I Come From a Proud Family of Liars

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.

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This is me with my witch of a grandma (looks pretty innocent, doesn’t she?) at a dress up party.

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.

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My mum and her sisters, all born into a web of lies.

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?

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Look how cute we were (okay, the story in question happened a few years later than this photo)

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.

 

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Here’s a photo of my mum before I came into her life and made her cool. She is on the right at the front (the only lady in the picture…) and behind her…MY DAD!

 

I love you because you are a piece of shit.

I’m sorry to be the bitch that has to break it to you but your sole purpose on my Facebook feed is to make me feel better about myself. Not all of you lot – just you (points at the woman posting photos of her children as they suffer asthma attacks on the way to the hospital) and you (family member who keeps posting passive aggressive ‘look at me, look at me’ posts) and you (bloke who thinks starting your statuses with “I’m not a racist but…” makes what you’re about to say okay). Yeah – all you lot, you’re not my Facebook ‘friends’ because I like you, you’re just there because sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think “damn girl you really need to get your shit together” but then I turn away from the mirror, open up my laptop, peruse my Facebook feed and realise that actually I’m not the worst person to ever walk the face of this earth. Far from it in fact and that reminder is all thanks to you guys. Not once do I recall in my twenty five years, ever (and I could be wrong) donning black face, taking a whole heap of photos of myself doing so, posting it on the internet and then acting like it’s the least racist thing that’s ever happened in the history of the world (well yeah it’s not but it’s fairly shitty). No, I do not recall doing that. I do however have ‘friends’ who have and whilst I look at these people with disgust, shame and sadness, I also feel a little bit of affection. Not towards them exactly though but towards their sheer stupidity and general horribleness as a human. I love them just a little bit because they are there, as a constant and present reminder that no matter how dumb I am, no matter what stupid thing I do or say, no matter how shameful I was on the weekend when I got super super drunk and vomited on the window of the Apple store, I will never be so shitty as to dress in black face, let alone post a picture of it on the internet. Sometimes I talk about my friends behind their backs (sorry but sometimes you just have to let it out) but my Facebook feed reminds me that even though sometimes I can be a mean girl, actually I am okay (compared to some) because I have never stooped so low as to publicly call my former best friend a whore on social media (no, I save that for the stage…)
I guess what I’m saying is that life is a matter of perspective and my true love of Facebook comes from the fact that it is the most convenient way to remind myself that I’d have to lose a hell of alotta brain cells to be the worst person I know. Facebook is like watching the love child of A Current Affair and Today Tonight speed dating every soap opera ever made. A beautiful train wreck and I can’t turn away because ultimately…at times I’m kinda dumb, kinda terrible and kinda gross and baby I need people worse than me so I can feel validated. #SorryNotSorry

P.S I am 110% aware and proud that I am probably the person who some people keep to make THEMSELVES feel better about THEIR life choices, for those people I have this: I once went out to the city, pretended to be from the UK (with a terrible accent) and told people I was back in Australia for a funeral JUST SO THAT I COULD GET FREE DRINKS. I am a piece of shit. Thank you and good night.

 

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Your opinion sucks – sorry, I mean “I feel that your opinion sucks”

The Internet has given us a voice where for many of us we previously didn’t have one. Amazing things have happened – stories have been shared from war torn nations, people from cultures with years of bad blood have been able to amicably connect and a guy traded a red paper clip for a house!
As we all know though there are plenty of things that the Internet has provided us with that haven’t been so good – in my opinion the 24/7 constant stream of information about everything Kardashian is a little bit overkill however plenty of people totally dig that. It’s what they live for – and who am I to throw shade their way? Be it good or bad, and I’m totally open to this being argued either way, it truly has given us all the chance to have a voice and for that voice to be heard but sometimes, just sometimes I think that maybe we need to reassess the way in which we frame our voices.

It's a thing.
It’s a thing.

I’m gonna go a little bit ranty here but I think it needs to be said – and heard- people of the Internet and you know what, people at the pub, the water cooler and work kitchen, please remember that your opinions are subjective. They are yours and for the most part they are complex and diverse and incredibly unique to you. They are not gospel – even if you write them on a forum or in the comments section of a Facebook post or article.
You may think that the Bachelorette is the single worst show in the history of the world and of that opinion you are entitled however you probably should say something along the lines of; “I THINK that the Bachelorette is so terrible, if you watch it, I feel like you could likely contract eye cancer” (and yes, I used to date a guy who said these things, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!)– as opposed to; “That is the worst television show in the known universe, people who watch it deserve to die” – you see, the first shows that what you are saying is your opinion, while the second makes it seem like you are trying to talk on behalf of all mankind, which I can assure you is not something you want to do, if you are bagging out the Bachelorette. You will have angry mobs after you if you make outlandish claims involving Osher and beautiful, lovely, wonderful Sam Frost. You do not want that however, feel free to express YOUR opinion- just phrase it as such.

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Why would you mess with this guy? or his hair?

This is a gripe that really hits home when it comes to comedy – one of the single most subjective communication mediums going around. Reading posts about comedians, by comedians or promoting comedians you will no doubt see comments along the lines of; “*insert well known comedian here* is terrible, they should just give up now, their jokes are low grade and dick jokes aren’t even that funny” – contrasted with a comment saying; “oh my gosh, funniest shit I have ever seen” – see, different courses for different horses. The first comment, however, tries to speak for everyone. Just because you say someone is terrible, does not mean they are. You can say that you THINK they are terrible, but who are you to signally decide in entirety that they are?
Finally, and this isn’t what most post is about, it is about the use of subjective terms – duh, but (and this is one that really, really hits home), have you ever said something along the lines of; “women aren’t funny”? That’s okay, you’re allowed to think that. You would be wrong for a thousand and one reasons, but you are entitled to your opinions however next time try saying; “I personally do not find women to be all that funny and that is my personal opinion because I am a backwards asshole who has no concept of what is good, in fact from time to time I like to eat dirt because it pleases my cultureless palate”. To which I would respond; “good day to you sir, now I bid you adieu so that you may comfortably climb back into the hole which you somehow escaped from”
Good night.