Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sometimes it's best to go along with the lie to keep things moderately not uncomfortable.

I always assumed my inclination towards being 'Britishly' polite was something I had developed in my recent years. My childhood and teenage years were spent shouting... Not in an angry way but in a 'my voice only has one volume' way. 

I think this led me to be a person you either loved or hated, depending on your tolerance levels. As a result of this I do remember myself being pretty fearless, especially during secondary school. 

There wasn't a musical or concert that I wouldn't insist on being in. The performances would then leak into my real life bringing in the melodrama with it. 

So with all of this floating around in my memory, my perception of my early teens are pretty in-your-face. 

Then three days ago, a memory entered my brain out of absolutely nowhere. This memory proved  that, for all my bravado, I was still Britishly awkward even at that age. 

I was 14 and the memory was of a phone call I had made to a friend, Helen. 

I had dialled Helen's number and her dad picked up. 


"Hi, is Helen there?"

"No sorry Susie, Helen's out at the mo."

I was silent for a few seconds. Susie wasn't my name... Should I tell him? I considered correcting him but then thought I'd be off the phone soon and it would be far less awkward to just ignore it. 

"Okay. Well thanks, I'll try later."

"We haven't seen you around here for a while, how are you?" Helen's dad continued. 

Crap. Susie was obviously a close friend. It was probably best to just come clean now. Even if it would be awkward, at least he would recognise his mistake and we could get off the phone that little bit quicker. 

With my mind made up, I opened my mouth to respond. 

"I'm fine thanks." I replied, and then, not wanting Susie to appear rude, I added, "how about you?"

"Oh I'm fine," he replied. "Are you and your parents still coming to our outing this weekend?"

Cold sweat coated my face as I plunged into another awkward pause. He knew Susie and her parents? This was just getting ridiculous now. I mean if he knew her that well then surely he would have been able to pick out her voice from a complete strangers!

But I was too invested in the whole charade now. I couldn't back out without having to explain why I had lied previously. So instead of coming clean, I said:

"Of course we'll be there, looking forward to it."

Internally I was thinking 'Crap, I hope I'm right.'

"Okay," he replied, "Well I'll see you then. Say hi to your parents for me."

"Will do." I replied and practically slammed the phone down.

I remember spending the next couple of days hoping and praying that he never spoke to the mysterious Susie on Saturday about that conversation.

I love that after years of never telling a soul about that phone call and suppressing it into the depths of my memories, it popped out of nowhere, completely unannounced and entirely unprovoked. It was like my brain was saying... 'Yes I know, money's tight and life seems a little overwhelming at the moment, so here... have a memory that will make you laugh.'

Cheers brain, you're awesome.

Peace out my lovelies.


  1. Reminds me of a phonecall i made to you... or so i thought. we were travelling over (from wickford i think) and my mum hands me her phone, and says, just give the harries' a ring and tell them we'll be there soon (or something along those lines)

    so, i looked up 'harries' on my mums phone, and rung it. i then had a conversation for, i swear, about five minutes with someone i thought was you, pretending not to be you for some kind of joke! i insisted that it was you (and that i knew what you were up to) for ages, and the you that wasn't you kept on denying it. when it eventually dawned on me that this wasn't you, I hung the phone up in about a second! It was horrible!

    I blame my mum! how can you have the wrong number stored in your mobile for that long?!

  2. Ha ha!! I was on the phone to my brother when I read this and both Daniel and I laughed heartily!