Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The League of Ordinary Ladies: Short Dates

Previously: Oh, Water Polo.

Esther C. Werdiger has a weekly podcast and a rich internet life, but also a job in Jerusalem.

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apples and oranges

AHH. You Did Well. He graded you on your date?

Some people believe my sister and I are not biologically related? Even though we are. They insist one of us is adopted because we look very different. THANKS GUYS, I think we know the truth though.

Reginal T. Squirge

Yeah, as if SHE was auditioning for HIM. Did he then pat your head and try to give you a doggie treat after he said, "You did well"?

H.E. Ladypants

@kangerine One of my friends in high school had an adopted older sister. Weirdly enough, though, they looked just like each other, so pretty often people didn't believe them when it came up.


@kangerine But how was her POSTURE?


@kangerine Ugh, an optician once asked my sister if she was found in a cardboard box because she can see and the rest of us are badly short sighted. Which I guess was a joke but it did not go down well with my sister who must have been 11 at the time. We did not go back there again...


@Chills jeez. yeah "found in a cardboard box" is kind of a harsh way to put it! to an 11 year old.

were you found in a cardboard box because your last family did not love you and threw you out with the trash?

ha ha ha!


@redheaded&crazie I know!
I can't imagine how terrible it would have been if she had been adopted!

fondue with cheddar

@kangerine A++ WOULD DATE AGAIN

Time Platypus

@redheaded&crazie When I was a kid my brother told our friend that he found me in a dumpster when I was a baby. What makes it even weirder is he's 3 years younger than me,

RK Fire

@redheaded&crazie: Man, that's nothing! My parents used to think it'd be hilarious to tell me at age 4 that they just found me in a box in Baltimore, and then follow that up with "we found your sister in Saigon ten years earlier, and we figured we'd had to take you in because you two look so much alike. what are the chances?!? hahahahaha" It sounds so silly now but when you're 4 you get really worked up about these things.


@kangerine My younger sister jokes that our parents found her in a dumpster because there are so few pictures of her as an infant, especially compared to me (my dad was going through a photography phase/I was the first grandchild, sooo.) And also she doesn't bear a super-close resemblance to either of my parents -- she has that really pretty ambiguous-ethnicity thing going on (our mother is Korean) whereas I could be my mother's clone, and regularly have people just start talking to me in Korean, because OF COURSE I will understand them! (I don't.)
We both have our dad's TERRIBLE eyesight, though!



Lee Van Queef

Coming up with the fake name "Ramona" in a shop called "Aroma" is probably the most adorable thing anyone has ever done. Also good job on that successful lie! I have valued lying as a useful skill and even an endearing trait since reading His Dark Materials. I also do not have that skill.

Carrie Ann

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Awwww, Lyra the Liar. She is great. I'm actually a pretty good liar, but I try not to do it except in white lie situations. I have found that when it really counts, my face gives me away because I'm a blusher.


@Carrie Ann Ugh seconded on the blushing. I have had to give up my secret fantasy of becoming a secret agent because I have realized that when confronted by the KGB my face would become BRIGHT RED and boom, national security compromise. Such a disadvantage.

tea tray in the sky.

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas I'm actually a super-good liar, but I have an INCREDIBLY guilty conscience so if I lie I usually end up 'fessing up in the same sentence.


@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas
I have that skill so well that it scares the crap out of me. And I tell big, fucked up lies for no reason.
I am trying really hard to stop though.

That might be the first time I've admitted my problem to anyone but myself.


@The Kendragon As a former liar-pants-on-fire who told many big, fucked up lies, I will say that you can do it. It's scary to imagine your world just as it is, without embellishments, but it's really freeing.


@Mame Dennis-Pickett-Burnside
Thank you. It is really scary, and I don't know that I'm doing that good a job on it, but I'm trying.


@The Kendragon
I will say, the 'pin has been good for me. I think I lied to you guys twice, in total. It's nice to see people liking the real, un-embellished me.


@The Kendragon awww! that warms my heart. I love that you are figuring truth out. For my part, I had to do some unpacking and trace back to when I first started telling whoppers, and figure out what the motivation was for me. There was a lot of shame built in around it, and after working on that for a while, my self-esteem really improved. (Not that low self-esteem is an issue for you, but it was for me) You can do it! Just keep trying, even if you slip up. It'll get easier. <3


@Mame Dennis-Pickett-Burnside
I just think I needed to be liked, any way I could, and didn't trust that natural me to get that done. I have no idea why, as I had a stable childhood with awesome parents.


@tea tray in the sky. I am really good at lying but I try to do it only about objective facts of the sort that anyone with access to Google can suss out. (Somebody: "What year did Albert Einstein die?" Me: "1958.") I figure anyone lazy enough to ask me instead of looking it up deserves to get wrong information.


@cuminafterall Mr Pixa has a habit of asking me really obscure general knowledge questions like I will obviously know the answer to them. I like to give him a ridiculous made-up answer with a straight face. This persona has become known as 'Wikipedia Pixa'. If I make it sound just plausible enough, he has to ask if it's Real Pixa or Wikipedia Pixa speaking. I am otherwise completely unable to lie convincingly.


