>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
March 12, 2006

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College students lie everyday. We call the pizza place and tell them we have a coupon and then say we lost it upon delivery. We tell our professors how we're having a really hard time at home to get an extension on the paper. We tell our boyfriend his penis is the largest we’ve ever seen. In fact it just may be too big. We tell our girlfriend she gives really good head, when what we’d really like to do is smack her like a bad doggy and scream, “My dick is not a chew toy!” But the person we lie to more than anyone else is ourselves. We lie to make us feel good about ourselves. To make us seem better than we really are. And it doesn't matter what the lies do to us in the long run because we're all pretty much so fucked up in the end that maybe these lies are what gives our entire existence some fucking hope….

Wow, that was a little confusing. Let me rewind and give you an example of what I’m talking about, since I’m obviously having trouble properly conveying anything in words this week.

It all started when this guy stood up a really good/pretty girlfriend of mine. He said he would meet her, didn't show up, and deliberately never called to tell her. This guy is stupid. We hang out with the same people. Unless he broke off from the group to run away and join a severely religious organization where he would dance naked underneath the moonlight and drink the special life-energy Kool-Aid, it was inevitable he would see her again. And see her again he did—Wednesday night, a mere four days after standing her up. As a witness, I’m going to say that it wasn’t pretty. He promptly ignored her after making brief eye contact. Hurt and aggravated by his actions she strolled up to him, tipped her drink onto his lap, and said (and I quote), “Who the fuck do you think you are? Do you know who I am? I speak three languages, play two musical instruments, graduated magna cum laude, have backpacked through 27 countries, and led one Antarctic Expedition. Oh, and for one whole summer I dated the lead singer of Fall Out Boy. You stood me up? Please, what could you possibly offer me?”

“Ladies, I think the biggest lie that we confirm in our minds is that we're good drivers. Everyone else is a complete and total asshole on the road.”

And while she really only speaks English, a little bit of 9th grade French, cannot read music, graduated without honors, only goes on expeditions where there are palm trees and poolside bars, has never dated (let alone met) anyone famous, the look on the guy's face was priceless. He spent the rest of the night trying to buy her drinks and promising to sweep her off her feet. Of course, unless she goes to town Photoshopping herself into foreign landscape and learning Portuguese overnight, I don’t see a future panning out for the two of them. But the lie had to be said, it had to be done; she couldn’t let him think she was worth standing up. And no one ever should. So it got me thinking. What are the lies we tell ourselves every day to make us feel less loserish and more betterish? Shakespeare was a genius. He made up his own words. Therefore I am genius. See, there I go, lying to myself again.

Ladies, I think the biggest lie of all that we confirm in our minds each and every day is that we're good drivers. Everyone else is a complete and total asshole on the road. I drive an hour through traffic to and from work everyday and can confirm that no one in the entire city of Chicago, excluding myself, are using their turn signals. I have been hit almost five times this week alone on the expressway. Four out of the five drivers were women, and the fifth was a man of Latino decent, who in my opinion was an illegal alien. I’m not trying to stereotype the Hispanic population, but his car had no license plates, two broken windows, one working brake light, and an Our Lady of Guadalupe sticker on the back window. So it's just a working theory that he was Mexican.

Ladies, another lie we tell ourselves is that we can change a flat tire all by our pretty little selves. A couple weeks back I blew out a tire by crashing it into the curb while making an illegal U-turn. Panic-stricken by the fact that my front tire had been pulverized by a small piece of cement, I began to cry. Now, just to clarify, I was not emotionally devastated or sobbing hysterically. I was a little frightened and shed a few tears. Dressed up ready for a night of drinking, I am not the bionic woman, and was in no way prepared to change a tire in the middle of winter wearing a denim mini-skirt and high-heeled, open-toed shoes. So, like most of you females out there reading this would do, I just flipped open my cell and called my parents.

