Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lie to me

My fiction professor used to say that the best lies are the ones with a lot of detail. If you're a really good liar you tell your story with lots of fleshed out images and twists and turns and insistence that it sounds so crazy, it must be true.

As a teenager I was a horrible liar if I had to do it on the spot. But give me a few minutes to come up with something and you'd go to your grave believing I was mugged by an evil clown while I was changing a tire up at Crabtree Valley Mall when I asked him for help because I couldn't find the tire iron, because unbeknownst to me on my model of Jeep it was attached by lugnuts to the engine. But once I figured that out I couldn't unscrew the lugnuts because they were rusted, but it didn't matter anyway because the clown hit me on the skull and made this bump on my head, see? Eventually I got the tire changed, but by that time I was bruised and robbed and very tired, and that's why I missed curfew. So I certainly wasn't out drinking.

It's all in the details. Specific details too. The name of the mall for instance, instead of just "the mall". It makes the story sound more true if you use specific names.

Look at men who cheat. I used to know one. Let's call him "Dad" just for the hell of it. Dad came home one night and his wife locked him out and told him she knew about his affairs. He convinced her to come outside, then grabbed her hand and dragged her to his car, opened the trunk-

And showed her the bouquet of flowers he had been out buying her. She felt like a major bitch. He was hurt and indignant and refused to accept her apology.

Only the thing was, he'd bought those flowers for his girlfriend and was planning on giving them to her the next day.

That's what the great manipulators do. They make you think it was your fault for being fooled by their intricate web of lies.

And deceit. There's also deceit.

And isn't that what we do? We are expert liars. We invent outrageous twists and turns and it's our job to make sure people believe them. We have to sound sincere.

I just got hit by that. A dear - at least, I thought dear until today - friend of mine swore up and down about how honest he was and that he'd never lie to me because it's just not in his nature and he considers me a good friend and blah blah blah. And the whole while he was telling me to trust him he was hiding a big old lie that he was too afraid to tell me because he knew it made him look like an asshole. But all those sincere sounding promises, all those lectures about being open with people and not hiding your true feelings out of fear, it was all crap to cover his own lie. And now that I know he was lying he's an even bigger asshole, but I don't want to confront him about it because he'll just yank out more lies and I'll get all confused and probably believe him because he's an amazing liar.

He should be a writer.


  1. Dear Emily,

    How can I post as regularly as you?

    Undisciplined in Utah.

  2. Dear Undisciplined,

    You have to have a lot of crap on your mind and a constant need to share it with the world, whether they want to read it or not.



  3. first of all....about the does give tons of thoughts of my part. Lying is the best way to get out of things, but it is harder than you would think. I'm not a very good lyer at all. Most of the time, I had to research about my lies before I could really apply them. How silly does that sound?

    Second of all....undisciplined, I am having the same problem as you, which is why I made a "comebacK" post this month about why people blog in the first place. I find myself complaining about not blogging in most of my post. silly does that sound?!

  4. btw emily...i enjoy your it okay if i put you in my links?

  5. Good lord yes. Links make me cackle with glee. Soon I will infect the whole world with my rambling thoughts.

  6. Anonymous2:27 PM

    that clown now works at the Walmart Oil and Lube

  7. I love me a girl with Daddy issues. ;)

  8. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Whew... Glad links make you cackle... I have two of your quotes up that link to you.

    Good post.


  9. Thanks for this. It makes me feel less crazy. Oh, and be wary of men who say, "Never believe a word I say." That's probably the only honest thing they'll tell you. The fun part is when they become indignant when you don't believe them...


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