I pretend to believe my lying mistress

I pretend to believe my lying mistress Hugh Hefner, 82 and Holly Madison, 28
When my love swears that she is made of truth,

I do believe her though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed:
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O! love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love, loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138, written in 1599

"I hate poetry… what does this mean?"

When my mistress swears to me that she’s faithful, of course I pretend to believe her, even though I know she’s lying to me, because obviously she "lies" down with and has sex with other men. But I want her to think that I’m a young man, a simple naive person, who has not yet experienced all the lying and deceit in the world. So she foolishly thinks I’m younger than I am, even though she really knows my younger days are long gone. I know she’s lying and I accept her lies, because, like money, they make me richer. Instead of telling the truth to each other, we lie and make what’s simple and truthful into something more complicated. But why doesn’t she just say she’s a liar? And why don’t I just say I’m old? Because love’s custom is not to tell the truth, but for lovers to seem to tell the truth and pretend to trust each other. Otherwise, how could we make love? An old guy like me doesn’t want to be told he’s an old guy. So I lie to her and lie down to make love with her. And the lies we tell each other flatter us, just as having sex gratifies us.

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