October 10, 2012

Things I'm Terrible At: Lying

I'm like George Washington: I have wooden teeth. Just kidding. I'm like George Washington because I cannot tell a lie. I suck at it. My body betrays me. I go full-on squirrel. My eyes dart around in an effort to avoid eye contact. I mumble. Beads of sweat materialize on my forehead. I'm clearly lying.

This really isn't a problem in my day-to-day life except when I go to a grocery store in another state and the cashier asks if I have a shopper's card and I lie and say I left it at home so she swipes the generic store card and I get the ten cents off the orange juice I'm buying. That's about the extent of my casual lying and the entire exchange is very stressful for me.

The only other time I have to lie is when I'm deflecting some guy's unwelcome advances at a bar. The quickest way to shut it down is to say that I already have a boyfriend. It's fucked up that a guy will respect that as a reason and that I can't just tell him I'm not attracted to him, but that's the reality here, folks. Because if I give a guy any other reason than I have a boyfriend, he will argue with me. If I tell him I'm not interested because I'm only attracted to shorter guys, he'll argue. If I tell him that I don't think we have much in common, he'll argue that too. I don't want to argue; I want him to get the fuck out of my face. The quickest way to do that is to lie and say I already have a dude.

"Well, I don't think my boyfriend would be okay with that," I say, trying my best to sound convincing. The words feel strange coming out of my mouth. "I have a boyfriend. I have a boyfriend. Me. This chica. Has a boyfriend." I pretty much forgot the word "boyfriend" existed until it clicked in my head that if I said it, my unsuitable suitor will magically go away because the word "boyfriend" is creep repellant.

But let me tell you, it requires all of my paltry acting skills to sell him on the performance. Shit. How do girls with boyfriends act? I have no idea. I stand up straighter. I put a hand on my hip. I just repeat myself a lot like a defective Speak & Spell: "Boyfriend. Boyfriend. Boyfriend."

Pretending to be in a relationship is exhausting. At this point, I just hope he doesn't ask any specifics about my imaginary beau because my lie will crumble quicker than week-old coffee cake. "His name is...Mark. He has...eyebrows. He also has...a penis. Ah! Stop asking me questions! The truth is that your jeans are too baggy and I think your sunglasses are lame and I'm not attracted to you whatsoever. Now leave me alone because I'm waiting for my friend to get here and I wanna tweet a joke I just thought of and the longer you try to flirt with me the more aggravated I'm getting."

Yeah, I suck at lying.


Jen said...

The trick to the fake boyfriend not coming apart upon questioning is to designate a friend/acquaintance to this position in your mind. Someone asks for details about my non-existent boyfriend that I just claimed and I start rattling off the co-opted details of my brother's best friend. Boom, done. He's a web designer. Went to WSU. We've known each other since high school, where he lives, blah blah blah. Don't change the dude, either-- every single time, same guy, same details. Works like a charm.

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