Please do not judge me. Ok go ahead and judge but you don't have to tell me how heinous I am. I know I am a bad person and that I have issues. You do not need to inform me, just silently judge and feel free to cluck and tut and email amongst yourselves. I just have to get this off my chest.
I am a compulsive liar. Ok not so much a liar as a compulsive tease. I compulsively tell tall tales to gullible people and then string them along for probably far too long in some cases before I tell them I am kidding. For this reason I have had many people (usually men) tell me that they never know when I am serious or kidding (ie lying). I do it pretty much every day. Lots of times a day when I'm feeling particularly perky. I may need medication. I will look into that tomorrow. Promise.
Case in point. Today Aaron ripped a tag off one of the kids' mattresses. He said "uh-oh, call the mattress police I ripped off the label." I said "Oh no, kids say goodbye to daddy the police will be here any moment" I did not expect them to take me seriously but when I saw that they were, my heart leaped and I could not help but take it and run with it. Sadistic no? Gabe and Gracie look stricken and horrified and Gracie clings to Aaron's leg." No daddy no! they say." Gracie actually wells up. I delightedly continue ( yes again I am aware that these are serious serious problems I have), "yes well, say goodbye, the police should be here any minute. Don't feel bad for daddy, this is his own fault. Everyone knows about the mattress tags". They just stare at me in horror. "No!" they say again, "no!". I forge on cheerfully. "Gabe do you think I am pretty enough to get another husband?". He stares at me owlishly, his face actually a little pale, and slowly, yet decisively, gives a single shake of his head-no. The joke just turned slightly less funny. For me anyway.
I can't honestly say how far I would have taken this (although hey, Aaron was right there and is just as much of a sadist in his complicit way), if it were not for the fact that Benjamin who has all this time been feverishly reading the fine print of the torn off tag triumphantly cries, "it says EXCEPT for the consumer, EXCEPT for the consumer!! Daddy is the consumer. It's going to be ok!" Hooray! A loophole! At this news our poor little children's shoulders relax in relief. Do I feel guilty now? Only very slightly. Mostly though, I'm just cackling over my brilliance at having duped three young children, between being preoccupied with asking Gabe how he could say I was not pretty enough? He says, "because I don't want you to look for someone else", obviously thinking that his endorsement of my appearance would only encourage me to start looking for a replacement for their jailbird, mattress tag ripping deadbeat father all the more immediately.
The other night I told one of the teenage girls I work with at church that our activity that night would be scrubbing toilets. I strung her on for a good 5 minutes about how toilet scrubbing was an important skill I felt they should all master. She had reached a point of grim resignation when I told her I was joking. She was absolutely stunned that I would do such a thing. I was rather stunned that she had been so completely convinced that I was serious. Really, I am always quite surprised when people actually believe me, half the time I think they are just playing along.
The one time this did not end up to be funny was when my parents were living here in the US on an H1-visa. (Work visa). I called them and told them that the INS had called me looking for them). Though they had nothing to hide my mom went into a tail-spin. I ended that one pretty immediately though and my mother quite sincerely told me that I was a wicked girl. I think it was a foreshadowing of how that evil regime would wreak havoc on their lives less then a year later. Actually it was not the first time one of my pranks turned out to be a foreshadowing..
There was that time I borrowed a neighbour's positive pregnancy test to show Aaron when Gracie was just over a year old, (and we had no plans for a Finny). That was just sick AND wrong but God sure showed me for that one huh? HA! I believe it was not much more then a month later that I was staring at my very own positive test in disbelief.
One of the funniest was on April Fools day when I called my husband at work and told him that a Mr. Lyon had called looking for him at home. I gave him the number of the Zoo. He dutifully called and insisted on speaking to Mr. Lyon until a resigned voice said, "Sir, it is April 1st, this is the zoo, you have been had". But that was April Fools Day so it doesn't really apply to my problem, although a few of his colleagues still address him as Mr. Lyon.
But back to me being sick and sadistic. Once I told Gabe that he had not graduated to second grade. I still laugh thinking about his horrified face. He is just so innocent and gullible. It's just so adorable. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?? I believe he even shed a couple of tears before I told him I was kidding. I mean he was the top student in the class, it wasn't like it was near-thing, I just could not believe he was taking me seriously. I started off saying it fascetiously, but 6 year olds do not "get" fascetious, and then once the ball is rolling...I can't stop...I know, I am SICK. He will probably never be able to trust women. I am setting aside a therapy fund for him though, don't worry.
Gracie is actually my least gullible child. If she suspects I am kidding about something (which is about 75% of the time,) she immediately gets angry and demands that I tell her the real story. She is not so much fun.