@The Kendragon this is such a good point! what reason could i possibly have to lie to strangerfriends on the internet?!

i will say that on various occasions i have lied about the nature of acquaintanceship when telling stories about other people. i.e. it happened to my friend not my sister, or my x not my y.

every god damn awkward and terrible thing I've said and done myself though, purely unedited for your viewing horror.


@redheaded&crazie I knew a lady who used to "absorb" other people's stories and re-tell them in the first person.

I also think she may have told some of her more insane stories just to see if they'd spread in the rumor mill, to see if you were trust-worthy or not. To be fair, our rumor mill was intense, as there were about 120 of us and we lived in the bush.


@redheaded&crazie I love the 'Pin because I tell you all my unfiltered self and it's great! And it has helped me be more honest in real life! Hairpin as therapy FTW!

Lee Van Queef

@sniffadee @The Kendragon and @all This is also why I love the 'Pin! HUGS ALL AROUND


@The Kendragon Me too. Where did this come from???

sarah girl

@Mame Dennis-Pickett-Burnside Yes yes yes! I have been working through some serious life-long issues with lying with my therapist, and it is awful and makes me cry and hate myself, but sharing it was also the best decision I've made for my emotional well-being. It's out there, I'm aware of it, I'm figuring out why I lie/lied... and yes, my self-esteem is definitely improving. Hooray for recovering liars!


@heliotropegerbil8 My sister does that "absorb and retell" thing in group settings, even in front of me (i.e., the person who told her the story in the first place).


@Hellcat My husband claims that I do this but he is wrong, it really did happen to meeeeeee!


@Hellcat my ex used to do this and I would be like I AM SITTING RIGHT HERE

Toby Jug

I'm a good liar...I think it's an artifact from doing lots of theatre in high school. And it is no fun because if you lie once you usually have to lie a bunch more times and suddenly you're the female Don Draper having a panic attack about the Department of Defense finding you out.

So I don't lie anymore. Maybe every few months or so to get out of work or a silly social engagement.

H.E. Ladypants

@Toby Jug ME TOO. For the longest time I would lie about utter inconsequential things for no reason- like what I had for dinner or what time I'd done something.

Eventually, I broke the habit but I never even understood why I was doing it.

Petit Prince

@Toby Jug Just logged in to lend support and say this is exactly what I do as well. Oddly, I often come to think the lie is actually more "true" than the truth, which seems too mundane and fails to reflect the way I really see the situation. Trying to get over that and find my own life as interesting enough to be honest about.

If you haven't read Zadie Smith's amazing essay Speaking in Tongues, it actually kind of helped me understand or frame some of what I was up to: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/feb/26/speaking-in-tongues-2/

Also, those Don Draper episodes almost killed me when watching them, I WAY over identified.


I can't keep secrets either. It's bad! Don't tell me secrets! Luckily as I get older people have less stupid secrets like "don't tell Tom that Alex and I are dating because he'll get upset and we want to keep it priiiiiivate" and the only secrets they have are serious ones about family problems et al. And I can keep them! Just don't tell me you're pregnant and expect me to keep it quiet. I CAN'T I'M SORRY.


@terrific oh yeah tell me all your boring secrets. they will go into the vault.

but also, tell me all your juicy secrets. so I can tell everybody because I love to be a knower and revealer of juicy things.


I ended up sharing some true and sordid family history with these kids freshman year of college and they were all really taken aback. So to break the tension I was like "and I haven't even gotten to my son yet!" I don't know why I did this. I told them that my cousin's kid was really mine but my cousin adopted him? I kept it up for a couple months. A few of my friends even got in on it. It was a weird choice and I still don't know how it happened.


@BuffyBot Also I sometimes tell people my name is Ez, short for Esmeralda. I don't know why. Same friend backs me on this that did on my "son".

Dr. Allison Absinthe@twitter

@BuffyBot When I was a freshman in college some girls from the dorms asked where a scar on my arm came from. I told them I got stabbed at my high school job and came up with a soap opera worthy back story on the spot. Several years later I was hanging with the same girls and the scar story got brought up again. I came clean and told them I made the whole thing up.

They were pissed at me, not because I lied, but because it meant they no longer knew someone who'd been in a knife fight.


@BuffyBot Man, I blithely told people my giant scoliosis scar was from a knife fight ALL THE TIME in high school, I wonder if anyone was gullible enough to believe me!


@hopelessshade In elementary school, I told kids that the hemangioma on my arm was a burn. It was not very believable, especially since it never "healed," but it seemed easier than trying to explain benign tumors, which was a concept I barely understood then, and I was also afraid "hemangioma" sounded too much like "He-Man" and would just be an invitation for mockery. I am all about preemptive self-defense white lies.


