Not too long ago, I was lying around my apartment with Sam — who I met the week before at a party — talking about what we wanted to do that day.
“ Well, where do you live?” I asked him.
“Oh yea? I’ve always wanted to live uptown,” I said.
“Yea, it’s cool, but I live with three other guys and it’s really annoying having four dudes living in one apartment,” Sam said. He was 28.
“One of my roommates is a firefighter and his girlfriend is SOO annoying and she’s over almost EVERY night,” Sam continued. “It's come to the point where we all just roll our eyes when we see her car outside.”
“Ah, that sucks,” I said.
“Yea, but I think they’re going to get engaged soon, so we’re all hoping that happens and they move in somewhere together,” Sam said.
I told him that I understood roommate issues. I’ve lived in five different apartments (and one house) over the past ten years, and Sam and I talked at length about shitty roommates and roommates’ shitty significant others.
We hung out in my neighborhood for a bit and then Sam drove home — uptown — and we made plans to go to dinner that week.
He came to pick me up.
It was a very nice, expensive restaurant, one that was so expensive it made me a tad uncomfortable.
Sam waited until I took a big bite of salad before saying, “I lied to you. I actually live with my parents.”
I coughed on dressing and lettuce and looked at him like he must be joking.
“What?” I said.
“Yea, I just moved back to New Orleans a few months ago and didn’t have anyone to live with, so I’m living with them for awhile.”
“So…the whole story about the four roommates….and the firefighter….??” I asked, dumbfounded.
“I dunno…I was really embarrassed and made up something quick,” he said.
QUICK?? He QUICKLY came up with a massive elaborate lie?
I mean, here I was actually feeling sorry for his poor firefighter roommate who was going to propose to his girlfriend who sucks.
(Um, someone sucks.)
I debated whether I should find it endearing that Sam lied because he wanted to look good in front of me, or find it disturbing, indicative of a pathological liar.
I took another bite of lettuce, goat cheese and candied pecans to think it over.
Sam must have seen the confusion in my face, because he said quickly, “I mean, my parents DO live uptown, so I DO live uptown.”
Ha! As if that made it all better! Like, he didn’t lie completely because he kept it all in the same zip code.
“Well, you should have just said you live uptown, period,” I finally said.
Because we were at a nice restaurant and we were having an elaborate dinner (that he paid for), I was never able to appropriately call him out on his HOUSE of lies. It wouldn't have been classy. Emeril would have been mad.
I wanted to say,
“Look, saying, “I live uptown with friends” would even be forgivable. But dragging your fake FIREFIGHTER friend into the mix and telling me specific details about how you and your roommates ALL ROLL YOUR EYES when you see his FAKE girlfriend’s car outside your FAKE house is quite another thing.”
What other elaborate lies would Sam tell?
I fast-forwarded to if we were seriously dating, and imagined he’d make up something ridiculous like being in a comedy improv group and had to practice every night, when really, he’d be cheating on me.
“Well, I WAS in the French Quarter,” he’d justify, which in my head is where both the fake comedy group and mistress would be located.
But I kept my mouth shut on the matter. After dinner, I committed to just having a nice time listening to good music with someone who was good-looking and a good dancer.
And, after several vodkas, I began to think, what’s wrong with a little lie anyway?
I mean, my driver’s license says I’m both taller and thinner than I really am.
Really, what’s the big deal? (Oh how my drunk mind turns on me)
When the show was over, Sam dropped me off at my very own (parents free) apartment.
“I’ll call you later,” he said, and I actually hoped he would.
But no. He lied again.
I never ever heard from Sam again.
Alas! Our short-lived relationship went up in flames.
Too bad all the firefighters I know are fake.