I see everybody's etiquette point that I should have called her back a day or two later, but I was iffy on what I should say to her. Certainly not the truth "DDs didn't want me to invite you to dinner so I didn't pick up the phone when you called" . . . I admittedly do have a spine problem and sometimes cannot come up with the right wording to handle certain situations like this.
I was trying to pre-think what to say/how to apologize for not picking up the phone when she called. I'm a truth-teller and a horrible liar. Plus all the kids were there and if I called her back and said "Sorry I missed your call" the kids would know that I was lying.
Excuses, excuses . . . I think you all are right. I should have called back a day or two later.
Just to reassure you--the kids wouldn't necessarily think less of you for lying. If they knew that you said "sorry I missed your call," what lesson would you teach them?
-That polite lies can smooth over potentially awkward situations.-
-That's there's no point in telling the truth, the *whole* truth, and nothing but the truth if it's going to hurt someone's feelings.
And if you really want to parse it, you say, "I'm sorry I couldn't get your phone call."