You see, after I left for college, the area continued to be developed (as has the entirety of the area around my parents house), resulting in fences surrounding the pond that exclaim 'MEMBERS ONLY".
"Yeah!" I calmly lied, and went about my business. This was unsatisfactory for her. She stepped right in front of my face and said "where do you live - I want to cross-check with the pond committee"
I could have easily lied again since I knew so many of the people around the area. I could have told her I lived at one of their houses. She was clearly one of the new, rich housewives with nothing better to do but accost people that came to the pond, and I doubted she knew everybody in the rapidly growing neighborhood, especially the long-time residents who went about their business without getting too involved in other peoples business. But, I felt bad about lying. So I just told the truth - they lived the next neighborhood over from this one. She confirmed that those people are not members.
"Oh really!?" I exclaimed "I talked to a few of our neighbors who all think both neighborhoods are included in the membership, so I will have to check with all of them to make sure they know they are not!" and I continued to flip sides so that I was on her side by confirming my understanding for the ill-effects too many visitors can have on an ecosystem. She quickly warmed up, and also seemed to be taken aback by my use of large words, confirming that I was more than some redneck who wanted to fish in the pond. People are so shallow sometimes, eh?
Anyway, I thought about the interaction all day. At first, it pissed me off that she was so clearly unsatisfied with her life that she needed to give her life such a meaningless purpose. It pissed me off that rich people moving into an area could take over a once-community resource and call it a "members only" area. I thought of all the lies I could have made up to get off the hook as well.
But eventually I realized that I was wasting my energy thinking about the interaction, and that I could have gotten myself in some REALLY deep shiiiiii if I had continued to lie. Perhaps she would have actually known the long-term families that I could have mentioned and called me out on my lie. Perhaps she would have called the police - who knows!
I decided that day to stop all of the white lies, and develop a policy of total truth and transparency. I would have told pink-sportswear lady "No, I am not a member - I saw the signs and because I have been coming here since before the signs existed I decided to ignore them."
Perhaps I will get in trouble for a few of my actions as a result - but maybe I will also hold off on doing the things I know I shouldn't be doing anyway. And, the power of having a clean conscience and total faith in my character, beliefs, and actions is totally worth it.