Saturday, February 22, 2014

Liar Liar

When I was a kid, I believed in Santa, fairies, elves, unicorns, goblin kings...

Basically, I was open to all possibilities. Bubble gum tree? You betchya. Flying? Of course! (But, I still believe that one...and maybe the bubble gum tree...)

I took everything at face value, and magic was woven into everything.

I remember watching "Winnie the Pooh: Too smart for strangers," and "The Witches," and thinking after that that every stranger I met was a kidnapping witch, who was going to turn me into a mouse after they shoved me into their creepy van. I suppose such caution was good, and kept me from getting snatched.

So, reality hadn't really set yet (or if it had it was more like a jello mold), and I often wandered in wide-eyed wonder.

In a nutshell, anything and everything, good or bad, was a definite possibility/probability.

One day, Emily and I went to the local grocery store. I think we were either buying candy or Barbie clothes (probably both), and after much debate over what we were going to get, we went to the checkout line.

I think I went first and was waiting for Emily, because I was standing at the end of the lane, staring at the people around me.

In front of me was a girl. She was wearing some sort of tank top, her arms bare. She had dark hair (I think she was from India), and from where I was standing I could see something very wrong with her.

Her underarm hair was sticking out from her tank top.

It was long.

And thick.

And braided.

Like, down to her waist.

I stood there, staring in mortification.

How was that even possible? I thought, but then I remembered that Jareth the Goblin King rode unicorns on his way to visit Santa and the Tooth Fairy for tea every Saturday afternoon. Braided underarm hair must be possible. But still...

My young mind (I must have been seven) was trying to wrap itself around the whole notion, but kept getting caught in the girls long braids, strangling the life out of my brain. My imagination even created a smell that made my young body shudder.

Being the polite sort, I waited until I was outside of the store to tell Emily the horrors of what I had seen.

"EMILY!" I said in a harsh whisper. "There was a girl in there...with braided underarm hair!"

Emily looked at me like I had just told her horses were a type of fish.

She kept her thoughts about me to herself until we got home, and then told everyone what I had said.

The response was the same, across the board.

"You're such a liar, Dara!"

I protested emphatically.

I was no liar!

But nobody listened to me.

They kept calling me a liar, and laughed at my failed and feeble attempt at fooling them all.

Braided underarm hair, indeed...

I suppose this wouldn't have bothered me if that had been the end of it (I mean, I knew what I saw), but it was the fact that anytime something happened, and I told my side of the story, they would bring up the Braided Underarm Hair Incident as evidence, and would say that I was lying yet again.

This must have happened 50 times, my integrity being called into question.

I finally gave up.

I was beaten.

"Fine," I said after another berating. "I lied about the underarm hair."

I had mixed feelings of defeat and annoyance that I had to lie about something I didn't lie about.

My "confession" only led to everyone feeling justified in calling me a liar (and to my knowledge, I didn't lie about stuff. The one time I lied was when Angie Dexter from down the street handed me a wad of cash right when the candy man was driving down the road, and I, thinking this a wonderful gift, flagged him down and was in the middle of the purchase when Angie ran to Mom and told her I had stolen the money, to which I replied that, no, my mom had given it to me, and all that fell apart when Mom walked up and gave me the Mom Stare, and I went home, head hung in shame....Stupid Angie...she should have SAID she wasn't giving the money to me, but wanted me to be her agent with the candy man because she wasn't tall enough to look into the truck...)

For YEARS I was labeled a liar. It was very hard on my young soul.

I had to deal with the label until I was old enough to defend myself in long paragraphs made solid with demi-adult logic. I was seven, I exclaimed. It looked like braided arm pit hair! It probably was her hair hanging down her shoulders...or maybe she got arm pit hair extensions...who knows! But I didn't lie...

It's made me very sensitive about being honest. I hold that virtue in the highest regard. Honesty is the best policy.

So, if people around you don't believe what you have to say, remember me and the girl with the braided arm pit hair.

If nothing else it will make you giggle. 


Katscratchme said...

I remember that one. We were standing in line to get ice cream at Thrifty's... I think Melissa was there, too. :D

I don't RECALL calling you a liar, but I think I insisted that you must be mistaken.. of course, that doesn't have the same zinging sound as "liar".. :D

Anonymous said...

You may not have, but everyone else did! It was horrible...

Anonymous said...

Hang on a sec...are you calling me a liar? :P

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