I'm going drinking one night this week with an old friend. The kind of friend whose best stories I have heard over many years in many taverns and over many miles in many cars.
On this night at some point he will begin a story, and then ask me: "Have you heard this before?"
I will know he wants to tell the story either way—and I will be perfectly content to hear it again—so I will lie, and say, "I'm not sure."
And he will go on with the story, just slightly nervous that, halfway through, I'll interrupt and say, "Oh, you know what, I have heard this."
I'd like to remove that tension.
I'd like to say—and I'd like us all to be able to say, when someone asks if we've heard a story before—"Oh yes, I have heard this story, several times. But I like it! Let's hear it again!"
We listen to songs endlessly. We watch movies over and over. We reread books, and find new insights. And when we know people long enough, we hear their stories many times. We do it for the pleasure of hearing the stories again, and for the pleasure of watching our friends joyfully tell them again.
So we should cut the white lies.
We should not apologize.
We should say, "I'd like to tell you again, about that time I tried on leather pants for size."