Journal Day, My First Lie

Photo courtesy of Sometimes Sweet, original source unknown (please credit if you know)

It's true, I have really neglected my writing in the last several years. While in school I majored in Journalism and minored in Creative Writing and in the five years I've lived in Portland have abandoned all writing, save for blogging. So when I saw this


over on Danielle's blog,

Sometimes Sweet

, I knew that it was exactly the push I needed to get writing again. It's a great journal activity with prompts and destined to be a great community of ladies, and gents too! Be sure to check out the original post to read Danielle's very sweet story and to participate. Here's her prompt for today:

Describe a "first" (first date, first lie, the first time you experienced something, first time in a particular setting, etc). Include as many details as possible to paint a picture.

My first lie very well may not be my first lie, actually I know it isn't and my mom will probably chime in at this point to reinforce that it isn't, but it is the most vivid in my memory. I was nine at the time and a had a very nasty habit of keeping papers from my parents. I would stuff notes, reminders, newsletters pretty much anything pertinent to a parent in my backpack and dance bag crumbled in a ball never to see the light of day until said bag became to full and would eventually need to be emptied in the trash can. (It's a horrible habit that I have carried with me through life and finally in my twenty-seventh year am finally getting a hold on it!) 

My parents were divorced and my brother and I lived with our mom since my dad worked nights. One of the few simple pleasures we enjoyed is when our dad took us to our activities. However, on this particular day it was not one of those enjoyable experiences. My dad had called to say that he was coming by our house to pick me up and take me to ballet and that he needed to talk to me. I hung up and my stomach started churning. I knew I did something wrong. What was it? Which crumpled up parent's notice could he be mad about? When he arrived, we sat on the floor across from each other in the front living room. The blinds were drawn close but it was still very bright in the room as it was a typical northern California summer day in the nineties. We sat Indian style and I sulked staring down at my pale pink ballet tights and black


dance bag in my lap.

He asked me what I was hiding from him. "Nothing," I murmured, still staring at my dance bag. "Katie, look at me when I'm talking to you. Don't lie to me, I know you are hiding something." I looked up at him, clenching my teeth, lips pierced and eyes widening. He came over and plucked the bag from my lap and returned to his spot across from me unzipping the bag and turning it over emptying the contents of it between us. My dance skirt, ballet and jazz shoes and hidden papers fell into a heap. My eyes widened even more as he pointed to the crumpled papers. "What are these?" I remained silent, teeth clenching tighter. He unfolded the papers and smoothed out the one in question reading it silently to himself. It was a letter to parents notifying them of the deadline for payment for our summer recital costumes...the deadline was two weeks prior. I was caught. I continued to stare at him silently as he asked me to say something. Tears started rolling down my cheeks, but still I sat there still saying nothing, and then my dad started laughing. This broke the concentration of my gaze. "Katie, stop giving me the Indian-Death-Stare. You're looking at me like I did something wrong." He kept laughing. "You look so angry for a little girl who is in trouble." I started to laugh a little too. It's true, whenever I was in trouble/mad I made this face, it became known in my family as the "Indian-Death-Stare." (I am Native from my father's side). My family could always read through my lie because I made this face, and most times would laugh because of how comical it was that I was staring at them as though they had done something wrong by finding me out. It usually eased the tension of being in trouble because it was just too funny. 

He then scolded me for hiding these notices from him and my mom and telling me how it only hurt me in the end because I may not be in the recital if they cannot get my costume in time. He stuffed my clothes back into their bag and collected all my papers as I stood up. He then walked over to me and I gave him a big hug, sobbing, "I'm sorry, Daddy," He hugged me back. "It's okay, Katie. Don't do it again. You need to give these things to your mom and I and then you won't get in trouble." I still make this face to this day, when I am angry, when I am found out for doing something wrong. Needless to say, I am not a very good poker player. It makes me laugh to look back on these memories when I had done something wrong and reacted in this way. It's like I had turned being in trouble for something I did wrong into being mad at my parents for being outed for it.

I hope that my family reads this, despite being angered at times by my Indian-Death-Stare, laughs at how silly it was for a such a sweet little girl to have a cold, mean stare.