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Posts Tagged ‘lies’

Mama Knows

Yesterday, while discussing lies and liars with Kim, we both mentioned that moms always know when their kids are lying. It made me think about how my mom could always guess when one of us was lying and then she would trick them into admitting the lie.

For example, one summer my brothers were working picking apricots in one of the many orchards in the area (I grew up in San Jose, California where there were once many orchards with apricots. prunes, peaches, and other delicious fruits). Every morning they would leave together and in the late afternoon, they would return one by one as they would take their time getting a ride home with various friends. After a couple of weeks, my mom noticed that my brother, David, was not wearing the beat up clothes that he should be wearing for working in the fields and then when he got home, his clothes were clean and in perfect condition, unlike that of my other two brothers who would arrive home with dirty clothes and dusty shoes after working all day picking fruit. She figured that David was not going to work. He was probably spending the time with his girlfriend. So one day, she asked him why his clothes were not dirty when he got home from work like that of his brothers. David’s answer: “I work clean.” She let it go and then the next morning as the boys were getting ready to leave for work (my father would take them and drop them off on his way to work) my mom said to David “Say hi to Mara for me!” (Mara was his girlfriend). He didn’t even flinch. He just smiled and said, “Okay. I will.” And off he went. It wasn’t until he was in the car with my brothers that he realized that she had caught him! He went to work every day after that.

Another time, my mom grew curious as to why the jewelry store catalog was coming to the house addressed to David. She got to thinking and figured that he had spent his summer work money on a ring for his girlfriend. So one afternoon when David got home from school, (he was in ninnth grade so about 15) my mom asked David, “So did Mara like the ring you bought for her?” David smiled and excitedly said, “Oh yeah! She really likes it. She wears it every day!” And then it hit him. He was caught again!

So see, no one could lie to my mom and get away with it. Is it any wonder that I grew up not wanting to lie even if it would save me?

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Tall Tales

My dad has always been inventive or creative. He could tell us stories that would keep us hypnotized listening to his voice. Many of his stories were told to show us why we shouldn’t misbehave or maybe why we should behave. We heard about how his life had been tough growing up without a dad in a tiny village in Chihuahua, Mexico. He told us how his mother, who had no husband in the house, would take him to one of her brothers to whip when he misbehaved. He told us about how he would have to walk with his mother for several blocks to his Tio Martin’s house, knowing all along that he was about to get whipped. And then he would have to walk back, with a sore bottom and lots of tears. He told us that before long, he learned to stuff his pants with newspapers or cloth of something that would lessen the whipping. Then one day, he couldn’t find anything to stuff into his pants. His mother was yelling at him to hurry up or she would come and drag him by the neck so he grabbed the first thing he could…a mirror…and stuffed it in his pants, only to find out what a bad idea that was with the very first stroke of the whip when the mirror shattered and the shards cut his bottom!

I haven’t seen my father in some years. I think the last time I saw him was in June of 2010. My sister, who saw him more recently was telling me one day that although he is suffering from dementia and is not always lucid, he is still telling stories. She told me about one time a few years ago when he found a trophy at a Goodwill store. It was some kind of flying trophy with an airplane up on top. He bought it and took it to an engraving shop and had them make a plate for it with his name and some invented “facts” and then had them replace the original plate with the fake one, which made him look like he was an accomplished pilot.

My sister says that if that was not bad enough, it seems that he got to believing his own lie because he told her that when he was out having a beer at a bar, he was telling the bartender and anyone that would listen that he had flown fighter planes in “the war”. My dad has never been in the military nor does he know how to fly a plane. He next claimed to the captive audience that he had lived in Europe for many years and that he spoke four languages besides English (he only speaks English and Spanish). After entertaining everyone at the bar for a while, a man came up and sat next to him and asked him where in Europe he had lived and my dad answered that he had lived in Spain and in France. As he was about to add other countries to that, the man asked him where in France and my dad listed a couple of cities. The man began speaking to him in a foreign language and my dad didn’t have any clue what the man was saying so he just nodded and smiled. Then the man asked him why he wasn’t responding to his questions and my dad said he hadn’t quite understood that language. When the man said he was speaking in French and that my dad should have understood him, my dad very quickly paid his tab and mumbled something about not understanding that “dialect of French” and off he went just as fast as he could, forgetting that he should be limping and using his cane!

I guess this was a harmless lie. He was trying to build himself up in front of the guys at the bar but as lies usually do, this backfired on him!

See? I guess I come by my creativity honestly! No. I’m not a liar. I only followed the positive parts of the creativity example!

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Inspired by KimLHines post on her blog.

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Grandma’s Sandals

[Note: My grandmother is 97. Yesterday I got word that she has very little time left. Funeral arrangements have been made. I am flying out to Texas later today. This is a story I wrote about the times my grandma used to visit us when I was a little girls. It is part of a collection of short stories. I am posting it here to share a little of my grandma with you. I hope you enjoy it.]

Every year, in the summertime, my grandmother comes to visit us all the way from Texas, where she lives.My grandfather drives her to the bus station in Texas and three days later, we go to the bus station here, to wait for her and to bring her home with us.She stays for two or three weeks and then she is gone again, til the next summer. (more…)

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