I am, quite possibly, the worst liar in the whole wide world.
Last week, we did a little quiz with a couples group from our church, and one of the questions was something like, “What’s one thing you appreciate about your spouse?” and my husband answered, “She’s always honest.” And it’s true. We’ve been married for almost 22 years, and he knows: I just don’t lie.
I even suck at telling benign fibs, like pulling someone’s leg with a joke, or planning a surprise party. If I even try to fool my husband about something, I turn into a giggling eight-year-old.
In fact, there’s only one area of my life where I fling all honesty to the wind. When it comes to exercising, I lie to myself like a politician with a fishing story. It’s the only way I can get my butt out the door.
I may have mentioned (a time or six) that I am now forty and have had two babies in the last five years. So, you know, my body has kind of set sail on the Good Ship Lag & Pop. (Fun new development: if I go for a run and do arm exercises in the same day, I have to Advil-up before bed, or I wake up at 2:00am with aching muscles.)
Also, I am just basically a tired person.
Also, I never did have much stamina, even when I was young.
So I’ll be sitting there on the couch, knowing I need to go for a run, and just the thought of going upstairs and putting on my t-shirt and sweats, and fetching my shoes, makes me want to close my eyes, count to 5000, and eat some licorice whips. And so, the lies begin.
You are an international spy, I tell myself, and you are going to be called out on assignment tomorrow, and James Bond may or may not be picking you up in a speedboat, and you may or may not have to wear a bikini.
Do you know how motivating the thought of a bikini is?
Well (you might be thinking), can’t you just tell yourself you’ll be wearing one this summer, in real life?
Ah, my friend. First of all, I haven’t worn a bikini in years, and secondly, summer is months away and you are underestimating my level of exhaustion.
No, I have to resort to fictional scenarios. Fortunately, I have been inventing stories (in my head) since I was a little girl, and if I can’t make one up, I steal one from a movie I’ve recently seen. It’s quite easy, really, to insert yourself into any plotline at all.
Thus I have, at various times, imagined myself as a half-human/half-elf who is getting ready to battle orcs, a plain ole human who is getting ready to battle orcs, a human who is going up against all the forces of Mordor (yes, I went through a long Lord of the Rings phase), a spy hunting down Carlos the Jackal, a pirate, a villager going into medieval battle, a secret service agent…
Obviously, any of these people would need to be ready for action, at a moment’s notice.
I don’t carry these story lines very far, of course. (It’s not like I’m out barking at the moon every night.) I just have the ideas sort of vaguely floating around in my head, just enough to get me out the door and down the block.
You never know, I tell myself, what’s coming up next week/month/year. (And really, what’s so untrue about that?)
Once I’m well into my run, I have to concoct some different lies. Just go to the end of this block, and then you can stop, I say. And then, of course, when I get to the end of the block, I move the goalposts. Okay, just to that mailbox up there…
Sometimes, I imagine my Dad standing off to the side with a stopwatch, frowning and hollering. (Yes, my Dad was my track coach. Yes, this really happened – often. Yes, this incentive still works on me.)
Look, I have to do these things. While I have friends who love running beyond reason, who cannot wait to get outside and lace up their running shoes, that has never been me. The first twenty minutes of running are horrid for me, almost every time.
I have to get out that door. And Exhausted-40-Year-Old-Mommy-Of-Toddlers does not, quite frankly, have enough energy to drag herself out several times a week, and move her legs quickly, for a really long time.
That chick can flippin’ MOVE her butt.
Works every time.
Can you think of any other “good lies”?