Lies. Everyone tells them. I'm not arguing that. But where I come from, lying is as casual as breathing. My family, all of them, okay, that's a lie, MOST of them, are liars. I'm guessing that isn't too uncommon as there are lots of liars in the world: politicians, preachers, lawyers, grandmas who claim you are a special gift from God... we all know (or are) a liar.
When I think of my life and my relationships with my family, it's a lot like the historical eras...
The Dark Age - approximately 1973 - 1979
This is the time when I had no reason to suspect that I was being lied to so I believed everything I heard. The first 5 or 6 years of this era, you need to know, is actually a time I have no memory of anything, as I was a baby, toddler, and kindergartener. Yep, that's the last time I remember not knowing that I was surrounded by liars or being lied to. Please keep this era in mind as it plays a huge role in who I am and what I fall for now, 30 years later.
The Golden Age: 1979-1986
Herein lies the time when I learned two valuable lessons. First, Lies work MOST OF THE TIME. Second, lies are most believeable when you have a second party backing you up and swearing to others that you are telling the truth (this would be ME - 6th in a family of 4 older sisters, 1 older brother, all complete liars) because this second party was there. She saw it, she helped, etc. During these years, I repeatedly swore to others (my parents, numerous friends of my siblings, relatives, and various teachers, clergy, unsuspecting victims) that the following were all true:
- my brother was allowed to drive us to schcool (he was 14 at the time and was caught by one of the teachers patrolling arrival. He'd been driving us to school for the last few days because my parents were out of town).
- my eldest sister was a on the short list of finalists who were chosen to sing backup for Culture Club
- my parents were going through a divorce (this to a teacher who had given my sister an F in his class because she hadn't done any work during the semester)
- my father worked for the government as an undercover spy
- my family was related to Jimmy Carter
- my father was so famous, my mother often had to have us taken to school in a cab so that the other people
I could go on, but I hope you get the picture.
Age of Discovery: 1986 - 1988
Up until this time, I had taken in the act of lying much like an anthropologist. I wasn't a liar myself, but I studied the art of lying from others. Most notably my brother, my sisters (especially my next oldest, closest) and my father. But, like anyone surrounded long enough and who witnesses enough successes with the act, I began to take part in the fine art of lying. While I know there are lies that I told and got away with, here's the problem, I wasn't that great at it and often overshot. I remember one time telling all the other girls in my 7th grade gym class that that my parents had gone to Chicago over the weekend and purchased a pair of $800.00 aligator skin shoes, then, stretching my foot out to show the other girls in gym class, the plastic, scuffed up white snake print shoe I had swiped from my sister Pasy's closet, the shoe fell off my foot. Betsy Henshoe grabbed the shoe and looked at the label, pulled the shoe off her foot, held the two shoes with the same label inside up for all to see and said, "these are from Payless." Embarrassed but determined, I learned a valuable lesson that day. Never lose the shoe.
Just so you don't lose hope, please know that I did get better. Read on...
Age of Enlightenment: 1988-1995
I wish I could erase these years. My cheeks pinken and I feel my neck getting hot whenever I think back to this time. I'll say very little about it right now because the majority of my future blogs will be from this time on. Just know these three things.
1. I got really good at lying
2. I got really good at lying about SERIOUS things.
3. I didn't kick the habit myself.
Age of Information: 1995 - 2005
It took 1 really important person who liked me both because of and despite my lying, to call me on my shit and things began to turn around. I cleaned up my act. At the time, I assumed the change had to do with the fact I grew up, married and became a mother. Here's the kicker...
Like most idiots, I figured all of my siblings had done the same. I started to whole-heartedly believe in them. I don't know why I was such a fucking idiot. This time around I don't have the excuse of being an infant to fall back on. I guess I am just an infant in the universe. But, whatever the reason, you should know during these ten years, I believed every word I heard and because of that, I'd often spout information that was complete shit and had no idea what a bonehead I looked and sounded like to other people.
Age of Modernization: 2005 - Present
Please don't give up on me. I figured it out. I know my family is still full of it. They lie all the time, to each other and especially to other people. I actually look forward to the times when I get to be there and hear it and I really look forward when they start lying to me and I play along (which, I guess, is a form of lying, if I am honest with myself). In fact, my idea for this blog comes from the fact that I recently returtned back from a long holiday vacation where I saw and spent time with the whole family and got my full-up on lying. It was one of my best trips home ever.
So now, here I am, ready to start my road to recovery and share some of my insights into the effects caused by Lies and Lying Liars. It's based largly on my family who knows how to do two things well:
1. love each other.