I lied to my mom a lot. I got so tired of her verbal tirades, I’d simply lie. I lied about where I was, what I was doing. The first time I admitted I’d missed church one Sunday, she went off on the importance of going every week. God only asked for one hour of our time every week. How can you not give an hour? So whenever she asked after that, I always said I went–whether or not I was there. ‘The woman is old,’ was my excuse. ‘She doesn’t need to have another conniption and she gets plenty of conniptions.’ The irony of all of this is that I’m without a doubt the most consistent church-goer of anyone I know with the exception of my parents and my sister. Ironic, isn’t it? And I was getting yelled at for missing a Sunday!
In the grand scheme of things, I think of my lies as tiny untruths. Sure I was lying, but I wasn’t hurting anybody. I was saving my mom from clutching her Catholic head in agony. As for me, I know what’s right for me and the truth was I was going regularly. It’s just that studying for Organic Chemistry and Physics kinda got in the way!
Then there are the big lies. As Burning Man approaches, I think of all the ecstatic, mushroom-filled lies from the Burning past and what’s ahead this year. I think of the relationships that happened in a cloud of playa dust only to evaporate once we returned home. My first Burn year, I accompanied my boyfriend. The year prior, we had recently gotten together and I begged him not to hookup with anyone as I said good-bye to him before he left for Black Rock City. He came back and confided, “I did shrooms one night with my campmates and one of my campmates gave me a kiss. But that’s all. I promise. I was good.” I know he was telling the truth. I knew he would never betray me.
I never considered myself a big liar. But I continually found myself being lied to.
After my first Burn with my then-boyfriend, I connected with at least one person (if not several) every year and eventually came back home and dated them. I would hear snippets about guys I used to date, guys I didn’t care for anymore. I had moved on and was most likely dating a slew of others. But the stories surrounded me. “Did you hear Brian broke up with his girlfriend? Yeah, that was a long-term relationship. Five years they were together.”
My ears perked up. “Excuse me? Did you say they were together for five years? I dated Brian for five months. There’s no way. I don’t believe you.” But it was always true. They’d even been living together. Icing on my ripped apart heart. It didn’t matter that we weren’t together anymore. It didn’t matter that I’d moved on. What mattered was that he lied to me. What mattered was now every time I thought about our brunches at Bette’s Oceanview Diner, I’d think, “mother fucking scumbag.” No need to capitalize the reference to a low-life.
Do cheaters think that’s ok? Is it ok to lie to your significant other, your spouse, your children? Who does that? Is the pussy or cock that important? Is it really that fucking good?
I see it. You see it. We all see it. It happened in college when one roommate walked in to find her other roommate straddling her boyfriend. Suddenly, the two best friends seemed to be friends no more in the hallways and in the study hall. “What happened with you and Anna?” I asked Jamie when we were hanging out alone in study hall.
“That bitch fucked my boyfriend Ted.” Ted was a good-looking alternative guy who lived on the all-boys floor. He skated around campus.
“I didn’t know Ted was your boyfriend. I thought you had a boyfriend back home?”
“Oh yeah. I guess I have two boyfriends then.”
It happened in grad school when guys left their girlfriends or wives back home. They couldn’t possibly be out with the boys drinking every night. Could they? No matter what lies they told, business school is about 30% women so there are smart, interesting, beautiful girls who are single, waiting for their corporate counterpart.
And it happens all over the work place. What do you really think your spouse is doing at those out-of-town conferences. Come on! Wake up.
I’m making the case that my lies were not as egregious as cheating lies, but it’s all the same. I was too much of a coward to own up to the truth. It got to the point where I didn’t care anymore if my mom yelled at me. I simply held the phone away from my ear and multi-tasked.
Little untruths or big cheating lies. What if we cared about every spoken word out of our mouth? What if we refused to taint our lives with deception? How would we live?…genuinely, truthfully, honestly?