I informed a waitress that she forgot to charge me for my cup of coffee. You’d have thought she’d apologize and thank me profusely for pointing out her error, yes?

No. Instead she brought over a revised receipt with an additional $6 for what is now the most expensive coffee I’ve had that didn’t come with a view of the Seine.

And as Ali paid the bill, shooting me irritated glares the whole time, I feared a bit for my marriage. Apparently I missed the memo that we can afford his two Starbuck-lattes-a-day habit but not my once-a-year $6 cup of coffee.

Potential divorce aside, what choice did I have but to acknowledge the mistake? I mean, I set a bad enough example for Maya as it is! I don’t think I need to be showing her how to master the “five-finger discount” on top of everything else.

But while I’m honest to a fault, I will have to apologize to the person who anonymously asked if I’d take a photo of myself in the morning, prior to my battle with the hair dryer. The answer is a resounding no.

I can't accommodate a pre-blowdryer picture, but how about this makeup-free picture instead?

I’m honest. But I’m not insane.

***Any avid readers out there? I just reviewed What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love on my sister site***

105 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 12:54 am

    Dont worry, I would not be able to show myself with not blowdried hair either! 😉

  2. June 20, 2011 12:56 am

    Oh I’ve done that…. told the waiter we actually had 2 bottles of wine, not one. I got a dirty look from both Mr. HG & the waiter who then had to go back & redo the bill. What was I thinking….., ??
    No make up…… still gorgeous 🙂 Have a lovely week Ameena & keep smiling, I too believe in karma, think of how much fun it’ll be to say (in a newly incarnated life) “Told ya so” 😉

  3. squigglefloey permalink
    June 20, 2011 2:25 am

    Haha I love how the men in the picture are cut off! 🙂 Happy Father’s Day to Ali…? 🙂

    • June 20, 2011 5:08 pm

      Well I didn’t know if one person in the photo would mind being plastered all over the Internet so I figured I’d just do a little cropping action…terrible, I know!

      • squigglefloey permalink
        June 20, 2011 5:40 pm

        Haha, no, the picture is fine with two beautiful girls!

  4. June 20, 2011 2:32 am

    Make-up free? Boo! Liar!


    p.s. Now, are your husband and my husband long-lost siblings or are most men simply alike? Mine also takes bargaining as a competitive sport. Sometimes I simply find it unseemly to bargain with people in countries where $1 means a lot more than a can of soda. But then of course paying the asking price would have definitely got me into “trouble”… Yes, I am a moron too in this sense. Moron and proud, sister.

    • June 20, 2011 5:09 pm

      I promise I am not lying. I don’t own a foundation or concealer but if I’m feeling especially fancy I make an attempt with blush and lipstick. And even that looks…haphazard.

  5. June 20, 2011 4:04 am

    Your hair looks beautiful with that “natural” wave!

    Coffee is so expensive. Just to get a regular coffee here is still about $2.

    And it tastes like crap.

    • June 20, 2011 5:10 pm

      It’s not a natural wave…it’s a wave courtesy of my curling iron. When my Japanese straightening starts growing out I try to hid that “line of demarcation” by going wavy! But thank you in any case!

  6. June 20, 2011 4:17 am

    Haha…I don’t blame you– it’s definitely bad karma to let stuff like that slide after you notice it!!

  7. June 20, 2011 4:24 am

    Really Ameena? I think your hair has natural wave and they look beautiful. A beautiful mother-daughter picture.

    I am foolishly truthful like that too. While the world thinks I should just ignore the uncharged coffee or appetizer, I recount my moral standards and like an idiot ask -please charge me. Oh the dirty looks, I have got quite a few from the husband.

    • June 20, 2011 5:11 pm

      Thank you Priyanka but I must disclose that my “natural wave” is courtesy of my Hot Tools curling iron. 🙂

  8. June 20, 2011 5:13 am

    Honest is a much better attribute to have than being insane…it makes morning hair more sexy. you crack me up

  9. June 20, 2011 5:15 am

    I usually do not realize that I’m undercharged until I’m home when finally look at the receipt. Bad idea as what happened if it’s overcharged right? Next time Ali gives you dirty look, just ignore it or shoot him a more “dirtier” one – he’ll leave you alone …. 🙂

    What’s wrong with your hair? It looks perfectly lovely and looks like you just step out from Frederic Fekkai salon. I want my hair to look just like that every single day!

    • June 20, 2011 5:13 pm

      I posted this photo because my hair actually looked GOOD for a change. I won’t post an ugly hair picture though, I can assure you of that. 🙂 And thank you Lydia for the compliment!

