1. When my second child was eighteen months old, I fell from a horse and broke my back. Fortunately, it was the one vertebrae that can be broken without causing paralysis, so I spent six weeks in a back brace and on virtual bed rest, unable to pick up my needy toddler, who took out her frustration on her older brother by pulling out a clump of his hair so fiercely that he still (seven years later) has a small permanent bald spot.
Lie: This actually happened to my best friend, though her boy did not lose his hair as a result of the horse fall.
2. At twenty-two years old, I was slated to be the maid-of-honor at a dear friend’s wedding. The night before, we went out for her bachelorette party. I got so drunk that I woke up the next morning in a luxury hotel room, all alone and having no idea how I had gotten there. (This was before the age of cell phones.) My last memory had been doing shots with two gorgeous guys at a club with my girlfriends and then stupidly agreeing to continue partying with them in their hotel. I don’t remember what happened in that hotel room, but after sneaking out and hailing a cab to the hotel where my friend was getting married, I discovered I had been dethroned by the bride for my abhorrent behavior and demoted to bridesmaid.
Lie: I was actually the bridesmaid in this story, though I did act as maid-of-honor until the hungover one showed up. Here, I'm pictured temporarily holding the "bigger" bouquet, which I eventually had to turn over to the the maid-of-honor when she finally showed up and was allowed to walk down the aisle. Her mother was in attendance, and the bride didn’t want to create havoc by having to explain everything.
3. When I was eight months pregnant, I got into a car accident when I pulled out of a parking lot and onto the main road. I hit an oncoming Jaguar that had been obscured by a bush. Thankfully, I had an older car with no airbag, so my belly was alright, but as I got out of the car and saw the other driver getting out of the Jaguar, I recognized her as my ex-boyfriend’s mother. She approached me, established that I was okay, and then said, “You had it coming for breaking up with my son.”
Lie: I did get into a car accident while 8 months pregnant, hitting a Jaguar with my little Honda Civic, but the driver was a complete stranger.
4. When I was a toddler, the pediatrician decided my legs weren’t growing properly and I was put into leg braces. The doctor was very concerned I would be very “small”, well under five feet tall due to my leg condition. Today I am 5’-6”.
Lie: I did wear leg braces as a toddler but only for “duck feet”.
5. My ex-boyfriend was a white South African (during the Apartheid years) who spent a short time in a Johannesburg prison for helping his black best friend beat up a group of white guys who were bullying them.
Lie: My ex-boyfriend was South African but never spent time in a prison. (At least, he never told me that he had.)
6. My paternal grandfather was a Jewish man who had three wives in his life, the first of which was my grandmother and the third of which was a Taiwanese girl he married when he was 70 and she was 26. They had one daughter (my father’s sister and therefore my aunt), who was raised in Taiwan as a Buddhist. When she was 18 years old, she came to New York to study at the university, met an Orthodox Jewish boy, went to Israel with him, and stayed there for a year to convert to Judaism. So at 43 years old, I now have a 29-year-old Jewish Taiwanese aunt.
True: 100% accurate. At my aunt’s wedding, I found it ironic that my grandfather’s remains rested in a Buddhist Temple in Taipei while his daughter was dancing at her Orthodox Jewish wedding in New York (only with women, of course). Here we are in a NYC deli about 3 years ago , when I was a redhead:
Lie: But I did witness this happen to my neighbor’s Chihuahua. I remember screaming so loudly and then laughing with relief as the little rat limped across the street faster than a bat outta hell.
So there you have it. What more can I say? I suppose I could tell you the middle part of my grandfather's story - the part about his second wife and her fascinating offspring - but that's fodder for a blog all its own.