The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Lying has its appeal."

Lying to avoid confronting certain situations or to get what we want may seem easy enough. But apart from the ethical repercussions, things will undoubtedly unravel sooner or later. “Lying has its appeal. At least in the short run. It staves off conflict. Buys time to save face.” The first sentences of the Introduction to The Truth About the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction certainly hit a chord with me.

A few of my friends and I planned a short trip to the playground of adults-Las Vegas, Nevada. I did not tell my mom about this trip; in fact I lied to her and told her I was coming back to Los Angeles a week before school started in order to work.
We set out on the four hour or so drive on a brisk Tuesday morning and from that moment everything seemed to go off without a glitch. Once we arrived we had three days of fun in this city of lights and extravagance where nothing ever closes; in this city, this mirage in the middle of the desert. On the fourth day it was time to drive back and encounter reality. Regardless of how much fun I was having, not once during the trip did I forget that I had lied to my mom. I figured if I could get this trip by her and go back to my regular life of work and school everything would be fine. Even then I knew that was too easy.

The day before school started everything began snowballing. My car got a flat tire, and left me as a commuter student without transportation for a day. The following day I received a text message from my brother informing me that the university was asking back for a reimbursement they had given me last semester. At that moment I had to be honest about spending a small amount of the money on my trip to Las Vegas. My intention was to return the money to my account as soon as possible.
Then one last thing rounded off what may have been one of the hardest weeks. When filling out my Application for Degree I took one last look at my record of units taken, at least I thought it was one last look. At that moment I caught something no one else had noticed in any of my advising meetings. I was three upper division units short of the amount required to graduate. This came as a complete surprise to me since I felt I had done everything on my part and even though I had switched majors I was advised and told that I would be completely finished by the end of the spring semester.

With everything that was going on, lying to my mom was especially in the back of my mind. The guilt was affecting me more than anything. As the journal’s introduction mentions in reference to lying, “We are unwilling to pay the price for its unseen damages. Hidden in print so fine that it can’t be read. Only felt. When we are alone.” That is exactly how I felt, and now I not only had to tell my mom that I had one more class to take in the summer but also that I had lied to her and gone to Las Vegas. I ultimately told her the truth for my own sanity but also with the hope that she could see that I am not completely irresponsible, that I want to be a reflection of who she has raised me to be. After these experiences and as the tone of disappointment in my mom’s voice plays back in my head I have learned to reconsider the appeal of lying.

-Yvette Olguin


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