I’ve made it clear that I have no qualms about lying to my children. What I might not have revealed was that I also have a tendency to tell the occasional white lie to adults. One could say that I’m an equal opportunity liar. Below, check out my favorite lies to tell fellow adults. Not that I have ever lied to anyone reading this. These are lies I tell other people.
I’m a Social Drinker
This one is told to my doctor when asked, “How frequently do you drink alcohol?” and is often followed by an awkward fumbling of my words that goes something like this: “Oh, you know, like just socially. Like, if I’m out for dinner, or, you know, like a glass of wine with dinner, like just, like a glass or two of wine during the week, maybe a few glasses a week, I’m not sure the exact number. Yeah, I guess you could say I’m a social drinker.” All the while my internal monologue is saying, “Why are you still talking? Stop talking! Now she’s assuming you are an alcoholic. She’s going to give you a pamphlet if you don’t shut up. What have you done?!” This is not to say I’m passing out with my wine glass every night (that’s just an invitation for spills, and there will be no wine wasting on my watch), but the word “social” is a bit of a stretch here. “Social” implies that I am surrounded by other adults, perhaps clad in a cocktail dress and chatting about
Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne the latest episode of Orange is the New Black, not that I am rocking faded, stretched out yoga pants and drinking wine while hiding from my two small children.
My Children Have Extremely Dry Skin
I like to pull out this one when I notice that one of my kids is rocking a marker streak across her arm for the third day in a row. I hate giving my kids baths. Whether it’s because they don’t want to get in, don’t want to get out, or both, someone always cries. Plus, our water pressure has the same velocity of the spittle exiting an 8-year-old lisper’s mouth, meaning the hair-washing process – every child’s favorite part of bath time – takes no less than 15 minutes per child. Basically, bath time always results in Mama yelling (on a bad day) or forcing herself to take several meditative deep breaths (on a good day). So I lie and claim that my children have exceptionally dry skin, and that a daily cleansing would be detrimental to their health and comfort, when really it’s just detrimental to Mama’s emotional well-being.
We Choose Adult Babysitters Because They’re More Responsible
When I was eleven, strangers used to hire me to babysit their four children, which typically included a baby. Nowadays, the PTA would have you arrested for leaving your children with anyone other than an adult whose background check reflected a lack of criminal history, a laundry list of personal and professional references, and a decent credit score. I can smugly report that our amazing babysitter is an adult with a degree in childhood education (a certification which, incidentally, comes with a state-mandated background check). You know why we really hire her? She has her own car. Which means that we don’t have anyone to drive home after dinner. I’m sorry, but asking a mom on a date night to not have a drink is like asking a fraternity to throw a party without a keg. That shit ain’t right. So, I pretend that my choice of babysitter is all about my parental responsibility, when, in fact, it’s so I can visit the gastropub up the street, unabashedly throw back a cocktail or three, stroll home with my husband, and watch our babysitter drive herself away.
Excuse the Mess
Like a size two mom who claims she constantly eats garbage and never works out, I get great satisfaction from standing in a tidy home and claiming that I haven’t cleaned at all. “Excuse the mess” typically passes my lips following a two-hour cleaning marathon. My husband and I would have most likely pulled a divide and conquer, which entails putting on a movie for the children and then each of us taking a floor of the house and attempting to scrub away the filth that has accumulated since our last cleaning…roughly 8 weeks prior. Inevitably, our cleaning frenzy ends with a house that looks…decent – like the state of a typical family’s house if you dropped by on a Tuesday evening. When people arrive to our home, I like to say, “Excuse the mess. We’ve just had such a busy day, we didn’t really have time to clean before anyone came over.” The hope is that our guests assume we live like regular people instead of filthy animals, when, in reality, our “sparkle and shine” is their midweek disheveled. If you drop over unannounced, don’t expect this lie. Expect us to be pretending not to hear you knocking while we feverishly try to shove all the laundry and toys into the nearest closet.