Saturday, September 15, 2007

Liar, Liar

I lied three times in one sentence this week, completely off the top of my head. I doubt that's any kind of a record.

We were discussing in passing the inadvisability of lightning romances, and I mentioned that a girl I had gone with in college had become engaged a week after ending up with me. The truth is more complicated. There is nothing particularly fascinating about the story except as it relates to the sentence I actually spoke.

She had an affection for me, and willingly shared company with me while she carried the torch for an old boyfriend, to whom she was ring-on-the-finger engaged but who had been refusing to return her calls for over a year. My intentions were romantic, but clearly going nowhere. I lasted from February to July with this, then abruptly just gave up. Three weeks later she confessed a crush on my roommate and began sort of dating him. Being attracted to both irony and melancholy myself, I wasn't that bothered.

He went briefly back to New Jersey to pick up the remainder of his worldly possessions. By the time he returned in mid-September, she was already confessing to friends that she was "going to be engaged" to a third young man, whom she had met about 10 days before. They might have known each other slightly over a year before, but he had spent his last year abroad. And before that, you remember, she was torch-carrying.

They were actually engaged after being together for less than 6 weeks. They are still married and have eight children, which just goes to prove something or another.

So it wasn't me she had broken up with, though I was not far in the background. And it wasn't a week, but six weeks, with rumors of engagement at slightly over a week. And I hadn't ever really been going with her, though our relationship was a...a something. So my claim wasn't untrue, and my statement likely captured the actual whirlwind experience that all observers felt at the time better than a more accurate statement would.

But it is amazing to me that any of us, perhaps all of us, could invent something so quickly. It illustrates both how brilliant and imaginative we are, and how quickly the truth can fly away from us.

Three lies, one sentence, no breath taken. Remarkable that


Ante Solium said...

haha amazing...

Ben Wyman said...

I ran into a friend a week or two ago who'd been dating a guy I know until maybe a month and a half, two months ago. I'd known they'd broken up, but she'd disappeared immediately from church and our social circles and we hadn't heard anything.

When I ran into her at church the other day, she introduced me to her new fiance.

Now that is a true story in all it's aspects.