  10. June 20, 2011 5:31 am

    I had a $6 cup of coffee in New Orleans, and this was after the $36 prix fix brunch price that i assumed INCLUDED the coffee. ug. I’m sure it was a funny scene, you telling the waitress, Ali rolling his eyes at you.
    PS – no makeup and looking gorg!!

    • June 20, 2011 5:14 pm

      Wow…$36 doesn’t include at least a cup of coffee? Now that is a restaurant I won’t be frequenting, if I ever do get to New Orleans one of these days. And thank you for the compliment!!

  11. June 20, 2011 5:44 am

    i always feel guilty if i notice something like that. while i’m in the store. totally, for sure, bad karma. and i’m not going to mess with that! but i normally don’t notice anything until i’m out of the store. part of my get-in-get-out mentality.

  12. June 20, 2011 5:45 am

    Well, if I looked that good sans makeup I’d never wear any! Maya’s face is hilarious in that shot- it looks like she’s laughing at the thought of a $6 cup of coffee!

    • June 20, 2011 5:16 pm

      Well thank you Deb but I’ve seen your perfect skin – sans makeup – and if mine could look like yours I’d actually allow a close up photo of myself to exist.

  13. June 20, 2011 6:03 am

    Ummmm skin issues my butt. You look radiant my friend!!!! I totally understand the karma thing but so far – telling the truth always makes me look like a crazy. I told a girl once her thong was showing (and her crack but I left that out), and she yelled at me and said that’s how she wants it!! LOL PS Maya’s expression is priceless. 🙂

    • June 20, 2011 5:17 pm

      I assure you that in addition to eczema I have a number of other skin problems. Ali can attest to this as he gets to witness and hear me complaining about both problems on a daily basis. But thank you for the compliment.

  14. June 20, 2011 6:26 am

    Haha, no one should have to let the entire world see what they look like before the hair drier. I know I wouldn’t want anyone to see me! And I really don’t understand why some restaurants charge so much for coffee. Unless they’re using pure Kona (which they probably aren’t) there is no reason for them to hike the price up so much.

    • June 20, 2011 5:20 pm

      Finally…someone who understands the importance of the hair dryer!

  15. June 20, 2011 6:28 am

    If only I could look that fab w/o makeup. You look spectacular!

    • June 20, 2011 5:21 pm

      Thank you Shanna but as since I cannot accept a compliment gracefully I must mention that a camer hides most imperfections. Especially from afar.

  16. June 20, 2011 6:35 am

    I do the same thing when they forget to charge me for something that I order – I just feel too guilty otherwise! And you look gorgeous without makeup, so I imagine you’d look gorgeous pre-blowdryer too 😀

  17. June 20, 2011 6:51 am

    At my last hotel stay I “forgot to mention” that the bill didn’t have a charge for the one day we logged in to the wireless Internet. We only used it for an hour or two, and it would have cost us 1/4 what we pay for an entire month at home, so it “slipped my mind.” The only living being I have to be a role model for is the cat, and usually that just means I show her that we don’t jump on the countertops or bite people when we’re angry.

    • June 20, 2011 5:22 pm

      Hotels are usually VERY diligent about overcharging so you totally lucked out with the free hour of Internet! We had to pay 15 pounds a day in London and Ali wouldn’t spring for it. I was Internet-less and it was scary.

  18. June 20, 2011 7:10 am

    I guess there are all sorts of reasons for honesty: karma, to hurt someone, vanity, to help someone. I point out when someone doesn’t charge me when I feel it will hurt them if they do not (that is of course if I notice, not the best bill reader).

  19. June 20, 2011 7:15 am

    Ameena, you look GORGEOUS in that picture!! You’re really not wearing makeup?? I know you don’t wear much normally, but I guess I never really thought about it – wow, I know lots of gals who would love to look so naturally beautiful (myself included!) 🙂 That’s too funny about the waitress – and I have to admit, I would do the exact same thing in your situation. Not saying something would make me feel a little funny. Now you have good karma, right? 😉 Besides, being a good role model never steers you wrong!

    Have a lovely week, Ameena!

    • June 20, 2011 5:24 pm

      I wear makeup once a week – max. And even then my routine consists of blush and lipgloss, applied rather lazily. YOU have the most perfect skin Jessie!!

  20. June 20, 2011 7:20 am

    You look darn good without make up. Lucky lady. And, I would not have pointed out their error with the non charging of the coffee. In fact I got something free over the weekend and I kept my mouth shut. What can I say…I’m evil and broke.

