Mastering the Art of the Unintentional Lie


Sometimes I find myself lying for no apparent reason. Once I was woken at 11AM by a knock at my front door. Embarrassed that I was still in bed at that hour on a Tuesday, I quickly rushed to the door and explained to the mailman that I had worked night shift the night before.

ME? NIGHT SHIFT? Yeah, right. I probably just stayed up until midnight watching episodes of My Strange Addiction.

I have no idea why I chose to lie. However, I do know that I committed. The mailman asked where I worked and I casually named the coal mine where my husband works. (Totally believable, right?) Luckily, I don’t find myself lying unintentionally very often. I’d say it only happens once every few months. Like this month.

A friend wrote on my Facebook wall asking where they could get a copy of my book in Sydney. I decided to give Dymocks on George Street a call to see if they had any copies on their shelves yet. A very sweet woman answered the phone and said that she would check for me. But before she put me on hold she asked me my name. Feeling like a douchebag for calling about my own book, I audibly stuttered “Uh uh uh uhhhhh… Ashley.”

Why I chose that particular name is beyond me. You see, I don’t usually like the name Ashley (something about crushed dreams and a broken heart due to a girl named Ashley when I was a teenager.) As I was mentally kicking myself for lying, the woman came back on the line and explained that yes they have the book and she’ll put a copy at the Special Orders desk for me. The she asked for my last name. Again I searched the room for inanimate objects to name, but all that came out of my mouth was my husband’s surname, “JONGSMA. J-O-N-G-S-M-A.”

I felt just like Jan Brady when she made up the name George Glass.

Nice Book Lady continues, “Okay Ashley Jongsma, when will you be in? And is 0478****** the best contact number?”

DEAR GOD SHE HAD CALLER ID. As I silently prayed that “Summer Land” hadn’t popped up with my number, I told her that I’d be in on Friday.

LIES. All LIES. I had no plans to travel three hours to Sydney to pick up a copy of my own book.

So now I have to find a friend to go to Dymocks to their Special Orders counter to pick up a book for Ashley Jongsma.

By Summer Land

*Previously Published on Flamingo Pink: http://www.flamingopink.com.au/2013/10/mastering-the-art-of-the-unintentional-lie/

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