I recently discovered I live with a pathological liar. I’m sorry to have to report it’s me. Not me, but my alter ego “me.” I don’t think of her as a liar, per se, rather as a misdirected, eternal optimist. She means well. Wait a minute! Was that me who said that, or did she?
There’s a Fleetwood Mac song with the lyrics, “Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies.” And yes, that is what she is so good at. Sweet. Little. Self-serving lies. After a few decades (and a few more we won’t acknowledge) you’d think I’d be on to her by now. If she were anyone else, I would have booted her out the door years ago. But then, she is kind of likeable, and definitely positive and upbeat. I’ll admit she’s fun to have around.
“One bite-that’s all,” I say—whether it’s a chip or a cookie, or a bite of chocolate pie. Then, wham! The next thing I know, I’m reeling in a near-drunken stupor, holding an empty chip bag, or surrounded by cookie crumbs, or a dessert plate that’s been licked clean. “Oh, well, it’s okay,” she pipes up. “I’m starting my diet first thing tomorrow.” Huh, we are? Oh, yeah. I guess I am.
“Darn. I really don’t have time for the gym today,” I say. “It’s okay,” she says. “I’ll just double up on my workout tomorrow.” Right. I hope she starts without me.
“Got to run to the grocery store. I’ll be right back,” I say. “I only need one thing,” she chimes in. An hour later I’m back, and after three trips of lugging a ton of bulging grocery bags from the car up the front steps, she says, “Well, I got my work out done today, after all.” See what I mean? What’s not to love about that logic?
“Wow. Look at this beautiful squash I got at the farmers market,” I say. “I can’t wait to cook it,” she says. But where is she a couple of weeks later when I’m cleaning out the refrigerator. “Oh, yuck,” I say. “What is this fuzzy, slimy glob in the produce drawer?” Total silence. Not a peep out of her. Traitor.
“I just want to take a quick look at Facebook,” I say. “I won’t be but a second,” she adds. That is a bold-faced lie that even I can see through. She is hopelessly addicted, and I can never pull her away from the screen. Never. Ever.
“This closet is such a disaster. I can’t take it. Everything goes. If it doesn’t fit, I must evict,” I vow. “I can’t get rid of this outfit,” she says. “I love this outfit. I just need to lose a couple of pounds. I’m starting my diet tomorrow.” I think that’s what she said last week, and the week before.
“Oh man. This credit card is out of control. That’s it,” I say, “I’m not charging anything else until it’s paid off in full.” “But I need something to wear to the party,” she blurts out. “Everything will be okay, I promise. I just need this one little thing and after that I won’t charge anything else. Nothing. Nada. Promise.” Right. Tell that to the bankruptcy judge.
“I am so tired. I just can’t face this kitchen mess tonight,” I moan. “No problem,” she offers. “I’ll go to bed now. I’ll get up early in the morning. I can clean it up then.”
“Oh, and I don’t feel like flossing tonight,” I whine. “It’s okay,” she says. I can floss in the morning.” “Wait,” I say. “This morning, didn’t I say I was going floss tonight?” “No. No. That was yesterday morning,” she assures me. “Oh, okay,” I say, but I know better.
“Rats! I’m late for the Life Is Good Magazine deadline, again. I feel awful,” I say. “That’s really bad,” she agrees. “But I’ll do better next time. I’ll start my new story tomorrow.” Yup. Heard that before, too.
You see. She’s incorrigible. Hopeless. I don’t know what to do with her. “Yeah, but without me, I might actually have to get something done for a change.”
Enough of that. Be quiet.