First off, I should start by addressing my long absence from this blog. During this time, many of my friends have asked me to get back to it and tonight I finally decided I felt like returning to my non fiction project. In the 6 months since my last post, my life has changed dramatically, as many of you know. I have moved from Philadelphia to NYC to start grad school, my MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence. The move involved changing jobs and housing, getting accustomed to a new city, new friends, and being a student again, which was weird considering I was only out of school for 2 years. During the first semester, my family and I lost my amazing Dad to a massive stroke. Naturally, we are still adjusting to life without him. So there really hasn't been much time for this project, but since life is beginning to settle once more, I thought it was time to pick up where I left off:)
So, we're still on KT, right? After that first meeting, I began to look forward to working with her, if for no other reason than enjoying her massive lies. I mean, really, I've never heard anyone lie like her!!! I THOUGHT I had known a pathological liar before, but in truth, I had not. Now, I have nothing against different body types, but girlfriend was big. And when I say big, I don't mean, "I wanna lose 10 lbs" like the rest of the world big. No. I mean BIG. BIG. BIGGGGGGGG. Celebrity diva big. Think Oprah in the 80's, or Liz Taylor in the late 90's, or Star Jones before the surgery. (who btw is another BIG LIAR- you don't just show up to work one day 80lbs lighter without having gone under the scalpel. But at least SHE finally came out with it) Anyway, tangents aside, she was a big girl. But when I complimented her on a skirt one day, because it was cute, and I have been known to point out a fabulous article of clothing when I see one, she told me where she bought it. With a perfectly straight face, angelic like a childs'.
"Oh thank you." She said in her sexy voice, an intended whispy sigh that just sounded like years of cigarettes. "I bought it at 1,3,5."
What I wanted to say was:
NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!! You can't groan your way into a FIVVVEEEEE! You bought that mess at JC Penny, betch!! I saw it on the sale rack. Special price: $14.99!!!!!! But. It WAS cute.
That was when I learned to simply smile when every impulse in my body is asking for a funny gay outburst. After all: customers. We don't want anything disturbing the sale of mud masks and bath bombs. Her lies weren't gonna get in the way of my Christmas bonus, heck no!
It was like that one got the ball rolling. There were the absurd lies, like that one, that just tumbled from her mouth as though she were a squirrel who'd stuffed too many acorns in her cheek. They just couldn't stay hidden. I mentioned figure skating once, and she told me that she had been a skater too. Not implausible, lots of kids go through skating lessons when they're little. Then she asked me how serious I was, which is a skater's backwards way of figuring out who could whoop whose ass if you both strapped on some blades this instant. I mentioned that I quit around the time I was beginning double Axels and triple Salchows, Michelle Kwan stuff.... you know, just a few years shy of my Olympic glory.
"Woww. I was doing double axels too!!!"
NO YOU WEREN'T!! STOP LYING!!!
Can you tell me why she wasn't a figure skater? Because if I say it one more time, I'll feel like a nasty queen.
She would claim her boyfriend was a substitute hitter for the Cleveland Indians, that she partied with Paris Hilton in LA, that her father owned a mansion in Dubai, and she desperately wanted to charter a plane and fly us all there for a weekend, if only corporate (the bitches!) would let us close the store for a few days.
But there was one kicker, a real doozy. I can't even recall how it came up, but it did. Keep in mind this girl was the same exact age as me in terms of graduation year and everything. By this time, I had also learned that she was in fact NOT attending Case Western's medical school as she had once said, but rather one of the local community colleges studying medical assisting. I don't remember if I mentioned this or not in the previous post but, sometime earlier, she had mentioned in passing, having attended Harvard. (!!!!)
Casually over conversation one day, I mentioned how I missed legal TV shows, and every time I watched them, they made me want to go to law school. But of course it's not like TV (not like Ally Mcbeal at all), and anyone who knows me knows I would just die of boredom. So that's that.
