Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about lies and sneaking and how it’s become second nature to me.
My first memory of lying happened before I even started school: my mother confronted me about the crayon marks she found on the washer and dryer. She must have asked me who had done it, because I remember blaming my brother who was about 17 years old at the time. Not exactly the demographic for coloring on the appliances.
I suppose it’s not unusual to react by blaming someone else to get out of a pinch, but lying and hiding has become as necessary to me as breathing.
When I was fifteen I was busted for shop lifting. It was very 21 Jumpstreet, even down to the undercover security agent chasing me all the way through the mall. At home, when my parents asked me to present everything I had ever stolen, I came up with one tape and one book from my collection, though I had hundreds of dollars worth of stolen possessions.
When I was sixteen I let my friend drive my step dad’s Toyota pickup truck because she was better at using a stick than I was. At a stop sign she hit a patch of ice, slid through the intersection, and hit a parked car. I told my parents I was the driver.
In high school I lied all the time about boys, and where I was, and what I was doing with them. I once told my mom I was going to a friend’s house, but my boyfriend picked me up around the corner. When my mom confronted me later because that friend had called the house, I told her she must have called when I was on my way home.
I used to house sit for my neighbors across the street when they went to their cabin. She would leave me wine coolers in the refrigerator, and they had a king sized water bed. My boyfriend would park on the next street over, spend the night with me, then go to church with my mom and I the next morning.
There are literally ENDLESS stories like this from my childhood, but I’m starting to feel gross admitting it all out loud.
But lo, there is more: I’ve taken the lies with me into my marriage.
A couple years ago I made a banking error that caused several overdraft charges that I hid from Bryan. After Thomas was born I forgot to pay our life insurance premiums, and I hid the cancellation notices from him. And just last week I discovered a bill I forgot to pay, but failed to mention it when he came home from Palo Alto.
These mistakes were easy to fix, but they snowballed in my silence. Bryan spent HOURS on the phone trying to resolve my banking error, and we had to reapply for our life insurance. Had I just admitted my error at the time I discovered it, my husband would have a few less gray hairs.
This is as far as I got in my thinking. I can’t really unpack my theories behind why I do this. My day doesn’t allow me the time to think through that, much less write about it.
But these are all my confessions.