Welcome back! Thank you for joining me again for Story Time. Please...make yourself comfy. Would you like some tea? Coffee perhaps?
My second story is about this one time I lied. (I mean, my pants were on fire with this one.)
This one represents my penchant for lying as a child (I've grown out of it....I swear! wink). My mom LOVES to tell this story about me to anyone and everyone. I'm not quite sure why she likes to tell stories about how well I lied as a kid (and teenager). I'm hoping it's because it shows what a creative and innovative child I was and not as a warning to all that come near to hook me up to a polygraph...just to be safe. I can't blame her for telling these stories really, I mean, I was and am quite an interesting little lady to know. I'm never boring that's for sure! So here goes....still sure you don't want that coffee?
I was in the second grade and was going to school at Union Elementary. I had gone to nursery school at Island Nursery. Kindergarten at Academy Primary. And first grade at East Main Street School. That's a lot of school hoppin' for such a young little thing. (I tell you this because I think that it explains the lying). So one day I was at the back of Mrs. Oldaker's classroom washing my hands in the sink after we had just made stone soup (Do you guys remember that book....it's the book about how some hungry traveler's trick a starving town into giving them food to make soup by telling them it is stone soup? It's a book about cooperation even in times when everyone has very little to give.) While I was washing my hands, Mrs. Oldaker asks me the simplest of all questions...a no-brainer....., "Katie, how's your brother?".
I can't for the life of me explain why I answered what I answered. It was a simple question. I have one brother. His name is Kirk. He, I am sure, was doing quite well. A simple, "good" would have sufficed as an answer. I am sure that is, in fact, the answer that she was looking for.
However, this was my reply, "Which brother?".
Had I actually been facing Mrs. Oldaker and looking into her kind,caring, and HONEST eyes, I might have seen the look of confusion pass over her face. Maybe that look would have been enough for me to say, "Just kidding! I only have one brother....ha ha ha! Gotcha! Kirk is fine! Wasn't that fun for a second there!?".
But with my little lying back turned to Mrs. Oldaker I continue on. She asks, "Well, Katie, you only have one brother. That's the one I'm asking about."
I reply, "Um, no, I have another brother."
"Really!? And how come I've never met him?" she says knowing that I don't have another brother.
"His names Brian. He's in the Army."
Let me stop for a second and just highlight the fact that if I did in fact have a brother in the Army then my mom would have had to have had him when she was 10 or 11. Save the West Virginia jokes and believe me....that was not at all the case. My mom had me when she was 30 and my brother when she was 33. Plus, I grew up in a small town. And it was especially small when I was in first grade (no I-79...we still took RT 20 to the mall....yeah!). So every single person in that town knew that Sharon and Randy McNemar only had two kids. Heck, I don't even think you had to live in Buckhannon to know that fact. I think it was probably on the exit sign for Main Street in Buckhannon. "Welcome to Buckhannon, WV! Sharon and Randy McNemar only have two kids!"
Anyway, back to the story.
I'll try and make a long story short by telling you that the Brian dialogue went on for quite some time. I can't remember exactly how long, but I know it was long enough that I started to panic. Mrs. Oldaker seemed a little too interested in my brother, Brian. The whole point of the lie was so that I could get some flippin' attention, but now BRIAN is getting all of it and quite frankly, it was very bothersome. At one point I realized that I had spun this web so tight that I was going to need some allies to protect it. So, one night, as I am in the bathtub with my poor, innocent little brother Kirk, who all of 4 or 5 years old..I said this, "Brian's coming in soon."
Kirk, obviously confused, was like, "who's Brian?".
"Um, our older brother of course! Don't you remember him? He's the guy that is always at Christmas at Grandma's house. He's in the Army and is coming in soon."
Poor Kirk....sticking to his feeble little guns said, "Katie...that's our cousin Rusty that's at Grandma's for Christmas. He's not in the army."
But I wouldn't relent. I kept going until I was finally able to convince my own little brother that we did in fact have an older brother named Brian. I was so desperate to save my own hide, that I didn't even let his little worried eyes stop me. There was too much inertia. Too much at stake. At times of war....sometimes you have to make sacrifices.
BUT.....Here is where it all came crashing down.
Parent/Teacher Conference (dun dun duuuunnn) rolled around, and I was in the classroom with the other kids while my mom was meeting with Mrs. Oldaker and the principal, Mr. Wager (who, by the way, is a close family friend of the McNemar clan). I'm coloring a picture...happy...not knowing that my mom was just about to take a machete to my spider web of lies.
Afterward, my Mom comes to pick me up. As we are walking out to the car she is calmly telling me how nice it was to meet with my teachers and that they said I am doing well and making good grades..then she says without breaking her stride, "I can't wait until Brian comes in so we can tell him how great you're doing!".
My blood freezes.
Did she just say what I thought she said!?
My first thought was....good thing I have Kirk on my side. When Mom and I get home, Kirk and I will be able to try and refresh my mom's memory so she can recall the time that she gave birth when she was 10. We would tell her that we understood why she didn't remember such a traumatic experience but that we love Brian none-the-less and can't wait to wrap our loving arms around him and welcome him home from...wherever people go when they're in the Army.
In response, my weak little voice squeaks out, "Yeah, he'll be...so...proud."
I am pretty sure my mom was enjoying this moment despite the shock of finding out that her first grader was not only a pathological liar, but wouldn't relent even when faced with the truth. She continues on by calmly saying, "Yeah, I really miss Brian. It's been so long since I've seen him. I can barely remember what he looks like. It's almost like he doesn't exist!"
I turn to look at her and that is when the tirade begins. "Kathryn Lynn, how COULD you lie to your teachers all this time!!??? HOW!!???? Did you think that they wouldn't know that we only have two kids...these people KNOW ME, Katie. They have for YEARS! I can't believe that you did this. How EMBARRASSING!"
But you know what, God love me, I pulled out my last card. I actually tried to convince my own mother that she had another child. I said, "But MOM, Kirk is the one that said we have a brother. ASK HIM! I mean, WHO is that guy that is ALWAYS at Grandma's for Christmas?! The one that always plays Army with Kirk? I swear, I thought that was my brother and his name was BRIAN!!!"
"KATIE MCNEMAR! That is your cousin RUSTY and you know it!!! And don't even TELL me that you got your poor little brother involved in this...DON'T. EVEN. TELL ME!"
All my cards were down. And I had lost. Game over. I got in big big trouble (understatement) for lying and was given the task of deprogramming my little 4 year-old-brother so that he could go back to living his happy life not worrying about long lost family members randomly showing up at Holiday functions.
So, there you go. Now you know. Maybe instead of telling the story to everyone, my mom can now just send out a mass email with a link to this blog!?
Liar Liar Pee Pants on Fire