I am not a good liar or even that interested in lying. Now, before you assume that I'm the type to give away surprise parties or reveal what's under the wrapping paper before you open the gift, I'm not. That's an impulse control problem. I don't have that. But, when it comes to a meatier more significant lie, I am as see through as tissue paper because I just don't do well with fabrication. I am far too forgetful to remember my own story and I end up tripping myself up at some point. Honestly, I probably don't lie because I am too ego maniacal to knowingly do something that will result in failure.
The other problem that I have with lying is that one of my two kids has very finely tuned perception and is apt to call bullshit on me in every case where I try to use mom logic (ie. If you eat broccoli, you will grow big and strong) or little white lies (Fuggs are just as good as Uggs, they are made by the same factory). She cuts through my baloney like a laser, calls me out on it (usually in public) and makes me look dumb(er than I really am).
But there was this one time that I got over on her and my son in such a beautiful way that it goes into my personal lying hall of fame. This lie also had the added benefit of absurdity, giving me pants-pissing fits of laughter every time I think of it. Are you ready? I somehow managed to convince my children (9 and 6 at the time) that my husband, their father had been a world famous break dancer named Boogaloo Shrimp.
Now, those of you that remember the 80's will recognize this name as a mash up of the two main dancers from the movies Breakin and Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo - Shabadoo and Boogaloo Shrimp. These were no ordinary movies either, they were celluloid stinkers of such epic proportions that somewhere, some film teacher has to be screening them to film students as a cautionary tale.
I told my kids that he used to travel the country going to break dance competitions and that I would follow him from town to town, doing his hair and putting together his wardrobe. I knew I had them early into the story because they leaned in and listened with rapt attention, never pausing to fight even once. Then they asked questions, which I answered confidently and with great detail. I have to say, I was committed and I said my fiction with convition.
After that, I sat back for the payoff, which to me was just having my husband come down the stairs and say "So I'm a break dancer named Boogaloo Shrimp, huh?". That would have been enough to make this whole thing worthwhile. But no, the reward was far greater.
I guess I had forgotten that children being what they are, love to brag about their parents to other children and that those children turn around and tell their parents about the cool thing that they heard. So fast forward a couple of weeks and we are at a neighborhood barbecue. I walked up to the grill and as I put my plate out for a hamburger, our neighbor says to me (without a trace of irony) "So hubs used to be a break dancer? " I froze up, startled at the question and as soon as I looked him in the eye, I broke into a fit of hysterical laughter. I laughed so hard, I forgot about my hamburger and had to walk away to compose myself.
It wasn't until later in the evening, when I caught my husband giving me the stink-eye from the corner of the yard, that I realized that the bomb had finally been dropped on him. Seems he had spent the better part of the barbecue explaining to people that he was never this -
I'm pretty sure he still hates me a little for that one.