@BuffyBot I can't lie (to the point that I sometimes give too much extra "context" to stories just to MAKE SURE I AM GETTING IT RIGHT) but I have been the best friend of a liar/exaggerator, and I dunno, there was something kind of special about knowing when she was lying -- like because *I* was her best friend, *I* knew the truth. We're not really friends anymore, which is sad for many reasons, but the hardest thing is that now she will lie to me, and I can tell. :(


@BuffyBot Being friends with a habitual liar is the worst, at least when they (a) tell lies about the dumbest shit and (b) won't fess up to them. I was friends with a guy in high school who would make up fake endings to movies that I had seen before and insist that no, he really saw that ending once, it must have been a special screening or something. People like that are a terrible drag to be around because inevitably it becomes a dick measuring contest. You can't ever have a good story, because that guy / girl has to have an even better one on hand, every time. If you want to be mean about it you can just start lying in kind and watch themselves stress out improvising new details to one-up you. Soon enough they know famous people or were privy to important / secret events.

Eventually I got very close to a woman who was very, very good at lying and very, very manipulative (I've told the story 'round here a few times) and it shorted all of my patience for that sort of thing. If given the choice between standing by while someone lies and just dropping them from my social life, I invariably choose the latter at this point.


@Danzig! Was this friend Penelope from SNL?

@tibia I give way too much context also. And I have a friend who lies sometimes to strangers and acquaintances, but I know she's lying b/c I know pretty much everything about her and have no reason to think she lies to me. I really like it when, while conversing with acquaintances about our weekend or something, she makes up a lie about something I did to cover up the really stupid thing I *actually* did. She doesn't even bat an eye. It's loyalty lying.

Also... why do I end up on these threads a week late? I'm on the Hairpin pretty much every day, but I still find old stuff. It's a goldmine.

Chris G.

I wish all dates were shorter! And ended with indulging oneself in a pint of ice cream. Wait... I can make that happen...

Gracefully and Grandly

What kind of ice cream did he get? It totally matters.

Reginal T. Squirge

$10 on Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.


@Gracefully and Grandly But he didn't share! Who does that?

Esther C. Werdiger

@Gracefully and Grandly
Chunky Monkey! Coincidentally, a flavour which has never held much appeal for me.

Gracefully and Grandly

@Esther C. Werdiger Ah! That's just as good (bad) as the flavor I was imagining - Chubby Hubby - which would be an interesting choice after a (short) date.


@Esther C. Werdiger I thought it said a pint of Beef Jerky! I had to go back up and re-read it. Pint of beef jerky would have been... much weirder.


@Esther C. Werdiger So, you got an A+ on the date, but he got maybe a C+ on ice cream choice. Not sure you two are compatible.

The Lady of Shalott

Aughgh Esther, I hear you! I am the WORST liar ever. It's like I learned how to do all my lying from watching Friends or something. I can't even help it--I blush and my eyes get all shifty and it's REALLY OBVIOUS. I am, apparently, a very transparent person.

But I also really wish I could lie about my name and stuff when people ask me it in coffeeshops and waiting and stuff and I have to give my name, first or last, I always end up just spelling it because whatever. The short story is that I'M A TERRIBLE LIAR.


@The Lady of Shalott
I have an unusual name that I have to spell, but it doesn't look like it sounds, so the person always ends up butchering it anyway. So I always give the same bland fake name in coffee shops. You could make up a really obviously fake name, and turn it into a joke? Like, trashcan, or stinky?

H.E. Ladypants

@dtowngirl My boyfriend does that. I don't even think he's got that weird of a name, honestly, but we walk into restaraunts and suddenly I'm there with "John."


@H.E. Ladypants Yeah, I just always use the name of whichever person I'm with has the easiest to spell/say.

A dude I dated in college used to always give his name as Holden Caulfield at restaurants, but that's because he was kind of a juicebox. I probably should've figured that out, all things considered.

tea tray in the sky.

@dtowngirl When I worked in a coffee shop we had one guy always say his name was Batman.

Then, no joke, Michael Keaton came in one morning and this guy came in later. I told him the real Batman came in earlier and the jig was up.


@The Lady of Shalott OMG I love the idea of a fake coffee name. They did a hilarious bit on You Look Nice Today about it. The ideal coffee name had hard consonant sounds (more shoutable) and the best one was Truck Spank: http://youlooknicetoday.com/episode/truck-spank


@The Lady of Shalott The last time I gave my name at Starbucks I got a cup with "Nathan" on it. That... is not my name.


@Ophelia I'm going to give my name as Dufresne next time I make a reservation.

Faintly Macabre

@The Lady of Shalott My name is weird with a weird spelling, so I try to remember to lie about it in coffee shops whenever I can. When I visited LA, the friend I was with was obsessed with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, so I went through about three names a day. And each time she was shocked and giggly about it! I love super-innocent friends.


@The Lady of Shalott My Mom makes up a new name anytime she has to give her name at restaurants. Even if she's going to a place she's being recently. She is partial to Hazel though.


@KatnotCat I love this! I'm gonna do it the next time I'm out to dinner! This sounds so much fun, especially for those of us incapable of more than life-saving white lies. :)


@tea tray in the sky. If my BF drank coffee often enough, I would suspect it was him doing this. I also have a friend who, when waiting to be called for a table (before the pager thing happened), would give the name Chewbacca and then be disappointed that the host(ess) didn't argue with him about it. His disappointment always abated when he got to hear "CHEWBACCA?" over the speakers.