Casey (who I was going out with that fateful night) brought her parents, who generously offered to change my flat tire. Embarrassingly, I was unable to identify where in my vehicle the jack, and other lug nut turny-thinga-magiggy tools were located. However, I am not uncomfortable to admit that I was not strong enough to do anything else than watch them change this tire. There was no way any woman—even the butchest of us all—could get the lugnuts off my car and put another tire back on. I am not even humiliated to say I needed a manly figure there to fix it. What I was discomforted by was that my mom, who has proudly proclaimed she could change a tire if she really needed to since I was 8 years old, was too weak to even lift her dolly wheel out of her truck to locate her jack so Casey’s dad could fix my car. Looks like lying to ourselves is also genetic.

Most people lie to themselves about how much alcohol they can consume. “This one last shot won't hurt me.” But it in fact does, because if the last thing you remember is taking your second Jager bomb and waking up naked and duct taped to the bed with one eyebrow, well, you're not really fooling anyone…even yourself.

Have you ever said, “Whatever I did last night couldn't have been that bad,” but really it was? Because you fell down the stairs, spent over two hundred dollars on your parent’s emergency credit card, had your skirt tucked into your panties from midnight to bar time, and photogenic proof of it all over Facebook. Luckily, it’s only on occasion when your best friend has to relay to you that you were found passed out in an elevator by an RA, taken away by an ambulance while being arrested at the same time, and all you can remember is the doctor in the emergency room sticking a catheter in your penis to get a urine sample. Which really isn't that bad since it makes one hell of a true story.

Academic lies are the best though. There's a 50-page term paper due in three days that you haven’t even started researching. Yet you convince yourself that if you can stay up the next 72 hours straight working on it, you will be able to at least manage a B-. By hour 59 of your library captivity you’ll be grateful just to get hit the 30-page mark and pray to the homework gods for a D.

Have you ever seen someone try to wing an oral presentation? Like the guy who tells himself he can get up in front of class without note acards and just shoot out everything he memorized from the Cliff Notes the night before. “Everything will go smoothly. No big deal man, you’re a natural. Evoke the essence of Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers and you’ll be playing with the pros.” Then he finally gets up there, sees the audience, and is only able to mutter, “Ugh, book good. Like it lot. Pretty words. Movie better.” Yeah, the lesson here is, never tell lies to yourself that you’re Vince Vaughn when you’re really a drunk Matthew Perry.

Every day we tell ourselves that we're better off without the person who dumped us. That he or she will amount to nothing but a crack addict with a small apartment above a laundromat and one day on the way to your fabulous job, looking immaculate in your expensive suit, you’ll see them panhandling, and for a brief moment you will receive not only recognition, but vindication that you turned out better than him/her. Which is fun to daydream about during downtime, but not so much when their ass is hard enough to bounce quarters off of, and hasn’t blown up to the point where it’s big enough to be used as an airbag in a Dodge Caravan taking a bunch oftrailer trash kids to school.

And if we’re not telling ourselves that we’re better off without them, we are single-mindedly convincing ourselves that, “He/She really likes me,” immediately followed by a lame excuse only your dismal self could possibly believe. Sure he hasn’t called you back after your hookup on Saturday, but he’s probably just studying for his midterm. Of course she needs some alone time, it’s probably just her time of the month—she’ll respond to your text messages within the next 3-5 days. So what if he didn’t introduce me to that girl he had his arms wrapped around last week at the bar—it was probably just his sister. So what if she was making out with my roommate—she was probably so black-out drunk she probably thought it was me…I still feel a connection. Listen friends, the only connection you should be concerned about is the damaged one leading from your heart to your brain that’s allowing you to believe those lies. I know it’s hard to stop lying to yourself, but if you must, only do it alone in your bed at night, and never try to convince your friends that your lies are realistic in any way, because they will think you’re crazy—even though they’re probably just lying to themselves that you’re really not.

Workisms

Is it wrong that during my lunch I downloaded the X-Men 3 movie trailer and got wet just watching it? I mean, I know I used to watchthe cartoons when I was younger and pretended to be Rogue, but I think my adoration for them has elevated to an unhealthy level.

