Lies I Have Told
By Megan Boyle
“Lived there for three and a half years,” “Two one-year relationships,” “Vegetarian for six years”
I went to school in Chicago for two and a half years, and only lived there during the school year. Both relationships were eleven months long, maybe technically shorter because we would break up for week or month-long periods. I ate tuna fish or McDonald’s chicken sandwiches at least once a year during those six years.
“I don’t care what happens on my birthday.”
“I’m not one of those girls who is weird about her body image.”
“Porn is so gross.”
My first boyfriend looked at porn a lot. He had strange attachments to certain female porn stars and I felt jealous. One night I found naked pictures of his ex-girlfriend on his computer. I knew all of his passwords. I would look at his email accounts and web history to find “dirt” on him, then I would confront him and he would deny that he had watched porn or emailed his ex-girlfriend. Then I would show him the proof I had. I would lecture him and he would cry. I looked at porn a lot, too.
“I never thought I could love someone this much.”
Said this to the same boyfriend one night while sitting in the caboose of the el train in Chicago. It was near the end of our relationship. I told him that when I used to feel sad and lonely, I would sit in the caboose of a train and ride it for hours, listening to music and imagining what it would be like to have someone I loved sitting next to me. It seemed like he wanted me to say something else after telling that story, so I did.
For about four years, I’ve been telling people I hate sour cream. One time I sent back nachos because they had sour cream on them. I started saying this because a friend I admire hates sour cream. I told him I hated it too so we could have a funny thing in common.
If someone asks me where I bought something I’m wearing, I will usually say I don’t remember.
“I don’t really know what I’m looking for right now.”
I’m looking for a 2-5 year long relationship with a man similar enough to me so we feel like we have a special, secret kind of bond, but different enough so we have things to talk about. Hopefully he has gone through a severe depression but is not currently severely depressed. An interest in writing, reading, literature, and/or existential philosophy is important, though I feel stupid saying that. Doesn’t have to be much taller than me, but definitely not shorter or fatter. Atheist or agnostic. Likes to spend time apart. Likes to go on car trips without destinations. Wouldn’t call himself an “activist” or spend long amounts of time with people who call themselves “activists.” Probably doesn’t like dancing, bars, or sports. Quiet, but not boring. Laughs easily. Doesn’t take me or him or life in general seriously, yet has a capacity to earnestly experience emotions, and is aware of this paradox. Average sex drive. Gives compliments. Dark hair is good. Would probably not like it that I have written all of these things down about what I want him to be like, but would also understand and later make fun of me for doing it. Eventually I’d like to get an apartment together.
“I don’t want to have kids.”
Pretty sure I do, even though I don’t really like or understand them. Seems too lonely not to have them.
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It’s unfortunate, but we’re creatures of habit and we’ll hold onto our convictions until we’re literally forced to stop.
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