I’m not sure where I read about a new book about lying. Perhaps it was in the Oprah magazine that I browsed through at Barnes and Noble earlier. Anyway, it pointed out some stats like white lies aren’t really all that good and a large percentage, like 80%, of people tell lies. As I cut through the parking lot to the easiest exit, it got me thinking about all the things I have lied about in particular the things that I’ve lied to myself about.

I lie to myself a lot. Mostly to “fake it ‘till I make it.” On those days where everything goes wrong and I’m convinced my day is going to be horrible because the steamer ran out of water or my alarm clock didn’t go off, I often rationalize that those things will not dictate my day and plaster a smile across my face at the first sign of students and colleagues.

That’s not a lie you may say, but to me, it is. See, this is how I got myself to like reading. I have always read, ever since I was a little kid. My oldest sister used to buy me books from some mail service. I remember I had this huge book with all these funky looking drawings. The book was designed to teach me my colors, numbers, the alphabet, etc. I’m sure you know the kind. I loved looking at it and wanted so bad to know what it said. I had other titles, too and Gabi always brought home books for me from the library. Despite us being immigrants and poor, our house was not a poor print home. My mom always tried to instill in us a love of reading.

My mom always recalls me sitting in my rocking chair next to my record player looking at books and listening to music. I loved having books around and looking at the pictures and being read to.

When I finally learned to read, I was motivated by programs like Book It or by praise from my teachers, but honestly, I didn’t like reading so much.

I would have to read passages over and over sometimes because I didn’t understand the words and/or would go off on a mental fieldtrip. Still, I continued to read.

It’s funny that for someone who didn’t love reading, I actually read a lot. Perhaps my lack of friends helped. In seventh grade, I would spend my lunchtime in the library perusing the shelves. Or maybe the summer that we moved to my sisters and there was nothing to do and I learned to stay up all night glued to a book because I became enthralled by the lives of the characters. During high school, I often avoided going home and hung out in the library instead.

When people asked what I liked to do, naturally, I said read because it was something I did often whether or not I was successful. I faked it until I made it because now, I really do like to read. I’ve spent much of my free time this summer with my nose in a book or listening to one on my iPod as I clean or attempt to fall asleep. So maybe lying to myself this instance wasn’t such a bad thing.


Annette said...

I also sometimes wonder if all lies are necessarily harmful. A book about lying definitely sounds interesting.

cindylu said...

Of all the things you could fake, I'm pretty sure reading is a good one. Just look at how it benefited you!

Also: I'm a really bad liar.

And: I'm kinda shocked that you didn't like reading as a kid.

Chanclita Divina said...

i remember book it. i also remember having a brief monthly subscription to a book club--especially for girls or just for girls. i can't remember the exact name but i still recall some of the books i read.

also, i don't know when you changed the blog but it looks so whimsy and cute.

Michelle Cantu Wilson said...

There's that voice I used to know. So great to find your blog. I found myself leaning forward and smiling as I read - that's how much I enjoy your work and hearing your thoughts. Interesting topic - how we lie to ourselves. I'll have to think on that one.

La Brown Girl said...

Cindy-I know! I'm glad there were people in my life that made me read.

Chanclita-I changed it a few weeks back. A small homage to my sister's daughter. She calls her piquito de oro.

Michelle-I'm glad you're enjoying it. I loved reading about the armpits.