Yesterday I was goofing around on Twitter (I know, big surprise there!) and I started tweeting the hashtag #2truthsandalie. I’m not going to lie, it was a hoot. Have you played this classic “ice breaker” game? The rules are simple: tell two truths and one lie about yourself and the rest of the group then has to guess which one is the lie.
The trick is making the lie so plausible that your audience can’t tell which is the truth and which is the lie.
The first time I played Two Truths and a Lie was a few years ago at a youth event. We were divided into groups by birth month and so I sat on a carpeted floor at 9 o’clock at night with my fellow Libras. It quickly became apparent that not all folks are good liars. For example one young man’s offering was “My name is Brian and I have two sisters, a Golden Retriever and a pterodactyl.” Now sure, he could have been fooling us with a toy pterodactyl but since we knew he came with his identical twin sisters and there was long golden fur stuck all over his black sweater, odds were in our favor of working it out.
So yesterday I tweeted a handful of #2truthsandalie and had so much fun I figured I would continue the fun over here today. After all, I am typically a great liar. Besides, my other option was a blog about man-boobs. Who knows, maybe Monday’s Missive will be about man-boobs — you’ll have to come back to find out. My mind is a scary place indeed. Just for kicks, I’m going to group them by themes even though the purpose of the game is to be more general because, ya know, it’s a “get to know you” game.
- I have colored my hair red, brown, and black.
- When I get a manicure, I choose either a French manicure, red or burgundy.
- I can roll my tongue, wiggle my ears, and whistle.
- I lettered in basketball, track, and volleyball.
- I have sunbathed nude in Jamaica, Hawaii, and the Cote D’Azur.
- At a steak place, I would order either a NY steak, rib eye, or filet mignon.
- When it comes to seafood, I love shrimp, crab, and mussels.
- I have eaten steak tartare, haggis, and vegemite.
- If I go out for drinks, I would order a Sidecar, a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Grigio.
- My first kisses with a boys went badly because I sneezed just before contact, I was pooped on by a bird, and I turned my head.
- I have driven in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.
- I earned a “B+” in college in Biology, Creative Writing, and Sociology.
- Three people (not myself) have vomited in my hair: my daughter, my husband, and my best friend in elementary school.
- On my first car, I changed my own tires, spark plugs, and oil.
- In my Easter basket, the order I ate my candy was peanut butter eggs, malted eggs, jelly beans.
- I like vichyssoise, gazpacho, and borscht.
- As a slave to fashion, I have owned Levis, Abercrombie, and Guess.
- I’ve never drank a glass of pilsner, Guiness, or hefeweizen.
- When I worked in a cannery, I made blueberry jam, strawberry ice cream topping, and mixed berries for smoothies.
- I have been paid to shear sheep, watch plays, and sous chef.
Well there ya go, 40 inane bits of trivia about myself and 20 delicious little lies. Can you tell the difference? Oh and Mister Soandso, you have to wait until later to prove how well you know me. After 21 years of being together and me telling stories for nearly all of it, he may have an unfair advantage.
I guarantee that he’ll miss some. And it won’t be because he hasn’t been listening to all my stories or because he isn’t smart. Because he has and he is. But some of these lies are close enough to the truth that they will deceive him. And some of them are from parts of my life he never thought to pay attention to or wasn’t around for.
But most importantly, its because I’m a pretty decent liar. I know that shouldn’t be a source of pride and it isn’t, really. But I got really good at living behind a veil of half-truths — stories close enough to the truth that no one questioned their validity. Now I tend to live on the other side of reality’s veil. But it is a skill I still retain.
Which means I love stories and making up two truths and a lie about myself, the people in my novels, the people on the street. To be a writer and a comic is to tell many little lies until they become the truth.
How about you? What lies have you told long enough that you actually believe them now? That is was the other person’s fault? That you did enough? That you are too fat to deserve to be treated with dignity? That you aren’t smart enough to be taken seriously? That you are alone because you’ve done something wrong? That tomorrow will be better because it isn’t today? That “there” is better than “here”? That you don’t make a difference?
We are all liars. It is just that some lies are grounded in truth. And some are just lies.
So go on. Tell me some lies. And I will tell you the truth.
I need you because you give me reasons to live on this side of the veil of reality.