I have a confession to make, so I figured "Hey, why not confess my personal business on the internet to complete strangers?" It's cheaper than therapy plus I won't have the added stress of having to see the look of complete shock in your eyes as I have seen in the eyes of so many white coat wearing therapists.
The look is typically followed by the sound of pages flipping wildly in their therapist how-to manuals as they search for the answer to the question I've just asked them, "If a talking monkey dressed like Marilyn Monroe came to me in my dreams and sang, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" while mixing Duncan Hines cake batter and holding a sparkler, why do I hate my Mother?"
I'll take The Rapists for $500, Alex. (If you don't get that, you are seriously deficient in your SNL watching and should stop what you're doing right now and catch up.)
OK. As promised, here's my confession...
I am a liar. That's right, I said it. A big, fat liar. If I were a little piggy, I'd lie, lie, lie all the way home. If there were a nation called Liar Land, I would be the sovereign ruler and wear both a crown and a sash.
It's true. I wouldn't lie to you.
Before you get all, "Wow! Let's condemn her and throw stones at her and make her wear a scarlet L on her shirt like Laverne!", I should clarify. I don't lie about everything. I am a selective liar. I only lie about things that pertain to me. (And yeah, everything pertains to me.)
If you ask me if the sky is blue, and it is in fact blue, I will answer yes, the sky is blue. Conversely, if you call my cell and ask me how I'm feeling and I say, "fine", it's likely I'm standing on the edge of a tall, tall cliff wondering whether or not I've got the guts to spread my imaginary wings and fly.
I used "conversely" in a sentence. I've always wanted to do that.
Anyway, my ability to smile pretty and lie through my teeth has served me well through the years. "Sher, do you take this man for better or for worse, in sickness and in health until SOMEBODY DIES?"
"Yes. Oh yes I do! You betcha. Now when you say somebody has to die, do you mean literally or does dying a little on the inside every single day for years and years count?"
It's also helpful when Mr. Man calls home. "Hello wife. How are you today?"
"Peachy. Couldn't be better. Fabulous, even." Because I am oh so skilled, he has no idea I have spent the entire day eating cookie dough and listening to the world's saddest opera loud enough to drown out low flying airplanes.
I go through life sucking in my tummy, saying I'm fine when I'm a crumbling mess of emotion and wearing a wild , plastered on smile that is faintly reminiscent of a serial killer.
I hate me and I am really getting tired of myself. I want to quit, but since the first step is admitting I have a problem and I know I'll lie to anyone that asks me if I'm lying, I'm doomed.
Fortunately, there is one person on the face of the earth that I can't lie to, so I am able to maintain some degree of sanity. For reasons I do not understand, she gets the real me, yucky tummy and all. She knows I drink milk right out of the carton, burp like a drunken wrestler at least several times a day and laugh until I snort whenever I see a sign outside a convenience store that says, "Cigarettes and Money Orders". (Seriously, who would be driving down the road and suddenly become inexplicably persuaded by that signage to smoke and send someone money? "Pull in that Stop-N-Go, Marge. That cigarette and money order combination special is simply too good to pass up.")
The one person I can trust to love me burping and all is my Berta Lou. My tilt-a-whirl loving, red-headed, sneaky, barbecue chicken chunk eating, bestest friend in the whole world. Sometimes, especially lately, I really feel sorry for the girl. While everyone else in the world gets the cleaned up, half way sane version of me, she has to deal with the blubbering, completely insane, obsessive-compulsive version that I feel safe to unleash only on her.
She's often the only thing that keeps me from putting on a pretty dress and laying down in the middle of the street. When I call her at three in the morning without so much as a hello and say, "I'm about to do something stupid" she knows me well enough to say, "step away from the scissors".
When I ask, "Can I run away?" she asks no questions but simply says I can, so long as I come get her on my way out of town. I always laugh and unpack my Wal-Mart bag luggage.
Mr. Man and I actually had an argument once because I told him I was convinced that if I killed a human being who deserved killing, chopped him up into little bite-sized pieces with a paring knife and served him for lunch Fried Green Tomatoes style, Berta Lou would lie under oath to protect me. "No way," said Mr. Law Man. "She'd have to tell the truth and you know it."
"You're right of course, Husband," I said. "Hey, I'm in the mood for barbecue. Would you sharpen my good knife?"
Berta Lou laughs at me when I need laughing at, cries with me when I need a crying buddy and is the only person that has ever noticed I make it a habit to flirt with waiters to ensure they don't spit in my food. She is my constant friend and even though I'm not Catholic, she's my priest. I love her awful and if I ever wake up rich and famous, I will take her on a world tour of the most famous tilt-a-whirls in all the land and we will eat frosting for breakfast and wear Girl Scout vests covered with the various and assorted badges we've earned living life.
Pack your bags, Berta Lou. I'm putting on my running shoes and that ain't no lie.
Copyright © 2004-2005, Sherri Bailey
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