The first obvious truth that we try and hide, at some point, is our age. Bizarre as it now seems, I lied and said I was older when I first started teaching at 22 years old. During my Teaching Practice, I lied to my sixth-form class (my nose grew Pinocchio style) and told them I was 28 and had several years of ‘excellent’ exam results (how else was I going to get them to take me seriously?) If I told them the truth about my age, they would soon see that my claim about exam results was ridiculous as it would mean that I started teaching the day I got my GCSE grades. Now, I’d rather lie and say I was extraterrestrial than lie and say I was older.
In the past, I have lied about my music tastes. When I first dated my husband, in order to impress him, I lied and said that I liked bands such as ‘The Clash’ in order to sound trendy and ‘totally in there!’ However, when he referred to the album ‘London’s Calling’ I thought he was talking about a London newspaper or a taxi firm. Thankfully, he saw the funny side of my lie. I didn’t dare tell him that Jason Donovan’s first album (Ten Good Reasons), on tape, was hidden in the glove compartment of my car. Some truths must stay hidden.
Another truth we try and hide is just how well our children sleep. When talking about the girls’ three o’clock feeds, at one baby-something group I went to, one mum insisted that her baby ‘went through the night’ at 6 weeks and has slept like that ever since. Hmmmmm (there’s a strong desire to scratch one’s hair-less chin!) That child must have no teeth (no teething experience) and the strongest immune system known to man. If one of mine have a cold then I’m up several times because they’ve coughed themselves awake and it means that lovely sleep goes bye bye!
However, the most secret truth we keep hidden is our dress size because, ridiculous as it seems, our dress size can make us want to blush. At one point, a friend and I were shopping for work clothes and, well, I’d obviously had one too-many barbecue burgers because I’d gone up two dress sizes since the last time I shopped. When my friend called out over the curtain and asked what larger size I needed, I whispered the size.
‘WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR?’ she cried out.
‘One four!’ I hissed.
‘Yeah, that’s a GREAT code!’ she replied, laughing.
Despite the crimson faced lie concerning your dress size, all in all, the worse thing to lie about has got to be your age. If you want to lie and say you’re five or ten years younger then there is a price to pay. When I turned 30, a friend kindly said, ‘it’s best if you change your date of birth on Facebook,’ as if now I was 30 I had reached the end of the earth. Needless to say I didn’t change my age. I didn’t want Facebook friends thinking that I looked 30-35 when my new date of birth informed them I was only 25. That’s like putting a chain-saw to your face: damaging and misleading. Why would I want people thinking I was a haggard looking 25 year old? I would have boxes of ‘anti-wrinkle’ cream sent to me in their truck loads, sent by well-meaning old (smug!) friends. No, it’s best to just tell the truth.