@The Lady of Shalott To tell a lie successfully you have to believe the lie. Like, you have to tell yourself the lie in your head and make it true for yourself before you can tell the other person. I'm shit at lying unless it's a really important self-preservation situation and then I'm fucking psychotically good at it.


@iceberg YES. This is how I operate, too.

Like the time that I told the Spanish Consulate that my parents were dead. It was my 3rd visit and I really needed my student visa and at 25, my parents weren't supporting me and I resented that I needed their financial info, so I came up with this giant whopping lie that they may have asked me to back up. Luckily, they did not.


a sobering number of my jokes end like the last few panels there.


I have found that talking about online dating while on an online date is the kiss of death. 'Cause it'll FEEL like you're having a great conversation because you can both get really animated about it (this girl was a SCIENTOLOGIST! she had 80 HAMSTERS), but really it just means that the only thing you can find to talk about is the fact that both of you find the experience you're currently having horrifyingly awkward. And you will realize this as soon as you run out of online dating stories and you're like "sooo. . .what are your hamsters' names?'


Heee. I think the last time I was described as "bright and interesting", it was on a college recc letter. Thanks, Mr. Gleitman! ILU too.

My coffee/food name is Cassie. I took it from my favorite former Days of our Lives character.


@JessicaLovejoy I feel like I've been missing out on a ton of fake-name possibilities. I'm never telling a coffeeshop person my real name again.


@EternalFootwoman I was using fake names at Starbucks, but it got ruined because I paid by credit card. With my different name. Busted.


@beanie ah, I always want to do this but never come up with a good name. (It's just so weird when they yell out your name but aren't looking at you/relating to you as a person at all -- not that they should -- but using your name in such an impersonal situation mixes up the situation in a weird way). You guys are inspiring me to just go ahead and pick one and do it already.


@beanie If your credit card has your middle initial, just make up names starting with that letter and explain (if confronted), that you go by your middle name. Bonus points if your first name is mainstream, and you make up long and bizarre middle names that you "prefer".


@MoonBat Genius. My first name is VERY mainstream. I need to get on one of those baby name websites and come up with some zingers.


@EternalFootwoman Awesome! Report back with your results, please?


@harebell Why stop at one? The coffee shop world is your oyster, Rebecca! And Annie! And Cynthia!


@MoonBat Definitely. I want the world (the 'pin world, at least) to benefit from my research.


@JessicaLovejoy Wow, Cassie is a great coffee name. I haven't heard that name since I was in grade school. Now I want to name my theoretical child that I don't want and will never have Cassie!


@beanie I have a long and unusual name, so I never give my real name at the coffee shop, but I also never have cash on me, so I'm always also paying with a credit card. No one has ever called me out on it (probably because if they notice the name on the card, they understand the situation). But my fake name also starts and ends with the same letters as my real name, so maybe they truly haven't ever noticed.

Katie Scarlett

I'm a terrible liar too! One time this boy told me that it was endearing and I was so annoyed because he kind of implied that I was ernest/naive. NO, BOY! I'm just a bad liar!
AND I love the sound effects on this one. Esp for the perfume. TSSS!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I lie at bars. I have a different name and a different job if I'm not sure about the person I'm chatting with. It gets pretty fun.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
When I go on vacation I become a different person with each person I meet. My names tend to get progressively less likely, until abou the forth day when I'll introduce myself as Prudence Dandyfoot and someone will say ".... really?"

hahahaha, ja.

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose: I do that too, partly for the reason you gave and partly because my name, while not totally unheard of, is hard to understand in a loud place. My friends and I also have entirely different personas to go with entirely different names, based on how we're dressed for the night.


@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook There is a supremely excellent episode of Mad About You with this as the plotline. They go on a cruise, and tell each person they meet that they do something different/have different names, etc. Hilarity, of course, ensues.


@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook I've decided that my pseudonym is Nicole (well, that part is real) Farkakte-Blutbad, but I've never actually used this, as it seems like it's more trouble than it's worth. And no one ever believed "Nicole Zombie" anyway.

I did tell a bar guy I was an aerobics instructor once. I don't know why.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose My good friend and I do that once in a while and call it "alter ego night." Sometimes we plan out OUTRAGEOUS personalities before hand and dress/do our hair to match. I've been a professional snowboarder, foreign exchange student, competing the next day in an amateur yodeling context, etc. And we keep up these personalities with each other, or try and get our friends to join in, "Ross, you should totally say you are a roadie for The Shins!" But.. it's way easier to be convincing when the stranger you are talking to has been drinking.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh man, I do that all the time. Especially if it is a dude flirting with me and I don't think he'll leave me alone if I politely tell him he's barking up the lesbian tree.


Because of my impossible-to-spell name, I lie when I get coffee, too. But- ahh- the name I use is Daria, which is maybe worse. But if you give yourself a fake name at Glasgow airport, you should probably stick with it, right?


@Saaoirse I do this too! My name is impossible to spell and/or pronounce. One time I called a place to order a sandwich in advance (their sandwiches take forever! But are incredibly delicious!) and used a fake name ("Uhhh Jessica"). But when I got there, the girl working at the till was an acquaintance who I'm 90% positive knew my real name... So that was a bit awkward.