KT: "Well, I went to law school once. Harvard. It wasn't so bad." I almost laughed right there, but I wanted to be a class act. I tried. I tried so hard.... I slept on it, tried to forget it, but it just wasn't going to happen. So the next day, she and I were working together, and I waited crouching tiger, hidden smart-ass. I waited until the store was empty, and then I pounced on it like the throbbing jugular it was.
Me: "So, KT, Harvard, eh? Well I'm thinking about law school, maybe you can give me some advice on the LSATs."
Her face became so flat.....
KT: "Sure Dennis. What kind of law would you want to do?"
Me: "Well, I had a class at Bryn Mawr about Constitutional, and that was pretty cool. Or civil rights law, or maybe environmental. I like to think I'm green. But the LSATs are hard. What did you do? Any tips?"
She took a moment.
KT: "Well, why don't we google it?"
She dragged me over to the computer and, true to her word, she googled it, finding Kaplan, Princeton Review, and a few of the smaller test prep groups.
KT: "Well, you can take these classes or um, you could get a tutor. Yeah, a tutor."
Me: "A tutor? Is that what you did?"
KT: "Yes! Oh, and he was a good one, too. Really good. I don't remember his name, though. I mean, I was only 16. Did I tell you that?"
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!! YOU MISSED THAT TEENY TINY LITTLE DETAIL!!!!!!
Me: "Really? 16? And Harvard? Law school? "
KT: "Yup. It was really hard. I graduated early from high school, I studied for 4 hours a day, and I did it! Harvard!"
Well, I had to hand it to her-- she stuck with her lie. She stumbled at first, but then it just snowballed, like- well- a snowball. I had to wonder if she'd been watching clips of the Monica Lewinsky scandal on youtube, 'cause Billy sure taught the American youth how to lie convincingly when every fiber of everyone else knows you're just a dirty little fibber.
By this time, there was no stopping me.
Me: "What was it like?"
KT: "Well, it was actually pretty hard. To tell the truth...(HA!) I didn't really finish."
Jeez, what a shocker.
KT: "It was really hard. So I stopped after 2 years."
Now, if I really were an idiot, she MAYBE could have had me there. I'm sure there are plenty of people who quit (or fail) out of law school. Law school seems hard. Really hard. But then she said this.
KT: "So what it is, it's an associate's degree. I have an associate's degree from Harvard Law School."
Well, I never! An Associate's degree from Harvard?!? I guess the recession was hitting them so hard they were just bending over backward to give any Tom, Dick, or Harry an.. a what? It's not a J.D., so is it a A.J.D. or an a.J.D? Or maybe just j.d., no capitals. An... "assjuris", instead of a "jurisdoctor?" WHO KNOWS??? Anyway, I nearly passed out. My nostrils were clogged from the fibbery that was flying around. Given our abundant supply, perhaps I should have washed her mouth out with soap!
Now, all of us who worked in the stores in this particular wing of the mall were friendly, so naturally, word of the law(LIE)yer who was deigning to sell soap with us low-lifes spread like a California wildfire.
The sad thing is that, in some ways, she really is, or could be, a nice girl. And I try, I try so hard to see the good, but sometimes people just throw the ugly right in your face, and then what are you supposed to do?
One more thing- I was out with my two home besties, maybe two weeks ago. I'd had 2 glasses of red wine at Melange, and then, because we're so sophisticated, we went to Denny's for deep fried deliciousness- I have learned- you can take the queen out of OH, but you can't take the OH out of the queen, no matter how much we prune and preen. Anyway, when I've not eaten much for dinner, 2 glasses of red wine for me is... Well, I wasn't drunk but I was less than sober. I saw her, as we were paying our Denny's bill and leaving. And I told myself.
"Stay classy, Dennis."
And I tried. I tried so hard. But she saw me, and instead of just waving, or walking up to her, like a normal person, I ducked behind my friends, laughing, and walked to the door of the restaurant. When I got there, I turned around and shouted out "Harvarrrrrrdddddd!!!!" And then I ran out into the cold.