On Telling the Truth, Love, Donuts, and How to Dispose of Used Oil

by on February 6th, 2011
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Author’s note: A car accident set me back, and I was unable to post yesterday. Deer, meet driver’s side door. Columnist, meet expensive repairs. Once again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Please enjoy today’s installment of Ask The Dad.

Stop here every day for a new question and answer, practical help for busy parents.


Would you really want your husband or wife to be completely honest with you 100% of the time?


Absolutely. Sometimes the truth hurts. But lies always deceive. If the situation is grave, I can better cope with the trouble if I know what is really happening. If you lie to me and I act on that lie, I will probably make poor decisions. Who benefits from that?

Often we justify our lies by claiming that they make life easier for other people. But in almost all cases, when you dig deeper into the justifications, we are trying to make it easier on ourselves.

People lie because they fear telling the truth.

Perhaps they worry that their listener can’t handle the whole truth. In that case, the speaker should take a few seconds to think of a way to tell the truth without being cruel or obnoxious. Most of the time, a few seconds of thought will present a truthful alternative to blurting out the entirety of a painful story.

Some people suspect the truth will portray them in a bad light. I can’t really help you with that one, other than to cite the theme from Baretta, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” Lies are easy to tell but hard to justify, and they leave the listener knowing less than he did before. Again, who benefits?

We should be honest with those we love. Love, after all, is an action, not a feeling. And what better way to demonstrate that love to a spouse than by refusing to mislead them? Show your spouse the respect he or she deserves. Tell the truth. Every time.

I will close with one caveat: Tell the truth, but do it with compassion and wisdom. The Bible instructs us to tell the truth in love. If a woman is foolish enough to ask whether a dress makes her look fat, a wise husband will not say, “Yup, you look like a sausage in that thing.” Instead, try a statement like, “That dress isn’t you” or “The sheath isn’t your best look. Why don’t you try something that blouses? I think you look great in tapered tops.” Season all your words with kindness.


How do you dispose of used vegetable oil? I made some biscuit-dough donuts yesterday morning, and now I have a cup of used vegetable oil. Do I just put it in a disposable container and throw it in the trash?


The answer depends on where you live.

If you dump used cooking oil or fat down a drain, it can coagulate and cause your pipes to back up. Traditional remedies like dumping hot water down the drain or using grease-dissolving detergents have a mixed success rate. In contrast, when you call a plumber to fix a clogged drain, he always succeeds in charging you a lot.

Since you can’t dispose of the oil using your home’s drainage and sewage system, you must get rid of it elsewhere. And at that point, your location begins to matter. Call the company that collects your garbage and ask them how to handle cooking oil and other fats.

Some jurisdictions recycle used oils. (Caution: Never mix motor oil or other industrial lubricants with cooking oils. Recycling centers treat the two types of oil differently, and mixing them complicates the process.) Some jurisdictions provide special drop-off locations for grease and oil. And some just want you to throw the oil in the garbage. Take your cues from the folks who handle your trash.

I’ll end with a note unrelated to your concerns about disposing of used oil. Kudos on the homemade donuts. They taste great, and kids enjoy the process of making and eating them. Besides, even deep-fried, homemade donuts are generally healthier than what you find at a donut shop. Not to mention cheaper. For those of you who don’t know how to make donuts using refrigerated biscuit dough, try this easy recipe .

If you’d like to submit an Ask The Dad question, send it to [email protected] . If you’d like to read more questions and answers, visit www.askthedad.com .

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