    • June 20, 2011 5:25 pm

      Thank you for the compliment! And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you are evil at all…I think you do what you have to do, right?

  21. June 20, 2011 8:14 am

    Looking lovely, hope you all had a great Father’s day!

    hehe, one would think the waitress would say don’t worry about the coffee since she forgot to put it in. regardless, the good karma will definitely be coming your way! 🙂

  22. June 20, 2011 8:31 am

    Without make-up? You should never wear it. You’re naturally gorgeous, just like your daughter.

    Kudos to you on your honesty. I think setting that example for Maya is huge. Although I must say that I’d never, ever spend $6 on a cup of coffee. Even on the Seine.

    • June 20, 2011 5:27 pm

      You are too kind – thank you for the double compliment. And unfortunately in Paris you have no option but to spend a minimum of $6 on coffee. I once paid $11 for a small bottle of Perrier. It was hot and I was dying of thirst – I had no option!

  23. June 20, 2011 8:38 am

    I have never put it into words before, but I have to say that part of the reason I do many things is because I am afraid of bad karma too!

  24. June 20, 2011 9:14 am

    hahaha I totally would have mentioned that the coffee wasnt on the bill. You just dont mess with karma like that.

    You look really good without makeup, just so you know. 🙂

  25. June 20, 2011 9:24 am

    Uhh, that should have been a FREE COFFEE! She should have thanked you for catching her mistake!

  26. June 20, 2011 9:31 am

    Dear Ameena – You are beautiful and you need neither blow dryed hair nor make-up to do this. All for karma so I get it 🙂 Atta girl!

    Honestly yours, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • June 20, 2011 5:29 pm

      Karma will surely repay you for your very generous compliments…thank you Devaki!

  27. June 20, 2011 9:33 am

    You look beautiful without makeup…women looks the best most of them time without it, according to me…honesty and karma…i have fall pray most of the time…well then its my karma ha haha

    • June 20, 2011 5:29 pm

      Oddly enough, I feel like when I wear foundation my skin looks worse. So I totally agree with you!

  28. June 20, 2011 10:01 am

    I’m a total moron when it comes to honesty, but I’d rather feel good with myself than betraying somebody on my own advantage. I’m very sure, however, that your marriage is worth more than $6, and that Ali has married for exactly the reason that you are who you are – honest definitely, but a moron … That one requires further discussion!

  29. June 20, 2011 10:27 am

    I would definitely consider myself an honest person, but there are times when I keep my mouth shut (okay a lot of times). I consider it dishonesty by omission which is a much lesser offense. Okay, not in situations where an old woman drops a dollar on the ground or when you don’t yell “look out” to someone who is about to get hit by a biker, but that’s not what I mean! Ahh ethics are so confusing…

    • June 20, 2011 5:30 pm

      Ali is onboard with your thinking…lying by omission isn’t really lying he says. I kind of agree, until he omits something when he’s talking to me!

  30. June 20, 2011 10:28 am

    You did the right thing. Karma always comes back to bite you in the butt. I’m a believer in that also. But like you, I always expect a profuse thanking on the part of the server, who maybe should even comp the coffee because of my honesty. Is that so wrong?

    • June 20, 2011 5:31 pm

      I was waiting for the server to comp my coffee but apparently that only occurred to me and you??

  31. June 20, 2011 10:48 am

    I had a $6 cup of coffee recently (in my defense, I now allow myself one cup every week instead of one every day) and it was well worth it. So good on you for splurging and for being honest. And um, that’s pre-makeup? I give up 🙂

    • June 20, 2011 5:33 pm

      You, my friend, deserve to have coffee every day! Especially when carrying around another human being. And you’ve seen me makeup-free in real-life. You know that the camera was hiding a ton! 🙂

  32. June 20, 2011 10:57 am

    I like your honesty. It’s a good trait to have. And I like to think I’m a pretty honest person too. 🙂

  33. June 20, 2011 11:44 am

    I’ll have to take a peek at your book blog!

  34. June 20, 2011 12:01 pm

    It’s true, karma is a bitch. I also like to be on the up-and-up with her!

    Especially about too much change, or not charging, those are the things that haunt my integrity.

    Honesty is the best policy. Oh my mother would be so proud! 🙂

  35. June 20, 2011 12:09 pm

    I wouldn’t dare ask such…because I wouldn’t want to do that myself (the pic)!!! I agree with you – I would have had to say something – I feel so guilty….I walked out of the store one day….didn’t realize I had forgotten to put a greeting card on the counter – I was terrified…I started looking all around I just knew I was going to get jumped or hauled off!!!