@Saaoirse I have the same problem. I usually just give them Mary, which is what I get half the time if I give them my real name anyway.


@Saaoirse Ha! My real name is very easy, but for some reason, I always use Daria at karaoke. I don't drink coffee, so it's the one time I can give someone a fake name!


@Saaoirse Sometimes Ester's drawings remind me of Daria Morgendorffer (not gonna give in and check if that's spelled correctly!), and then I re-read the comic as if it is Daria, but grown-up and dating and living life off of MTV...

I miss Daria, is what I'm saying.


aah. that adoption thing kind of did happen in my family. my aunt ended up giving her youngest kid to her sister-in-law because they were both pregnant at the same time but the sister-in-law had a still-birth. they live, like, next door to each other and it has worked out and everyone is cool about it. but it was still a bizarre thing for me to find out about my family.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

@gunface There is a book where this kind of happens! Except the one sister gave away one of her twins to the other sister. And it didn't really even happen in the book because the main character is REALLY crazy, so she just sort of hellucinated having a twin. But. I'm a little startled to realized that this is something that's actually done. But hey, whatever works, right?


i relate to these comics soooo much and it makes me feel strangely good that there are multiples of us.


Well, I probably would've said something along the lines of "Maybe you should get a mail order bride" so clearly your dating score is higher than mine.


I tried the fake-name-at-a-coffee-shop thing once! Except it wasn't even coffee, it was at Jamba Juice. I told the chick that my name was October, and went on this spiel (after she asked about it) about how that was when my older brother was born so my parents blah blah blah. I'm pretty sure she didn't believe me and was also rolling her eyes at the stupid college student, but whatever. I tried!! I tried.


@frigwiggin I do have a friend who is a surprisingly good straight-faced liar, though. We were baking one time, and found a sesame seed in the sugar, and she was like, "oh! I was trying to make sesame sugar, like when you put a vanilla bean into sugar to make vanilla sugar," and then I was just like, "wait, but really?" and she was like, "no, of course not, dimbo," and I was like, "oh." And she wasn't even trying to trick me, she was just being funny with a straight face!

Tragically Ludicrous

@frigwiggin My uncle used to always leave a fake name at restaurants, but like, a really obvious fake name. He liked "Captain Nemo." So, you know, that's fun too.

tea tray in the sky.

@frigwiggin I'm that person. Sort of. People always think I'm being sarcastic when I'm being geniune, and vice versa. There's something weird with my delivery, but I like using this quality to mess with people. Until my aforementioned guilty conscience forced me to come clean and ruuuuuuiiin iiiiit


@frigwiggin My boyfriend used to always give fake names at the campus bagel place. He went through the entire Mets lineup, then went on to classical composers. I think he stopped after Wolfgang (spelled "Woofgang" on his order slip).

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

@frigwiggin In highschool I knew this guy who could give a straight faced delivery of ANYTHING. And I am gullible. He once convinced me for like five minutes that he had no mirrors in his house for religious purposes. The only reason he got me was that it was OUT OF THE BLUE. Like, we were having a normal conversation and he mentioned how hard shaving was and I was like 'uhm... why?' and he sort of shrugged and said 'My dad dosen't like to have mirrors in the house.' And I was so busy not being freaked out my the crazy religious nut that I didn't stop to think that that sounded a little unlikely.


@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook I told the vice principal at my high school that I was Amish because I wanted to get out of being in a yearbook photo. Despite its utter implausibility, it worked, I suppose, because public school administrators are very sensitive to religious issues of any kind.

Faintly Macabre

@datalass There was a kid in my Hebrew school class who joined late and was a spoiled brat. His decadent bar mitzvah party had those annoying people who try to make everyone dance. Pissed off at being seated in the corner and being a notoriously poorly-behaved class, we all stood in the dance floor, not dancing. One of the girls came up and tried to convince us to dance. "We're not allowed to dance," I said, looking regretful. "We're Puritans." The girl believed it and went away, and we were free to take up space and destroy the decorations in peace.


@Tragically Ludicrous My boyfriend in high school always used to use "Spartacus."


This is the story of when my mom asked me to lie (recently).

So my cousin and her hubs got married last summer, and my mom had reserved their after-wedding room at the hotel for them. My mom asked me to go get the room key, and do a little pre-wedding decorating (writing Mr. and Mrs. Cousins on the bathroom window, leaving em some Jim Beam and Astroglide on the coffee table, etc). However, in order to get the key, she said I'd have to lie and say I was her. All this meant was that I had to say that my name was my mom's name instead of my own, but the experience was BIZARRE.

Partially, it's because my mom has one of those totally vintage late 1950's/early 1960's names that NOBODY gives their kids anymore, so when I was like, "Hi...I'm [OLD FASHIONDY NAME GAL]" the concierge looked ridiculously amused and kept being like "okay you have a great day [child of the 60's!]!"

I found it thrilling, and it made me want to name my imaginary daughter after my mom, because I had never realized it before, but my mom has a name that you legit can't say without smiling a little. And that must be a nice way to go through life, even if it is a sort of semi-goofy name.


@ThisLittlePiggy Cute cute cute! But okay now I just REALLY wanna know what your mom's name is tell us pleeeeeaaaase?


