You’ve moved out of the hen’s house as a fully independent postgrad, but you probably still fax your W-2s back home for Mom to take care of. This overwhelming sense of freedom allows you to finally be yourself and not worry about your parents’ opinions. You can come and go as you please, because now, you’ve got no one to answer to but your hungover self in the morning. But at least once a week, your smartphone will light up with a picture of your family dog you secretly miss with “MOM” flashing above it. Cue what feels like an early onset hot flash, because your heart races through the roof knowing you’re going to have to do what you once did with such ease and grace: lie to your parents about your life.
“I’m eating very healthy.”
The truth: You try to keep down vomit when she asks if you’ve been eating lean because the word alone reminds you of the 24 Lean Cuisines you’ve eaten in the past week–at six for $12, you couldn’t resist. Throw one of those suckers in the microwave with a side of Ramen, and your sodium levels are higher than your hippie cousin at a Phish concert. All you want is for your mom to send the covered casserole (that you swore you’d never eat again) she made three times a week when you were growing up. But still, you want to bask in your independence. You convince her that you listened to her coupon clipping tips and that you always check the date of the yogurt you don’t ever buy before putting it in your make believe cart.
“Of course I’m exercising.”
The truth: You took the stairs at work today. And by stairs, you mean the three stairs that lead to the front door of the building.
“I would love it if you guys came to visit!”
The truth: Yeah fucking right. You’ll fly to them if they buy you a ticket, but otherwise, you’re going to keep giving them bogus excuses to prolong their visit: “Sorry, this entry-level job has me flying all over the world for major business deals, so I won’t be in town, like, ever,” or “Ah, maybe next time. I’m pretty swamped with faking work for 50 hours a week.” What would you even do if your parents wanted to stay at your place? Put a clean sheet on the couch? Hide your liquor in your T-shirt drawer like in high school? Not that it matters, considering you’re an adult now, but do you really want your mother to see the 40 empty bottles of top shelf liquor you’ve been saving for a “craft?”
“My flight comes in on Saturday. I’ll be over first thing!”
The truth: Your flight comes in on Friday, but you wanted to spend your first night in town partying with your friends. Dave, the guy who let you cheat off his chem tests, gets invited to every hometown gathering for reasons unknown. He will probably agree to give you a ride home “from the airport” in the morning. You’ll have to play off your hangover as jetlag, even though there is only an hour difference between your parents’ town and your new city.
“Work is going great!”
The truth: You have not set anything on fire yet, nor acted on the urge of wanting to publicly beat any of your coworkers.
The worst part is that no matter how good of a liar you are, your mother is a better one–she pretends to go along with all the lies you spit from your lips. Even your father knows the check he sent you to help with surprise “raise in rent” went straight to your Thursday night drinking fund. They’re just waiting until they need to physically depend on you to help fund their retirement and change their old person undies to call you out on all your bullshit.