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8 Times I Lied Today

Ottawa, May 2014
Ottawa, May 2014

I think I am a pretty honest person. I don’t cheat and I don’t play tricks. Why would I? I find life is generally easier when you tell the truth and speak your mind—without being brutally blunt, of course. Being caught in a web of lies must be a nightmare. I don’t have the energy for that kind of crap.

But what about these little white lies? Okay, I am guilty of these.

“Yum yum… look what I have here, a peanut butter sandwich!”

I hate peanut butter. I am convinced it’s an acquired taste, much like strong blue cheese (yummy!). The funny thing is, I don’t mind nuts and I don’t mind peanuts in Asian food. But I can’t take peanut butter. The first time I tasted it was at Tim Hortons: I was addicted to their cookies back then, and one day I was given a peanut butter treat by mistake. I spat it out. It tasted… like sand.

I introduced Mark to peanut butter because it’s a relatively healthy spread (well, healthier than Nutella) and he isn’t fond of cheese or butter. But I can’t eat it myself. Just the smell… yuck.

“No, that’s fine, I’ll give Mark his bath.”

That’s not fine. I am not exactly looking forward to getting soaked and wrestling to rinse him properly. I am tired too. But I’ll do the job faster. It’s 9 p.m. I just want the day to end, already.

“Mark, be nice with your grand-parents.”

But if you feel like throwing tantrums, acting up and whining, please use up your daily quota with them and be an angel when you come back. You are their only grand-son. They can’t get sick of you. Enjoy.

“Come on Mark, we are going right there. Yes, the store is here, very close.”

More like three blocks away but hey, whatever it takes to convince him to follow me and walk in the right direction and stop jumping in puddles of water already.

“Well, if you’re thirsty, you can drink water.”

Meanwhile, I am having a Coke Zero or a tall coffee, thank you very much. Well, when you’ll be 31 years old you’ll get to pick your drink too. Put yourself in my shoes: I need caffeine to keep up with you. You have energy, apparently. I don’t.

“I don’t know where you ball is, Mark.”

I do. It’s hidden behind the bed. And you ain’t getting it. Look, I get it: guys like to throw stuff. You can play throw and catch with Feng. With me, you get to (pretend to) read books, stack Duplos and push your toy trucks and cars. Why don’t I want to play with a ball? Well, first of all, I am trying to catch up with some work and my laptop screen isn’t supposed to be hit by a ball. Second, I am one of these people who close their eyes or turn their head when the ball is thrown at them. I have zero hand-eye coordination and yes, life wasn’t fun at recess in middle school—I don’t need to live through that again with you. Mark.

The “No please, go first” hand gesture at the four-way stop sign

I am on my bike getting soaked by the rain. You are in your car, dry and comfortable. I resent you. But cyclists are actually to be treated as vehicles and the back-and-forth waving of each other is annoying and dangerous. Come on, drive away, already!

The forced smile every time I meet the “toddler police”

I don’t feel like smiling. I want to call you names and use “fuck” as punctuation. But I won’t because one of my rules is not to engage the crazies.

How about you? Told any white lies lately?

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