    • June 20, 2011 5:34 pm

      Once, when Maya was in a stroller she took a thing of cheese and hid it. I had to go back the next day to pay for it and the cashier was like, huh?

  36. June 20, 2011 12:23 pm

    Honesty is the best policy 🙂 most of the time 😉

  37. June 20, 2011 12:41 pm

    Well. you are beautiful without make-up :)You look beautiful sans make-up. Also, super lame your coffee was so expensive after you told her of her error!

  38. June 20, 2011 12:43 pm

    Ok, sorry my quote showed up weird! I tried to do it once and it didnt go through but showed up twice when I redid it. Ha! Clearly I am a bit of a moron

    • June 20, 2011 5:35 pm

      You are not a moron. WordPress is flawed. Very flawed!

  39. June 20, 2011 12:43 pm

    I too am honest to a fault. It resulted in my sister in law hating me because I told her she was wasting time over a boy she really liked who was a total —-(insert bad word). Some people totally cant handle the truth, but you know what? I am too old to lie. Its too much work LOL, and I feel that I’ve earned the right not to be anybody’s bitch, certainly not hers (ok, yes, i have issues).
    *kisses* HH

    • June 20, 2011 1:08 pm

      It’s really beyond me how anyone can HATE you. Does she really hate you? The older I get the less patience I have for being anybody’s bitch as well. By the time I’m 50 I’ll probably alienate everyone in the world!

  40. magicofspice permalink
    June 20, 2011 2:01 pm

    Oh my…I am like that as well, the truth spills from my lips far faster than I can stop the flow. Plus I am always pointing out when people make an error that is to my benefit to not. Frankly I do understand there is a point where subtle is best, but honestly I have never mastered this concept. I am probably not on the “to invite list” sometimes, but oh well… I enjoy your frankness quite honestly, along with your playfulness! Real life does not need to be as sanitized as some would like to make it, in my opinion.

    • June 20, 2011 5:36 pm

      I haven’t mastered the art of subtlety (sp?) either. You are not alone!

  41. June 20, 2011 3:01 pm

    i’ll go makeupless too before ever going hair-taming-less.. is that a word? no. but I think you know how I feel. hot messy hair unite! ❤

    at least we clean up well?

    • June 20, 2011 5:37 pm

      If my hair looks decent I can always hide behind it, right?

  42. June 20, 2011 4:39 pm

    your so pretty and maya is so cute . lol my i would totally stare you down too

  43. June 20, 2011 4:46 pm

    $6 sooo steep. Well I cant talk because I also have the two starbucks a day habit.

  44. June 20, 2011 5:19 pm

    It’s good to be honest but never insane 🙂 That photo is without make ?! you are one beauty! Why did you chop of the others in the photo LOL LOL

    • June 22, 2011 8:02 am

      Ali is standing behind me but I wasn’t sure if my brother-in-law would be okay with his picture plastered on the Internet so I figured…it’s better to be safe than sorry. Thus the tacky cropped photo! And thank you for the compliment!

  45. June 20, 2011 6:15 pm

    I HIGHLY doubt you are a moron!! 🙂

  46. June 20, 2011 6:27 pm

    That’s a no make-up picture? Oh my gosh, you’re gorgeous Ameena…why do you wear make-up? Seriously. If I were you, I’d skip the products and spend more money on $6 coffee. I love caffeine.

    • June 22, 2011 8:03 am

      Thank you Heather! I’m going to gracefully accept this compliment. For a change!

  47. June 20, 2011 9:49 pm

    Ameena, you are the definition of natural beauty, my dear. If you didn’t say anything, I wouldn’t have known you didn’t wear make up. You always look picture perfect and photogenic in all your pictures. I think I’ve finally found something I dislike about you. Haha, jk. I’m just jealous.
    And girl, I totally woulda done the same thing with the coffee. Sometimes I don’t feel like waiting for them to correct the mistake so I just double pay and tip. Less hassle that way.

    • June 22, 2011 8:04 am

      Very good idea LeQuan…next time I won’t point the error out, I’ll just pay for it and move on!

  48. June 20, 2011 11:19 pm

    wow … well….hilariously put as ever.

    • June 22, 2011 8:04 am

      Thank you Eddie! I love that there are guys who read my blog!!

