If there has been one constant in my life, it would be the lies that I have been fed – regularly and casually by members of my family. Usually they were innocent enough and mostly just off handed jokes that I was gullible enough to fall for. I genuinely believed for a long time that my grandma was a witch. Not JUST because my Mum (her daughter in law) would call her ‘that witch of a woman’ (kidding, they have a great relationship, though there was that one time that my Mum, in her early 20s called the incredibly proper, lovely woman who was to be her mother in law ‘fuckle features’ to her face – but that’s a story for another time). No, I genuinely believed that my grandmother was a witch because there was this HILARIOUS in joke in my family about it. I have literally no idea where it came from because that woman is as God loving as they bloody well come however for some insane reason apparently she was a witch, complete with her very own broom featuring handle bars and a bike seat. I shit you not. So there I was, all of eight years old, waiting to be handed a wand and taught the ways of people and I’m sure you can imagine how bloody disappointed I was, age eleven when I never did receive my letter from Hogwarts. Damn.
I literally had no hope though – turns out liars have been in my family for generations. My great grandparents fudged the date on their marriage certificate. When cleaning out the house after my great grandfather had passed away, my Mum and my aunties found the marriage certificate in question, complete with poorly applied whiteout placed strategically over the date, altering the date of their marriage by two months. How they thought that they could get away with it is beyond me. I get it, it was a different time, photoshop wasn’t a thing, but shit, Nanna Jarrett must have really been on another planet to think she could sneak that one on by. Even if she had been able to do a half decent job using the stationary her plan would have been thwarted by anyone with a half decent grasp of MATHS and MONTHS. My grandpa was born suspiciously soon after the hastily organised wedding date – that’s all I’m saying team.
The lies carried on though, I recall finding a ultrasound picture at my aunties when I was nine. “OH MY GOD YOU’RE HAVING A BABY” I shrieked. “No” she calmly replied, “The cat’s pregnant” which was a weird coincidence because a couple months later my auntie was married and not long after I had a new cousin. Furthermore, the cat suspiciously never had any kittens. EVER.
I’m no innocent bystander here though; I was a mean, mean terrible sister. I lied to my brother heaps. The most memorable, I will never live down. The tale goes as such; I was six years old, nagging my Mum to take my brother and I to the local kindy fete. Nagging, nagging and nagging some more. I do not blame my Mother for what happened next, she was not an irresponsible parent, I was just a really shit child. She snapped and without thinking said; “why don’t you just walk then?”
So off I went, to scrounge up some change (approximately $5) and find my four year old brother so that I didn’t have to walk alone. This was before my brother became a bad ass rule breaker (that didn’t happen until he was at least seven) so I needed to tell a half truth (LIE) to get him to come along. I knew that mum didn’t actually want us to walk. I was smart enough to understand sarcasm, but I still wanted to go, so I just told my darling innocent baby (like actually he was pretty much still a baby) brother that Mum had said it was okay.
Flash forward 45 minutes, Mum notices we’re missing, Dad finds us about 2kms away wandering down Greenhill Road and Mum learned that sarcasm isn’t an ideal parenting technique. I never actually revealed (until now) that I purposely lied to make this happen – so I guess my whole life has been a lie?
I’ll leave you with this though and that is, sometimes lies are important – or half truths at least. I wish my mum hadn’t told me the truth of how she found out she was pregnant with me, how, after a booze filled weekend in Melbourne she returned to Adelaide and thought “hmmm maybe I am up the duff”, did the test and a few months later – hello, Alicia’s here! It’s all good, I mean she was married, to my Dad (though if she wasn’t that would have been fine – no judgement, obviously) however what I wish she had lied about (a little) was the vomiting in gutters level drinking that she achieved just prior to finding out that she was with child. I mean sure, I’m proud of her, she’s the lady that truly taught me how to party but it’s just that, every time something weird happens in my life, every time my brain is a little bit erratic and I feel unnecessarily violent I wonder if I can blame it on my Mum. Rather than just accepting my own personal failures like a normal person. So Mum, while I love you insane amounts, I wish that one time you had lied because now there is always going to be a little bit of me that feels like I genuinely can blame you for my failings.