10 Lies Your Parents Let You Get Away With — Even Though They Totally Knew You Weren't Telling The Truth
I've never actually seen the movie Liar Liar — partially because the entire concept of continual truth-telling scared me, and partially because Jim Carrey freaked me out a little back in the day (I mean, with the facial expressions and everything? I know, I was a fragile child growing up). As a kid, and even today, there were a few white lies that I told my parents solely to make sure they didn't worry about me too much. Also, like all simple children, I thought I could get away with it. If I were plagued with Fletcher Reede's syndrome (yes, I totally looked up his character's name on IMDB just now to prove a point), my parents would probably keep me on lockdown. Also, I'd probably be viewed as a massive jerk in the eyes of all.
Sometimes children lie to test their boundaries, and sometimes they do it because they witness everyone else doing it. Lies spread among friends are spouted out to sound impressive (like, "Zack Morris called me on the phone last night, and said he wants to choose me over Kelly!"), while others are to dodge our way out of feeling guilty. Yet even with the guilt of actually stretching the truth, it doesn't stop me from masking my emotions even today, when faced with parents asking difficult life questions.
Here are a few common lies we can all relate to that, for some reason, our parents never really seemed to question. (But believe me, they knew it when we were kids. They knew everything.)
1. "Dad said it was OK."
When you're a kid, you don't think about your parents at all when you're not in the room with them. Unfortunately, parents enjoy discussing their children and their own issues before going to bed at night, and in this day and age, can shoot each other text messages immediately when things go awry. Most parents are usually on the same page with parental rules, so pegging Dad against Mom rarely worked.
Thanks to television, I think we envisioned Dad to be clueless when Mom finally asked him about the permission he supposedly granted. "Maybe I did?" he'd say, before a laugh track went off. "Kids will be kids!"
2. "My sister did it."
Although you were the villain who totally cracked the refrigerator handle after being too food-anxious, your sister or brother is the easiest target to pin the crime on. Even if they weren't even in the house at the time, they were in the house at some time, thus your guilt diminishes by 50 percent. It's her word versus yours, and with some solid acting, you might actually be able to pull this off.
We never really thought about the aftermath. Nor did we realize that some glue would likely fix the accidental non-issue you created. In your head, the entire fridge would have to be replaced, and the family would be out of food for a week or so.
3. "I'm too sick to be in school today."
Back when I was in elementary school, I had a wacky school nurse who was willing to send students home for a simple complaint. Being an anxious kid who didn't truly know what anxiety was, I begged my body to produce a mild fever and some tears on a daily basis in order to escape the fear I felt on the inside. My dad held these sick days against me until I went to college, and still doubts me any time I'm actually sick. I'm currently 31. Of course, he couldn't doubt me in front of the nurse without looking like an awful parent.
4. "I already know how to do this."
Because kids know everything. That, or they have an idea in their head and won't stop and think of the consequences. Like, remember that broken fridge handle? Maybe if you put some white chewing gum in there, nobody would notice! I mean, the fridge is white, so it's totally fixable, and you'll probably be off the hook. Look at you, young MacGyver.
5. "I'm going to run away and live on my own!"
During your childhood, you might have had the idea to pack your own hobo bindle and try life on your own. I pulled this stunt about two times, but nobody actually stopped me. They knew it was just a plea for attention, and that I'd barely make it around the block without feeling both sorry (for myself) and hungry (for dinner). Based on the fact that your bindle-making consisted of tying a handkerchief around a stick, you couldn't really pack anything other than a granola bar in there.
6. "Everything's fine!"
Now we're going to discuss the lies you've been telling your parents during the last few years. You decided to move out, and suddenly learned that you have to pay for water and electricity. Your quick math on your brand new entry level job forgot to include this stuff. And groceries. So, uh, you've been eating ramen and Campbell's soup for the last two weeks. But really, everything is fine! It's great, really. Being independent is simply wonderful.
7. "I pay my bills on time, in full, every month"
My dad usually tells me that credit card debt is pointless debt. House and school debt are the "good kinds" of debt. While I appreciate the financial advice, I typically stay quiet. Know why? Because life is expensive sometimes. While I'm not constantly floundering in debt, I know I'm not treating the idea of debt the same way my parents would. And I'd hate to disappoint my dad, or have him worry. (Note: If my dad reads this, "everything's fine!")
8. "Pretty much all of my friends are taking a year off to travel."
In reality, you had that one friend who decided to randomly travel to Asia for a few months for some sightseeing, and her pictures on Facebook are making you really jealous. You hate your job, and want to enjoy your 20s while you still can. While you know the decision is a little irresponsible, using this sole friend (who's probably someone you haven't actually talked to in five years) is enough evidence to plead your case.
Chances are, they won't budge. Since if all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too? (Classic parents!)
9. "Yeah, I get plenty of sleep."
You get plenty of sleep on the nights where MTV doesn't air a True Life marathon. So you get plenty of sleep on like, Sunday.
While you know your sleep schedule has been a little janky these days, you keep telling yourself that your late nights with friends (and Netflix) are completely, totally worth it. This is why caffeine was invented, right?
10. "I've gone on a few dates recently."
Oh, Mom and Dad. Always so concerned about you meeting a nice boy someday. If romantic news seems kind of barren on your end, they might try to set you up with some weirdo son of a woman that was in their old church group about 15 years ago. "He's a nice boy," they'll say. "Not a looker, and kind of shy, but very nice. He tries."
Look, sometimes parental blind date setups can work out, but having your parents be involved in something so public is often a drag. If you break up, will it affect the friendship they have with his mom? Will there be more pressure to run off, get married, and have kids because they have pre-approved him? It's easier to let them know that you're totally in control of your totally fantastic love life. Even though you've stayed in for the past 17 Friday nights, it doesn't mean that things aren't happening.
Images: ABC Family; Giphy (6)