Do you ever tell yourself a story so many times that you start believing it’s true?
Well, that story is my life.
When I was younger, my parents called me a compulsive liar. I blame it on my creative imagination and also never quite having the guts to launch into a full blown rebellion. Instead, I would be bad (tell 7-11 that I had $1 worth of candy when really it was $1.50 and kiss boys in dingy basements blaring Black Sabbath) and then lie about not being bad.
For the most part, I’ve grown out of it. Publishing all my stories on the Internet has a lot to do with it, because my lies (or “stories” as I call them) could be so easily exposed if the right person decided to log on and read. Also, I’ve decided it is way more fun to actually live through stories worth telling as opposed to creating them in my head.
The thing is — I have rarely even made up stories worth lying about! I made up mundane stories that only slightly varied from the truth. I think it’s because I wanted to protect myself. But I could also just be really mentally unstable.
Anyway, like I said, I’ve knocked it off.
Until this week, when Steve and I booked a trip to Palm Springs and I somehow led him to believe I had been there before. Instead of being all “Oh, I haven’t been there, silly, I just read a lot of gypsy blogs so I feel like I have,” I just went along with it.
I created a convoluted story that both enticed and infuriated him. I had been with an ex-boyfriend he didn’t know I had. We stayed in a house. And we spent our days traipsing through the desert with no map and no water and a Nikon camera that was left on the airplane en route home.
OK, see, that last part I never told him. I just told that to myself because it completed the sentence better.
Anyway, eventually I was like “OMG, I’m the weirdest person ever, I have to tell him before this turns into something bigger and the government is willing to pay for my therapy.”
Do you know how awkward it is to tell your [completely sane] boyfriend that you made up a story about something super pointless?
Er, so, uh, I’ve never actually been to Palm Springs. I was . . . just . . . kidding?
It wasn’t awkward at all, because that’s not the type of person I am, but still. It was ridiculous.
The scary part was that he took it rather well. In fact, it seemed like he expects that sort of thing from me — probably because on our second date I told him point blank that I’m bat shit crazy. Because I know what the boys like to hear.
The saying goes something like it’s easier to tell the truth than to tell a lie and I think whoever first coined that was a big fat liar.
Yes, convoluted lies are hard to keep straight and easy to mess up, but there’s nothing more difficult than telling the whole truth and nothin’ but the truth. In the truth we are exposed. We are vulnerable. We are easily wounded.
The easy part comes later, when we realize we’ve been accepted just as we are — with no frills, no judgement, and no imaginary trips to Palm Springs.