@ThisLittlePiggy I know! I'm like --- "Debbie? Marsha? Linda? Sue? Carol? TELL US!!"


@ThisLittlePiggy Close... PEGGY! You can just call me "ThisLittlePeggy." I think that my mom's name being Peggy has contributed to my love of piggies. Piggy Peggy.


@gigglefest Peggy. :)


@ThisLittlePiggy Your daguhter Peggy will be the most adorable little chub with two curly pigtails tied with ribbons!


@ThisLittlePiggy I love the name Peggy! It's adorable.


@iceberg Ohhhh you're killing me, iceberg!! Mr. Piggy is super opposed to the name. But maybe your imagery will sway him...

Terrifying Wife-Avatar

@ThisLittlePiggy My mom is a Peggy too! She's an amazing person. Tons of good karma on that name so you should hold out for it with Mr. Piggy! (says this Internet stranger, authoritatively)

oh, disaster

Back when it was super popular to message strangers on AIM, I would tell people that my birthday was July 4 when it's actually July 5. I loved getting away with THE DUMBEST LIE IN THE WORLD.

And the only time I ever gave a fake name was on the ET ride at Universal Studios.


@oh, disaster MY birthday is also July 5th! But I always feel like an idiot because I'm from England, although I have lived in America for pretty much ever, and whenever the bouncer / security guy at the airport / bartender checks my ID, without fail I get a "bet you get a lot of fireworks on your birthday, huh" and I always fail to understand what the hell they are talking about. Because I guess July 4th is just not on my radar? and then I worry that they think its a fake ID, because it seems like I don't know my birthday (when in reality I just don't remember AMERICA's birthday. nbd).

oh, disaster

@janiebee My entire life- not exaggerating!- people have told me how much cooler it'd be if I was born on the 4th, like I had control over that. I said something about it to my mom once as a teenager ("Too bad I wasn't born on the 4th of July."). She then told me the story of how she got to pick when she was induced with me (I was still in the oven more than a week past the due date) and she purposefully didn't choose the 4th because she wanted me to have a day all to myself. And I still feel terrible.


@oh, disaster oh I feel for your mom! When I was born, my mum received an enormous bouquet of flowers from the (American) company my Dad had just started working for - an enormous, baffling, red white and blue, tied with bunting, bouquet. because, you see, it was apparently still the 4th in America when they got the word? I don't really know the specifics, but I do know that for years my mum thought the company was just this really super-patriotic pro-American weirdo place that did this for everybody, and didn't make the connection about the date.

But basically, doesn't our birthday suck? Everyone goes away, or is with their family, or is going to be crazy hungover / has to work on your actual birthday. I have seriously, for reals, never had a fun birthday in the states. :(

oh, disaster

@janiebee Yeeeep. I usually celebrate it a week before when no one's busy or out of town. Half the people I know think my bday is the 3rd, the other half the 7th (but NOT the 6th... odd numbers, maybe?). When I was eight or so, I picked a fake birthday in March just because I wished I had a different day.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@oh, disaster My ex told me once that one of the reasons he hated his mother (and there were soooo many) is that she had him on July 13 instead of on the 4th, when she was actually due ("she couldn't even do that right!"). He was a libertarian and an asshole, if that helps explain anything.


@janiebee Awww. I feel for you guys. My birthday is in the middle of nothing, but my son's is July 3rd. At least right now he's still excited that every birthday we buy fireworks..?

oh, disaster

@Dusk I do love fireworks.


"I have some trouble asserting myself."
"And: I'm really ambivalent."
"I guess because of insecurity and fear of rejection."

Esther, are you me?


I'm also a terrible liar, so for the icebreaker game "two truths and a lie" my lie is always that I have two younger brothers, rather than one younger brother and one younger sister. It is literally the only lie I can get away with, but it sort of works in that circumstance because it's such a dumb thing to lie about that no one questions it!

tea tray in the sky.

@Beaker I won that game by convincing everyone that my great-great-great-grandfather invented gingham.


@Beaker I always trick everyone in two truths and a lie by telling them I was the backup singer in my high school bus driver's Santana cover band. (That's a truth.)

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

@Beaker I cheat viciously at this game. I ALWAYS tell two lies and a truth, and just STICK TO MY GUNS. So much fun.


Lying! Lying is fun.
I used to assume my fictional characters' identities on sites that had message boards or commenting to fully flesh out weak characters. It was very charming how close their long-distance friendships became, but I had to stop because it took up way too much time. I regularly think about the real-life people they befriended... Now I am extremely honest and that is fun as well.

Feminist Killjoy

this was GREAT!


I'm an alright liar but a TERRIBLE secret keeper. People definitely have to very clearly say "DO NOT TELL ABOUT THIS" otherwise I will tell.

Although I take full responsibility for my gossiping ways! I'm pretty bad. Basically, if you told me something, I'm like welp if you didn't want that to get out you shouldn't have told me, but you did so now it's a free for all.

And if you don't want to be held responsible for the consequences of that, you shouldn't have told me, but you did, so now it's a free for all.

when I tell a bad gossip, I always own up to it. like the time i told my friend that her ex had cheated on her after he confided it to me in a STRICT CONFIDENCES manner (she was my closer friend though, i'm proud/not proud i hung on to that one as long as i did).