So after weeks of begging and putting up with my waffling, my co-worker Erinn finally convinced me to go rock-climbing for the first time at her gym. And when I say gym, I mean a suburban gym with an indoor waterpark and an Aveda salon inside. Comparing it to my gym is like comparing Keira Knightely’s boobs to Pamela Anderson’s. Sure Keira’s are nice, but guys, which one would you rather be able to rub your face in on a nightly basis? Exactly. Now, normally I don’t like to partake in activities where my legs go higher in the air than a porn star unless I’m going to climax at the end, but Erinn promised there would be hot men there, so after learning all these complicated stretches, I twisted myself into positions normally reserved for the bedroom and then headed down to the rock wall.

If you’ve only watched people climb before, it really doesn’t seem that tough. You’ve got pegs in a wall that you’ve got to climb up. Fine, I’ve seen girl friends of mine climb 6-foot fences in stiletto’s after house party raids by the cops, so it can’t be that tough, right? W to the R to the ONG. Unlike the rest of Erinn’s friends, I got held up in the shoe/harness/waiver form process, but that was fine by me because there were three banging hot guys explaining to my sweatpant-clad self the rules of the rock (I kept silently replacing the R with a C), and one of the guys had to strap me in the rental harness. After five solid minutes of pulling at the straps and tightening me in, I walked away and told her, “Thanks for bringing me here. That’s the most action I’ve gotten in months.” She started to laugh, but stopped short because the look on my face told her it was true.

So she took me to the beginner’s portion of the wall where there were lots of pegs and holes to climb up. I began climbing and was doing pretty well. Then we reached the top of a 3-story wall and I made the mistake of looking down. You never know you suffer from vertigo until you find yourself clinging to a rock wall for dear life a bazillion feet up in the air. “Just let go,” she tells me. “You’re on the automatic belay, it will catch you. What you want to do is just let go and push off the wall.” “No Erinn,” I told her, “what I want to do is not come crashing down to Earth.” Unfortunately, in my attempt at climbing back down the wall I slipped and let go all-together, and glided gently down to the ground—although you neverwould have figured that out with all the shrill screaming and wild limb-flailing.

After a couple times of doing that I got pretty good, and she took me over to the advanced section to watch her and her boyfriend take turns belaying each other. I prefer calling belaying “ba-ling-a-ling,” because it rhymes with “cun-a-ling-a-ling,” and, well, rock climbing I discovered is a very sexual sport. I think all first dates should be at a rock climbing wall. The guy’s harness alone will tell you whether or not this relationship has potential for the long haul; their junk is on display at all times. I couldn’t even believe how much it flaunts their manly parts. In all my years, I have seen nothing like it. Except of course, Speedos at a swim meet. And even then, with the cold water, taking into account shrinkage, there maybe some discrepancies. Rock climbingdisproves the theory that it’s the motion in the ocean, my friends. Rock climbing truly proves it is the size of the vessel that matters. Women, I can’t emphasize this enough: make a beeline for a rock climbing wall ASAP.

But ladies I should warn you. Beware what you choose to wear on your rock climbing expedition. Even though guys reign supreme in the junk-display competition, the ladies come in dead last, because if you are not careful, at some points during your climb you might get severe camel toe. Erinn says it’s really common and no one really notices. Except for this observer, who kept smoothing out her sweatpants to ensure that if she died on the rock climbing wall her obituary wouldn’t read, “Automatic belay broken, girl plummets to death, found with massive case of camel toe.”

By 10:30 I was pooped. My forearms hurt, my back hurt, everything hurt. But I was happy that I climbed to the top a couple more times by myself—even if it was the kiddie wall. Unfortunately, I couldn’t let the guy unharness me when I turned in the rental equipment even though he offered, because I decided that manly contact was not as beneficial to any of the parties involved since I was covered in sweat. So my first outing with a co-worker went really well andalcohol wasn’t even involved. Hmm, maybe I am growing more mature and open to new experiences that don’t necessarily involve booze and late nights. Oops, there I go lying to myself again. If that were true, I would have told that entire experience with the words “junk” and “camel toe.”

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