2016 Jun 28
by Anuki Premachandra
Disclaimer: Amma, if you’re reading this article, I need you to close the page immediately.
The rest of you folks (no amma, you CANNOT read this) can continue. We all lie. It’s an accepted universal truth. Lying in no way is acceptable, but little white lies that don’t really hurt anybody can be tolerated. Last month we brought to you an article listing lies that Sri Lankan parents tell their kids. So we thought why not write a follow up on it and come up with a few lies we tell our parents. No amma, I don’t lie to you, this article in no way relates to me or anything I’ve said. Ever.
So if parents have already started to freak out, you don’t have to. Kids only lie to avoid getting into trouble and most of the time, they know what they are doing. Your child has lied to you and gotten away with it because he / she knows what’s right and wrong and where the line is drawn. I’m not saying lying is a good thing, neither am I inspiring little kids with a list of lies to tell their parents to stay away from trouble. Lies have transformed with time and technology and it’s interesting to take a look at a few. Comment below if we’ve missed out on anything, I’m sure there’s a whole ton we haven’t even looked into. Here goes…
- We didn’t get our marks / report card yet
If you haven’t told you parents this lie at least once, then you probably have the same IQ as Einstein, no joke. This is our go-to lie when our marks are low or when our average isn’t as good as your parents want it to be. But, if you’ve got a mom that nags constantly there is a very small possibility that this trick you’ve got up your sleeve will work out! Or, if your school has constant parent teacher meetings and what not.
As a nation that’s mastered the art of the blame game, we take pride and joy in shifting the blame for our wrongdoings on someone else. And in this case, the teacher. We tell our parents our teachers are incompetent and inefficient and hence, we haven’t gotten our marks our report cards yet with the hope that they will eventually forget it and quit nagging you for it.
- “Amma, everybody is going!”
This is commonly one of the most heard in an average household. This is the one way kids try to convince their parents to let them go somewhere. Being the highly restrictive and conservative nation we are, our families resemble the same. Activities considered normal in the Western Sphere like going for coffee with some friends or grabbing lunch together or going for a movie are usually not considered ‘normal’ in most Lankan households at least until the kid is 18.
Being able to even go out for dinner with a bunch of friends involve a process of steps required to obtain permission, from both parents separately and then together. Out of frustration, we usually yell “But amma, everybody is going!” to try and convince our parents that everybody else’s parents are letting them go and so should they. When they ask you who ‘everybody’ is you would usually provide them with a list of names known to them. But then if your mom is someone who calls to check if their parents are sending them too, then you resort to a made up list of imaginary names.
Chances are, you’re probably going for dinner with one or two people and not ten like you told your mom you would.
- I don’t know
This is also, another most commonly heard. Who broke the vase? I don’t know. Who punched your sister in the face? I don’t know. Who took moms car without permission? I don’t know.
The easiest response for us kids is a simple yet complicated “I don’t know”. You see, it’s simple because it’s easy to say it out loud and get away with. But it’s complicated because we usually don’t think of the consequences that it follows. What we would usually presume is going with the game plan that somehow involves the sentiments ‘You are innocent until proven guilty’ and we decide that acting like we don’t know what happened is our ticket out of the problem. Isn’t that what criminal masterminds do anyway right?
- I did my homework
Ah yet another classic. So this is the usual lie kids come up with when they have got homework to do but instead tries to convince their parents to let them do something else. From little things like being allowed to watch a movie to bigger things like going to the fast food place that just opened up.
If it’s a school night, your parents are going to want to stay in because they assume you’ve got work to do, and with this lie, you falsify their assumptions.
In terms of your teacher hearing this line followed with a ‘but’ as in “I did my homework, ‘but’ I left it at home” etc are rampant. That’s for another day for us to talk about.
- The teacher didn’t tell us that was coming for the exam
Again, I’m going to remind you that we’re a nation of blame game-ers. What do we do when we score terribly on a test? Yes, that’s right, we tell our parents it was the teachers fault. And how is that exactly? Easy, the teacher didn’t teach us that unit or didn’t tell us that chapter would come for the exam. So mom you see, the reason for my marks should entirely be blamed on my teacher’s inefficiency. Poor teacher.
- Everyone else got really low marks too
Aha, you can’t blame me for getting a 40! The highest in class was a 41!
So this is the other big school lie we all tell our parents way more than once in our 14 years of school. Again if you’re a nerd and constantly scores the highest in class, you’re still sure to have used this excuse.
Sometimes, this excuse stands. But most of the time, it doesn’t. Everybody else didn’t really get low marks mom, and the highest is actually an 80 and not a 41. Oops, I might have mislead you there.
- Yeah, just the few of us
So I’m going out for lunch with three people. Three girls/guys depending on what gender you are. Being the conservative families we are, some kind of trigger alarm shoots up in our parents the minute we say humans from the opposite gender are accompanying or joining us in our activity. So to avoid explanation or the risk of having to stay home because your parents didn’t allow you to go, you tell them it’s just the few of you; maybe you and your two best friends, spending time together. This sometimes is a big lie. The intensity of this lie depends on how strict your parents are. Some of us don’t lie about this sort of thing, but to avoid some heat with the ‘rents, some of us do.
- Nope, no boys
A Lankan, and only Lankan classic, “Nope, no boys”. So we’ve gotten past the understanding that most Sri Lankan families are super conservative and forbid the ideal of opposite gender accompaniment. Nope, no boys allowed. No touching, no glancing and certainly no to any type of interaction possible.
Girls are so restricted in certain families that the only option is to convince your parents that the outing you and your friends are going to have is an absolute boy-free zone. We all know that probably is a lie.
- But I never ask for anything!
“You need to get me a new phone that’s super expensive and I know is a little difficult for you to afford at this point in time because I’m a good child and unlike other children, I don’t ask you both for anything!”
Ironical isn’t it. This ‘never’ in our heads is a summation of a couple of months, maybe a maximum of a 6 months to a year. And if we haven’t pestered our parents for anything for a period of that long, then we justify in our heads that it’s high time they get us something new.
- Thaththa said I can
No, thaththa didn’t say I could. But I’m too chicken to ask you, amma, without some sort of assurance and backing, and that for me if using my dad as a shield.
Maybe the explanation above didn’t really come out as well as it was supposed to, but you all get the picture yes? Sometimes our dads are okay with letting us do certain things but our moms are not. And instead of him talking to her, since its your worry, they let you handle it.
But in the unfortunate case where neither party is okay, you have to use one against the other, in the sense tell your mom your dads okay with it even though you haven’t told him yet and vice versa. And then you pray and hope they won’t confront each other.