  49. June 21, 2011 4:37 am

    Ameena, I’ll take your makeup free shot anyday compared to my own. Although Ralph still thinks I look like I’m in college (he never even KNEW me then!!) I know his eyesiight is going, but I love the thought behind it! We take our compliments where we can!!

    • June 22, 2011 8:05 am

      I’m sure his eyesight is just fine! Ralph sounds like an amazing guy.

  50. Cindy permalink
    June 21, 2011 6:54 am

    You are SO BEAUTIFUL Ameena, make up free and all.

    I’ve done the admit we weren’t charged for things routine!

    I love that you said you are deathly afraid of Karma!


  51. June 21, 2011 5:34 pm

    I’m afraid of karma too…I really do believe what goes around comes around. 🙂

    And you are so pretty…I wish I had that early morning glow!

  52. June 21, 2011 5:52 pm

    I’ve been told I’m too honest as well. Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering what I’ll say when I one day have children asking about the existence of Santa Claus or where babies come from.

    • June 22, 2011 8:06 am

      When all else fails I just say, “Ask your teacher.”

  53. June 21, 2011 7:20 pm

    Goodness…it is amazing how much they can charge for coffee. But I’m more shocked that she didn’t comp you! Oh well, at least we know you are Honest Abe. Thank you for taking the time to share a moment of your world with me…you always make me smile! I hope you are having a wonderful, joyful week. Many blessings and much love!

  54. June 22, 2011 2:59 pm

    I get that a lot – about how honest I am. I don’t think people are always complimenting me either. Shaune always gets mad at me if I’ve been overly honest but then in the privacy of our own home, he’ll say things like: You should have said this or that. I’m definitely the mouthpiece in our situation.

    You must not wear much make-up because you look beautiful and not much different than in other pictures.

    • June 22, 2011 6:39 pm

      Thank you for the compliment. The truth is that I rarely wear makeup, mostly because I am incapable of applying it correctly!

  55. June 22, 2011 5:20 pm

    I am honest because I ALWAYS get caught any time I try to lie about anything, no matter how mundane. It’s just not worth it anymore.

  56. June 22, 2011 6:21 pm

    I’m looking at the photo and finding it difficult to believe you’d be any less beautiful pre-blow-dry.

    • June 22, 2011 6:38 pm

      I assure you I am a rather scary mess but you are amazingly kind. Thank you!

  57. June 22, 2011 7:20 pm

    how did a coffee get to be $6? Is that with almond milk and gold beans or something? lol.
    I already know you’re hot naturally. I mean, just look at Maya!

  58. June 22, 2011 10:43 pm

    I totally understand about your qualm with tresses. I have the exact love-hate (more hate actually) relationship with my untamed tresses. Wish we all had a magical wand like blow dryer.

  59. June 23, 2011 4:11 am

    I was secretly hoping you posted a picture of what a $6 cup of coffee looks like, because now I want something that extravagant. No that does not make any sense, but sometimes a lady wants something absolutely absurd 🙂

  60. June 23, 2011 4:40 am

    lol…yep its honesty not insanity…but seriously 6$ coffee????

  61. June 25, 2011 6:11 am

    I always fess up if they do my bill wrong but they usually “comp” me for their error. Glenn gets annoyed too. He thinks if they made a mistake then it’s their fault!

  62. June 27, 2011 2:07 pm

    no make up? yet still SO gorgeous mA 🙂

  63. June 28, 2011 7:37 am

    What a cute girl

  64. Leslie permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:30 pm

    Okay, you know my mother was a model in her youth, right? Well, she was watching Bravo and Padma Lakshmi appeared. She called me over, and insisted that Padma looked just like you. And knowing you, yes, my mother had her glasses on and has seen multiple pics of you from your blogs so you could make the comparison fine.

    I’m totally with you on karma. Was the food worthy of a $6 charge for the coffee…please tell me it was at least Illy? I’m a firm believer in going around & coming around.

    How can Ali call you a moron? DIdn’t he just say that his only complaints were about the microwave’s 1 sec and the click of the dishwasher?

    • June 29, 2011 9:13 pm

      So when do I get to meet your mom? I think I love her already. 🙂 And no, it wasn’t Illy!

  65. June 29, 2011 6:58 pm

    Oh goodness, I definitely believe in karma, keeping the balance and whatnot. It secretly kills Marcus inside I think. 😉

    p.s. I don’t know what kind of lighting you found for that picture, but it makes your “No Make-up Face” look awesome! I would never put anything on if I had light anywhere near me like that…hahahahaha.


  1. Sweet Little Lies

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