Wednesday, July 31, 2013

an unreliable narrator

Trust the tale, not the teller.     
                   - D. H. Lawrence

There's something you should know about me: I am miserable at bullshit. Both giving and receiving. Mine is no kind of poker face. And I'll believe anything.

One day when I was in college, my mother gave me a ride to campus. We were listening to a CD of the Impressions' greatest hits, and I spontaneously exclaimed, "Their music is so uplifting! It always makes me feel inspired." Mom looked serious and said soberly, "In reality, some very depressed people. Alcoholics."

My face fell. "Really?"

"No," she said with a smirk, as she glanced at me sideways.

Because that is how this little song-and-dance goes. Deceiving me is easy and also, apparently, funny as hell. Just ask my friends and family. At one point during a trip to D.C., my mother told me that our country's first president was buried under the Washington Monument, and when I cried afterwards in embarrassment, she felt bad because she never meant to be cruel. The fibs are always pointless, harmless things she doesn't really think I'll believe, anyway, and she doesn't let me sit in ignorance for more than a couple of seconds before revealing the trick. I think part of the fun is hearing me bellow, "Damn it!" as I do most of the time when I find out I've been had.