Our Kids Are Just Recycling the Same Ol’ Lies We Told Our Parents

LiarI’m not much of a Twitter-er, but hashtags are the funniest. That’s the one thing I do enjoy about that site — the hilarious stuff people can get across in 140 characters or less. So when I saw #LiesIveToldMyParents, I was all giggles. Isn’t it interesting how no matter the difference in our backgrounds, households, folks’ parenting styles, we still managed to come up with the same dried up, inauthentic fibs when we were teenagers?

My all-time favorite? “I’m five minutes away.” That one is the money shot. I remember standing outside a club that was like 45 minutes from home — I had been forbidden from going in the first place, mind you — swearing to Mommy that I was about to pull into the driveway. Then gunshots rang out, which was specifically why my mom told me I couldn’t go, and all I remember thinking was, “Please don’t let me die because then she’ll know I lied about that five minutes.”


I could envision my mother frowning down at my casket, shaking her head and everything. I couldn’t go out with my memory being tarnished as a mom law-defy-er. 

Isn’t it also funny that, despite technological advances and new-age thingamajigs, kids really think they’re doing something new and different when they spit the same flimsy, foolish untruths right back at us? I tell the girl all the time: There ain’t nothin’ new under the sun — especially not that dried up lie you just tried to sell me. One day she’ll believe that I really do know everything. Only because there’s a 90 percent chance that anything she tries to get away with, I either already did and failed or am still hiding from my own mama.

The thing is, parents just have to figure out what their kid's tell is. I've been sniffing out tells for years on boyfriends, so that experience and expertise came plum in handy once I became a mom. If you don't know what a tell is, watch an episode of Lie to Me. I love, love, love that show. He'll bust anybody out just because they twitch their lip or flutter their eyes. Even an expert fibber has a certain thing they do when they tell tales.

The Girl, thank goodness, is not an expert. She gives herself away super easy every single time just by getting flustered and stumbling over her words. When it comes to lying, she's the basic package. I never want her to get to deluxe.

But man oh man, these replies brought back some fond, harried, high-intensity memories, especially because me and my hardheaded self was always somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. That and the fact that mom was not afraid to call somebody's house. Even if I would've had a cellphone back then — I think I was about 16 when I got my first one — she would've bypassed me and my stammering, long-winded diatribes to speak to an adult in the house. And that was a problem, considering sometimes no adult was where I wasn’t supposed to be.

But she always got to the bottom of it all, and she would never let me know up front that she knew I was lying. She’d let it simmer for a little while and then ask me a series of questions that gave me a nice, long rope to hang myself with. Yes indeedy. Big Marie was the original investigative journalist.

So for all the broken curfews, all the make-believe sleepovers, all the fantasy illnesses I’ve survived in order to score free absences from schools, The Girl better come correct or don’t come at all. I’m prepared.

You already knew where this was headed: what were some of your classic lies to your parents? And more importantly, did you get away with whatever you were lying about?


Image via Katie Tegtmeyer/Flickr

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