@redheaded&crazie when i say own up to it i mean the next time i spoke to her ex I told him that I had told her. I mean that I tell the person whose gossip confidence I broke, that I broke it.

Faintly Macabre

@redheaded&crazie In the beginning of middle school, I was extremely uncool but my beautiful best friend had become popular over the summer (but remains kind to this day, luckily!). A kid I was kind of friends with but also kind of hated, who was in love with a different girl each week, confided that he was in love with my friend and asked me not to tell. Five minutes later, guess who I told!


@Faintly Macabre oooh I'm trying to think of the worst secret I told that I should't have, but it really is mostly sad crush drama.

One summer at my workplace we recapped all the gossip from our nights out Gossip Girl style. It is an excellent way to get all the gossip out in the open and reduce drama, actually.


@redheaded&crazie I don't know why anybody confides in anybody else, it just seems like a recipe for disaster. And what a terrible thing to do to someone, what that dude did to you! "Oh I cheated on her and I needed to unload to someone but YOU CAN'T TELL HER YOU AREN'T A BAD FRIEND ARE YOU whew I feel better." Ugh, what the helllllll.


@frigwiggin haha yeah it was kind of dumb of him to do? Because he told me that in the throes of heart wrenching breakup-y something or other, I did keep his confidence for a long time on that one. Many times in my life I have gotten into a situation where I'm the confidante of both people in a relationship. i'm so bad because i find it stressful but I really love playing armchair couples counselling.


Whenever I order food anywhere, I go by Danger.

Regina Phalange

I once gave a fake name in a coffee shop after discovering the girl in front of me shared my name. So I said, "I don't want our drinks to get mixed up," and gave a fake name (Anna!) to try to be adorable? And this girl and the barista both gave me the stinkeyes of doom.
Also, Esther, thanks for really capturing my essence with those last two panels.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

I've always kinda felt that lying shows a lack of creativity. I pride myself on being able to tell the truth and make them like it.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook The exception to this is in extraneous lying. I tend to think of that as like... an extra curricular activity.


@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook SPORT-LYING. Is totally a thing. For instance: eating pickled beets cures blepharospasm


@redheaded&crazie I know!
I can't imagine how terrible it would have been if she had been adopted!


Sooo. What are the rules for un-lying? At what point does it go from blushing-smack-forehead admission to horrified-friend-losing catastrophe? Oh wait. I know that point. Out of lurk to give my props to Esther - once again, hitting it close to home. Thanks!


@Uumellmahaye Depends on the lie, depends on the length of time between the telling and the reveal, depends on the person. Like if you tell an obvious fib about meeting David Bowie once, whatever, everybody embellishes (maybe you stood behind him in an airport security line once and you're just rounding up to a real encounter), but if you're lying about an emotionally charged or serious matter, that's a thing that speaks badly of you.

In the middle of a day with a former friend of mine, she called her boss to let him know that her brother had died and she had to attend his funeral. I offered my commiserations only to be told with a laugh that it was bullshit and she just wanted a few days off from work. So she un-lied there but it really shouldn't have mattered. Vociferous alarms went off in my head but naturally I was in love and convinced she was an amazing person. I don't call people crazy lightly, but she turned out to be bouncing-off-the-walls, clown-shoes, file-a-false-police-report mental.

Back when I was in undergrad I did anti-violence activist work with a woman who invented a history for herself in order to legitimize her role as a lead on a project involving violence in Native American communities (she was white), because she couldn't do the work without feeling like the most important, take-charge person in the room. The Native activists who had a real stake were very, very pissed, and they had every right to be. Her lies were more common (people do that shit on resumes all the time) but they put her in a position of influence that she didn't deserve. That was shitty!


@Danzig! Thanks for the reassurance :) and - Oh my, falsifying Nativeness has got to have bad afterlife effects?! Shittay, indeed. I suppose that my awkwardness comes up when seeing old friends from a period of life when I was much more drunk and much more insecure and they reference "...misinformation" that I don't even have the faintest memory of fabricating. So I'm left with this weird multi personality feeling, I guess just to let it go is solution, that along with releasing the guilt of having fabricated the false past/stories/lies in the first place. I'm better now, but still catch myself with the temptation to embellish - you know, bedazzle my life a little. Sigh. Anyone remember a book called 'radical honesty'? That encouraged every reader to go and admit every lie (from white lie to 'you aren't actually my child' type lie) to every person that you can recall having told lies to.


Ohhh hahaha I lie about my name at coffee shops all the time, but only because my name is apparently incredibly hard for anyone to pronounce and/or spell, even though it only has 3 different letters and is really not all that uncommon? Weird.

I just say my name is Julia.


Lies = social lubrication. Our lives and our society are artfully constructed spiderwebs of tiny little lies. The awful truth is, we could not function in a world of radical honesty.


I once had a coffee date that lasted for four hours after which the fellow hastily abandoned me on the sidewalk and went home to dinner. Cold.


