Some Truths About Lies

6

April 30, 2015 by Katia

Blatant Lies

See this?

pointy

When I studied Art History I first became exposed to the term “provenance”. Provenance in Art is like the CV of an art work. It documents its movements, relocations and history of ownership, since it left the artist’s studio and made its way to the wall of the museum or the private collection that it’s now part of. Toys have a similar tendency to migrate but their provenance is usually undocumented and sometimes even unknown. I have no idea how, when and under which circumstances the pointy finger showed up at our household. I also had no idea that my five-year-old could lie so fluidly and with such ease when upon unearthing the object, which was naturally lying on what will be our backyard grass once spring finally commits, he explained to two of our neighbours:

“This is a pointy finger, and my mom uses it when she talks to me. or when she wants to teach me a lesson”.*

***

Grey Areas

A couple of weeks ago I interviewed for a job and found myself in a dilemma. To better my chances of getting the job, I’d have to not tell the truth. And I mean actively not tell it, like maybe even say something which definitely wasn’t the truth. Job interviews are, by definition, extended sales pitches and as such they invite you to put a positive spin, put your best foot forward and a variety of other euphemisms – you decide for what. Interview You is like First Date You and Facebook You. Does the persona channelled in the latter two not exist? Sure does. Does that persona represent “You” in its entirety? Probably not. Is there a difference between presenting a selected fragment of you and lying? Slight. The definitions of “truth” and “lie” become less rigid on job interviews and first dates and like most other things in life there are fifty shades to them.

Our kids can sense that.**

***

lies

Photo-shopped Realities

The most dangerous lies are the ones that we believe in and perpetuate. Lies about ourselves as people. Lies about what we’re supposed to be like – a “standard” that we’re supposed to conform to – as women, as mothers. Unintentional lies fed by deliberate agendas, innocent traditions, archaic myths or simply the lack of thought or compassion of others. One year ago I read Avital Norman Nathman’s anthology The Good Mother Myth. A must read for all moms, this book offers an alternative to the photo-shopped mother image that we’ve all encountered through various walks of life: media, stories and assumptions we make based on real life observation. The alternative that emerges is the mother who makes mistakes, who doesn’t always know what she’s doing, who doesn’t always enjoy it, who doesn’t always ace this gig, who isn’t always a Role Model but most definitely is a Real Model.

I want to acknowledge you, the mom who’s reading this and beating herself up because she hasn’t done enough. If you’re capable of beating yourself up, if you question your actions and wish you did better, then you’re most likely doing more than enough.

***

For more from IAMTHEMILK follow my Facebook page.

* It’s possible that he said “when mom yells at me”.

** I didn’t lie and didn’t get the job.

*** This post was a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic of “liars” and it just so happens that my favourite recent Netflix original is about one very skilled liar. Find my little list of favourite Netflix liars here:

  • Danny Rayburn – Bloodline
  • Mindy Lahiri – The Mindy Project
  • Chuck and Blaire – Gossip Girl
  • Pretty little – Get it?
  • The entire case of Lost
  • Don Draper – Mad Men
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6 thoughts on “Some Truths About Lies

  1. This is a pretty powerful post.

  2. Sometimes we do need to stretch the truth a little. That pointy finger is pointing right at me! And yes – my two also would have said “… when she YELLS at me…”
    I’m also a huge fan of Don Draper and Mindi Lahiri. Don sometimes makes me cringe and Mindy simply makes me grin. Hugely.

  3. amycake76 says:

    A truth is all mothers need to hear these words from time to time. So thank you for that.

  4. Deb says:

    Word. (And I’m glad you didn’t lie to get the job.)

  5. This is so lovely and needed. If we focused on what’s real and not the facade, life would be so much better. My three year old lied the other day to get out of running an errand. You are so right, you don’t know where these things come from. But there they are.

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Between 2014-2015:

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Scary Mommy
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What makes a happy new year? 
This is my story, but I suspect, it might also be yours. 
Lately I haven't been writing much. Forget writing, I can't even produce an entertaining Facebook update. Why? Because selecting the right words requires an effort and I don't have any effs (for effort) left to give. First I stopped posting to my blog, then my blog's Facebook page and eventually my own Facebook profile. I'm making an effort but I find it draining. Who knew that posting funny updates on your profile is not so easy? 
Nothing dramatic is going on in my life. Work's been extra busy with some newly added responsibilities and stress, bedtimes are still long-ish and my sleep is still often interrupted, but it's not nearly as often as before. My "me time" is limited and starts late. The emotional energy I invest in my work, the nature of my sleep and the limited time I spend on myself leave me with little energy to spare. Any energy I have left and then some is invested in my kids.

My kids, whom you all know I adore and admire, are daring, often reckless and very young and inexperienced. Sometimes I'm surprised at the extent of their lack of caution and I'm always, always disproportionately worried. I know that because I'm unlike the other mothers around me. I come from a family of worriers and anxious people. My neural pathways always lead me to a dead end - literally. I catastrophize and imagine the worst outcome. For years I've been able to rationalize and talk myself out of useless, time consuming and energy wasting internal struggles with often imagined worrisome scenarios, but now that words are burdensome and my energy is dwindled, I can't. 
I'm entering this new year happier and more optimistic than I've been in awhile. Yesterday I went to see my doctor. After a lot of internal turmoil and thoughts about cancelling my appointment I came in and blurted out: I think I'm suffering from some form of anxiety. His very calm and matter of fact-ish reaction ("like everyone else in the 21st century") wasn't dismissive, but reassuring. Self care sometimes means looking deeper. 
I wish everyone a happy new year of good mental health. It's the basis for everything.
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