Truths And Lies As Told By My Family

“You have to finish your dinner.” – Grandparents, 1990 – present day

After years of exhaustive research, I can say with confidence that I, in fact, do not need to finish my dinner. I have left my dinner unfinished countless times over the years, and the universe did not implode.

Verdict: Lie.

“You do not need those expensive sneakers.” – Mom, 1993 – 2002

Despite preparing an infallible defense to counter this stubborn declaration (‘All of my friends have these sneakers, you’re just cheap’), mother’s opinion never wavered. She was maybe a bit too adamant on the unimportance of brand names. I will forever blame her for my black market purchasing of fake Nikes and for my ventures into illicit warehouses on Canal Street. Does she even know how many flights of rickety stairs I had to climb to buy those knock off Chanel purses? Either way, she was right. I do not need to become a brand whore to survive. I learned that after purchasing an authentic Coach bag, with my own hard-earned money.

Verdict: Truth.

“I won’t tell your dad.” – Mom, 1996

After my mom discovered the petty theft I’d engaged in for a year, I begged her not to tell my dad about it (who was on a business trip when I was caught stealing books from the Brooklyn Public Library).

Verdict: Truth. While my mom may have shared the story with her friends (after all, stealing the entire Babysitter’s Club series when it could have easily been borrowed at no cost is pretty ridiculous), my dad remains in the dark.

“I won’t tell your mom.” – Dad, 2003

After picking me up from the police station at 2 AM, I asked my dad not to tell my mom about the whole underage drinking, trespassing, police station thing. After all, my mom was in the hospital at the time, recovering from surgery – better not to stress her out. He agreed to keep it to himself.

Verdict: Lie. Good husband, lying dad.

“I don’t fart. I have never farted.” – Mom, 1997

Wouldn’t you know it? I actually believed this. Then I grew up and realized that being a Stylish Mom does not exempt you from passing gas.

Verdict: Vicious lies.

“You just need to do ten sit-ups a day.” – Sister, 2011

Prefacing this lie was another, “You don’t need to lose weight, you just need to tone.” When I asked my sister, who has the metabolism of a hummingbird, how anyone could consider ten sit-ups a day a work out, she responded, “It worked for me when I did it. But I don’t work out anymore.” Oh.

Verdict: My sister should befriend James Frey. LIES.

“You have to go to college.” – Dad, 2003

Apparently, I had to go to college to land the lucrative and prestigious title of ‘Hair Salon Receptionist’ (my first ‘career’ post-graduation). Attending college also earned me a cool 80K – in student loan debt.

Verdict: Jury’s still out. TC mark

image – Peter Galvin


More From Thought Catalog

  • Alex Thayer

    the concept of toning is a fallacy.  i can explain this further over coffee if you’re an attractive, single female.

  • Rachel Kae

    “If you lay down while eating you’re going to morph into an alligator” -Mom
    I believed her until I reached the 3rd grade. One day I tested this “alligator morphing” myth while laying down and eating cookies and what do u know, I was still human.

  • Brian McElmurry

    It’s ok for mom not to tell dad, but dad has to tell mom. You know how women are, “You never tell me anything.” “communication.” Men fear the women who feels she has not been properly communicated with, especially regarding their children.

    This was really sweet–esp. mom farting. College will prob workout

  • Anonymous

    My B.A. and M.A. earned me the esteemed title of “Massage Spa Receptionist.”  Verdict is still out on if the M.A. landed me the job…

  • face

    My grandmother used to tell me not to make faces because my face would become forever frozen in a freaky grimace. Naturally, i thought that it would be awesome to have a perma-grimace, so i spent many minutes focusing on achieving this throughout various stages of my childhood.

    Verdict: Lies. I still have a non-contorted face.

  • fj

    Best article in a while! Great job! 

  • soulunsold

    They say “Follow your heart,” and then (un? sub?)consciously contradict it.

    Verdict on this one?

  • Michael Koh

    Damn Steph, sorry to hear that.

  • NoSexCity

    If you want to clue a fellow cheapskate in on the best warehouses for knockoff Nikes and other fine wares, I wouldn’t hate. (But seriously, good breakdown.) Funny how mom didn’t rat you out but dad did…

  • AJ

    Win. You’ve beat out those bitches at gawker by becoming my fave writer in the past few weeks.

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