Lying Since ’96
I have spent the majority of my life lying. In fourth grade, Steve Irwin was my uncle and in fifth grade, my butt-chin was a self creation.
Lying varies in form, from directly speaking falsehoods to mirroring others’ lives as your own. The worse is lying to yourself, which may result from denial (ouch) or believing a spoken lie that’s just…been around for a while.
The earliest lie I recall telling was to a fellow first grade student. His name was Tyler and I recall creepily watching him sleep at nap time, envious of his beauty. He could have been Prince Charming from Shrek at age 6. (hehe)
Besides his appearance, I was also jealous he could pee standing up. It was little Tyler who taught me boys stood up to pee. So of course, I had to inform him girls could too. ALL of us! We could all pee standing up ‘if we wanted to’. I hadn’t even attempted it at this point, but I can proudly (and honestly) say I have and can now. I’d kill to tell Tyler.
Second grade was filled with nightmares and wetting the bed; I have little recollection of anything else from my second grade year. Third grade was the complete opposite, the most content I have ever been as a child. I completed work in an orderly, thorough fashion and had the best handwriting in class. I possessed a group of friends similar to the study group in Community, even. Minus the perverted jokes, feminism, racism, etc. (Though I do recall Hector asking me if his shoulder blades look like boobs when he pushed them out.)
I survived my way to the top of the elementary school food chain. I was…A FOURTH GRADER. It wasn’t all it was rumored to be, though. My fourth grade year brought Steve Irwin to me, he was a common cafeteria conversation topic. I remember mimicking Australian accents with my then-best-friend Miranda. It must have been so convincing because I was asked if I was Australia. My first opportunity for attention was upon me and dangit, I ran with it.
‘Kinda. My uncle is.‘ Silence. ‘Steven Irwin is my uncle.‘ Now slightly confused expressions. ‘…the Crocodile Hunter.‘
The lie grew with my little fourth grade status, I couldn’t believe the stunt I pulled. The next year when Steve Irwin passed away, I was even given a few murmured apologies. The guilt settled in, but pride settled deeper. I wasn’t going to undo anything I did.
In my hell-hole called fifth grade was the butt-chin lie. Basically, I have a cleft chin. I have called it my butt-chin for years after I was teased for having a ‘butt on my face’ or being ‘a butt-face’. Kids are mean, guys, pre-teens are even meaner. Along with however other million insecurities I had that year, there was my chin.
I had already attended my school photo shoot in boy clothes, dressed in camo for the only year of school photos we actually bought. A butt-chin didn’t exactly lighten the load. Self-conscious as I was, I simply address the teases with a lie. I explained my habit of pinching my chin, creating a fold in the middle. THAT is why I have a butt-crack on my face. It didn’t help the situation, but it made me feel okay about it the more I gave into believing the lie.
Fast forward to current day…
A couple days ago, I was asked to take the suburban to Firestone for an alignment the following day. I agreed and crawled into bed as every bit of information I was just told crawled into the smallest nook of my mind. The next morning I attempted to take the suburban to Discount Tire for a tire rotation.
Though I did not retain where and what I was suppose to do, I remembered two things. One, it was near the old Hastings. Two, it opened at 7am. ‘Easy.‘ I couldn’t recall any location near Hastings so I Googled it. ‘AHA.‘ Two locations, but only one opens at 7am. ‘Great deduction skills, Emelie.‘ I pulled it up on Google maps and went about the directions until I was told, ‘your destination is on the left‘ in the middle of…nowhere.
I am directionally challenged so I give myself lots of room for error in this arena. I went up and down the road eight times until I decided there wasn’t a Discount Tire there. I called Momma and she told me to visit the other location I am familiar with. I pulled up and requested that tire rotation I didn’t need.
‘No tire rotation.‘
‘Front left tire no good.‘
‘What do you mean?‘
‘Too thin on the inside, needs to be replaced. $174.‘
‘HAHAHAHA-ok. I need to call my mother.‘
She told me to just get it done anyway, we can deal with the tire later.
‘We’ll get a new tire soon, but let’s go ahead with the rotation.‘
‘Can’t do a rotation, tire is no good. Sorry.‘
‘YOU BETTER BE SORRY YOU LITTLE-’ ‘Okay, how long will it last?‘
I returned to Momma who is TRYING to work between my phone calls. She called Daddy who informs her I was instructed to go to Firestone for an alignment, not Discount Tire for a tire rotation. In tears, I pulled out of Discount Tire and into the Firestone parking lot…the parking lot neighbored to the old Hastings’.
And on my drive home from there, I made a connection. That day, I wandered for hours simply because I did not listen to simple instruction. My entire life has been this giant scavenger hunt for nothing in particular. I am wandering around without any purpose in mind, completely lost and discontent as result. All because I have not taken heed to who I am as a person and the possibilities of what I could do if I were to just follow that.
Instead of living my own life, I have been peeking into others’. More than just a peek, though. I have been taking chunks to try and replica, obsessing over every life outside my own. Day dreaming for hours upon hours about standing in others’ shoes and possessing their pasts and future.
I left my own life and the possibilities of what is to come. I neglected myself and everything I can and cannot do. Whether or not this is in denial of my own abilities or blindness to them…I cannot be lost anymore. I’m crying as I drive along these fake lives I’m ‘living’, my perception of those day dreams are fogged by the fact I am not suppose to be there and I KNOW it!
So I’m drawing that line.
That bold line between inspiration and obsession. I am taking back my life and coloring it in, embracing my own being.