The only thing worse than being caught in a lie is not being believed. When I was 15, my dad gave me his credit card information in order to buy tickets for a baseball game. I did that, and immediately afterward I used his credit card to buy online porn. This was back before really good porn was widely available for free, I'll have you know.
I knew I'd get caught eventually, but I figured I'd just lie and get out of it. Who cared what I told them? It'd all blow over eventually, and years later we'd all be dead and nobody would care. I'm sure this is indicative of deeper, more devious and sociopathic behavior in me or something, but eh, whatever. I had free, high-quality porn, and that's what matters.
Eventually the bill came. My dad figured everything out pretty quickly, considering the email address used in the purchase was mine. My parents confronted me, rather angry. It all seemed to be going pretty much the way I had planned. Then the crazy twist came - rather than lie and see how things played out, I accidentally told the truth. I told them it was me, and I bought it when my dad gave me his credit card to buy baseball tickets. Naturally, my mom didn't believe me, which would have been reasonable if I were lying. She thought that my dad had bought the porn and used my email account to shift the blame onto me when the bill finally arrived.
I was so pissed. Angry beyond words. I spent my entire life lying to my parents about EVERYTHING. “Where are you going?” Lie. Fight. “Did you do your homework?” Lie. Fight. “Are you doing okay in school?” Lie. Fight. I figured maybe, just maybe, the sequence could go along the lines of “did you buy porn?” Truth. Over. I know that it probably wouldn't have just ended like that. That seems stupid and unreasonable, but I figure telling the truth would be better for me. I never, ever got away with anything, even if I did lie. Why bother anymore, right? Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.
My mom flew into a rage. She trashed my dad's bedroom. Did I mention they sleep in different rooms, and have for almost their entire marriage? They do, and they have. I'm sure plenty of healthy couples do this, too. She threw all of his stuff down the stairs. Clothes. Trophies. Furniture. Shoes. All of his ties. It all went.
The lesson to learn from all of this is obvious. Just go ahead and lie to my mom. It really doesn't fucking matter what you tell her. She doesn't listen, and it doesn't really register. Her drug-addled brain is the Only Truth. It's obvious, looking back, that my mom just wanted an excuse to get a divorce, and she was presented with a pretty sweet reason by me and my stupidity. This was the exact moment that I decided to officially become estranged. Can I tell you how hard it is to be estranged from your family but still live with them? It's pretty fucking hard. That's exactly how hard it is. Pretty fucking.
Now that I'm living on the other side of the country, I really don't have to talk to my mom. I call my dad every now and again to see how he's doing, and I have Facebook to get a hold of my brothers. I only speak with her when she wrestles the phone away from my dad, to whom she is still married. Crazy, right? I eventually paid him back for the porn. All is forgiven, all is more or less forgotten. And I still lie to my mom every time I talk to her. “Glad to hear from you.”
Josh Grimmer lives in North Hollywood with his wife and cat. He kinda sorta runs this blog, and has another one at http://mousebed.blogspot.com. Twitter him up at http://twitter.com/JoshGrimmer
This concludes Lying, Liar, Liest week. I hope you lie-ked it. If you didn't, you can still tell me that you did. That's not a lie, so much as it is something that friends do to spare my feelings.
Another week is over. How great is that? The year is almost over. That's even better. This week's essays are going to be about brushes with fame, if indeed anybody actually sends me an essay. I got nothing. Seriously, nobody has sent me anything. That's fine – I didn't get anything for vague unease week until Monday, and that one somehow turned out okay. Please send something, if you've got something.
The week after brushes with fame will be about Christmas. The last week of October was Halloween, the last week of November was Thanksgiving, this coming week will be Christmas. Where do I come up with this shit? Man, I am GOOD. Please have your Christmas essays in by Friday, December 17.
The two weeks after that will be a little different. There will be a sort of end-of-the-year wrap up. I'm going to re-post some of my favorite essays from the year. Not all of my favorites, to preemptively soothe anybody who gets all butt-hurt. Just some of them. If anybody has any essays that they'd like to nominate for re-posting, I'm more than willing to listen to your stumping. In fact, I encourage it.
Josh Grimmer, Editor-in-Chief