All the Dates I Have Ever Been On:
In grade 6, my best friend and I went on a double date to the movies with our boyfriends. They sat together two rows in front of us and left before we did.

In grade 9, my friend J asked me to go to the movies with him. I thought other people were coming too, so I didn't know it was a date until I showed up. We watched Pirates of the Caribbean and I spent the whole time leaning wayyy forward in my seat so he wouldn't get too comfortable.

Also in grade 9, I almost went on a date with a college student I met in a coffeeshop, who was prone to asking me questions like "Do you have a slutty schoolgirl uniform?" He bailed just before we were supposed to meet at Starbuck's. I stopped answering his calls.

In university, I went out dancing with a trumpeter I'd had a crush on when we were in highschool orchestra together. I had just broken up with a long-distance boyfriend, and the trumpeter and I had had a rebound drunken one-night stand. It turned out he couldn't dance. We ran into some of my sister's highschool friends. I ditched him after an hour, rudely.

A few years later, I went to see Handel's Messiah with this guy I had a massive crush on. He had the best ass I've ever seen. We were supposed to be going with a group, but no one else showed up. He kissed me at the bus stop and we're getting married this year.

Lee Van Queef

@sniffadee So adorable! Congratulations on your impending nuptials!

Why are movie dates THE WORST? My first date was to go see a comic-book movie, and the young man in question put his hand in my crotch so confidently - not even sneakily! - that I had to physically pick it up and move it to his own chair. TWICE.


@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Oy, that is awful! I have been on awesome movie dates since, but that's because they've been with my Awesome Gentleman (The Best Time I Used My Last $30 To Buy Advanced Screening Tickets To The Hunger Games...)


@sniffadee Man, that final story makes up for all the previous ones. The Messiah! Ah!

I have been on exactly one date that I would actually qualify as a date, in which I was explicitly asked out and we went and did XYZ. We went and saw Once (which was wonderful), had pizza at Pizza My Heart (I had clams on mine!) and then we went back to his dorm room and watched Serenity, and we smooched, and I went back to my dorm room late. It was actually pretty great, even though he turned out to be a joik. All other dude-related stuff has been group-of-friends-hanging-out or, once, visiting-together-after-we-had-been-online-dating-for-months where I ended up with a second-degree sunburn on my leg that blistered and smelled like wet dogs.

My dad took a girl on a first date to see Deliverance, which...makes for a great story, at least.


@frigwiggin OH MAN that sounds like the Awesomest Date Ever!! Once! Pizza! Serenity! Smooching! OMG!


@sniffadee LOVE the dates-you-don't-know-are-dates. It happened to me once, freshman year of college, but I did end up dating the guy (waaay older than me, too; he was 30 to my 18?) for a bit. Nice guy. More recently, I have a male friend who has serially done this to my girlfriends. At least two, maybe three, of my female friends have "Hung Out" with this guy only to find out that he thought it was a date. I get worried every time I ask him to do stuff now, since I don't want him to misconstrue my intention. He is also a very nice guy, but really lets himself be led on.

Meredith L.

AAAAH, you are in my brain! I've been seeing this guy a bit over the last few months and saw him at a barbecue over the weekend. He and his friend were talking about online dating and without any forethought, I butt in, "I fucking hate dating. People can be so boring." "Um...really?!?" "What? Oh, oh! Not you."


My brother lies for fun. It's weirdly fun to be on the receiving side of harmless and goofy lies, too. But I trust my brother enough to know he wouldn't lie about important things. I think he's playing the long-con right now; his hair keeps getting blonder and blonder every time I see him (and not normal blonde; a weird neon-y yellow) and he SWEARS he's not dyeing it. Just eating more turmeric. I guess that might do it, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he finally admits he's been gradually dyeing it for months.


I LOATHE the coffee-shop-name-give. Maybe I'm just too WASPy/Puritanical for my own good but it seems like a huge invasion of privacy. I realize the irony of saying this on the internet, where I have my real name and birthday and where I work on Facebook and all that. But it just creeps me out and it's WAY too personal to just be yelling my name and drink preferences for everyone to hear! Pearl-clutching time, for reals.

ALSO, I don't have THAT unusual of a name, but it IS a boy's name. So usually I guess the barista doesn't think I actually said that, and tries to guess a new name for me that sounds similar, but is a girl's name? That must be it, right?


Flies in my eyes

I used to give fake names at bars to guys I wasn't interested in, when they were trying to engage in conversation. Then it became a social experiment. My friends all had "sexy" jobsm, like nurses and secretaries, so I changed mine to a more classically feminine job to see if it got a better reaction. Sadly my alter ego "Annabelle the flight attendent" did get a lot more postive reactions than me and my real occupation, student in neurscience. Then I decided to rephrase it to "I'm a neuroscientist" and somehow guys thought I was lying immediately. This was effective and entertaining and since I only did this to boys trying to talk to me that I wasn't interested in, it resulted in exactly what I wanted, them trying to get out of the conversation they started. No need to be rude, say you're not interested or lie.


Once my quiet, unassuming friend Michael told the counter folks at a restaurant that his name was Reggie. He just made it up on the spot and said it deadpan, after a calm half-second pause. Reggie. It was so hard not to laugh.


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