I often like to reminisce about the time in my life that I was a bold faced liar.
At six years old, I stood on my chair during show and tell and “told” that I had been adopted from Romania.
A couple years later, I remember telling the neighborhood boys that I was deathly allergic to crickets. In the summertime, my neighbor Bond would pick them screaming from the trees in his yard and throw them at me. “I’M ALLERGIC,” I would shout as I ran back to my driveway.
Soon after that age, it just became a cheap trick for boys’ attention. I recall telling people that Michael Jackson was my cousin. I would carry my my Fisher-Price cassette player around the neighborhood blaring “They Don’t Care About Us” feeling the emotion and anger of every line, because we were blood.
I told a boy in my 5th grade class that I owned every book in the Goosebumps collection. I told kids on the playground that my aunt would stay up late to watch QVC so she could snag those very rare beanie babies for me (something she in fact did do, but they were typically not very rare, and they were for her own daughters). I logged onto those early AOL chatrooms proclaiming I was 15/f/FL, when in fact I was 11/f/TN.
My lies were quick and to the point with little to no other details divulged. I thought the life that these lies played out in was more interesting than mine and it took a while for me to figure out that I was just young, obscenely bored, and didn’t know that things would get better. I would have real stories to tell one day. And good ones at that.
At 27, I have stories that sometimes I think can’t possibly be true but they are, and they happened to me. I have stories about a young child like spirit that has followed me around my entire life, a story about my neighbor’s house burning down in the middle of the night while my nocturnal duplex-mate tried to put out the fire in her pink silk bathrobe and garden hose, endless stories about my paralyzing fear of the post office. I have stories from my time battling insomnia that caused me to have hallucinations so real that I thought I was losing my mind, stories of getting pulled over going 20-mph over the speed limit but getting let off with a warning because the cop just so happened to be the brother of my tattoo artist. I have stories of love at first sight.
These are my bar stories. The stories I yearned to have as a child to tell on the playground but had little to no life experience. These stories mostly make people laugh, which I found out as I got older was all that mattered to me. I didn’t need boys to like me and I didn’t need to fit in in every crowd, but I did need to know that I could make people laugh, make people think, make people feel. I wanted to know that I had an affect on someone’s life; that my stories mattered.
At 27, I know they do and those stories are mine to tell.