Ainslie Paton romance author

Mum Constructs a Lie

An actual verbatim conversation with my Mum about a bunch of people I don’t know and why I have to pretend it’s my birthday

This is a phone call.



Me:        Ainslie Paton

Mum:    Oh you’re working.

Me:        It’s a work day.

Mum:    Well I didn’t know.

Me:        It’s Wednesday.  Like in the middle of the work week.

Mum:    All right then.  So Lynelle is coming to stay.  And I need you to tell a small lie.

Me:        Who is Lynelle?

Mum:    Merv’s daughter.

Me:        (I don’t ask who Merv is – because I’m working and this could take a long time).  Ok.

Mum:    Sage has to go to a wedding and Ena, she’s the little one, and Nola she’s the judo champ, they’ll all be here for a week.

Me:        (I’ve never heard of any of these people and now they’re staying with my parents for a week).  Who?

Mum:    They’re Janet’s daughters.

Me:        Who is Janet?

Mum:    Merv’s daughter.

Me:        (Because I’m stupid).  Lynelle’s sister.

Mum:    No, they’re the same person.

Me:        Lynelle and Janet are the same person.

Mum:    Did I call Janet, Lynelle earlier?

Me:        You said Lynelle and bunch of other people who are her daughters are staying with you for a week.

Mum:    For the wedding.

Me:        (I do not ask whose wedding this is.  I do not care.)

Mum:    You know, the wedding.

Me:        (She can’t see me headbutt the desk).  No.

Mum:    You never listen.  The one we were invited to in Kempsey.

Me:        (Absolutely no wiser).  Right.

Mum:    So it’s your birthday.

Me:        It was, two months ago.

Mum:    No on the same day as the wedding.

Me:        In Kempsey.

Mum:    Yes, how many weddings do you think there are?

Me:        I’m scared to think about it.

Mum:    We don’t want to go.  I mean really we hardly know them.  They were just being polite because of family.

Me:        Unlike us.

Mum:    What?

Me:        Moving on.

Mum:    So if you happen to visit when Lynette is here.

Me:        Lynette?

Mum:    Oh Janet whatever her name is.

Me:        How can you have someone staying for a week whose name you don’t know?

Mum:    I know her name.  It’s Lynette.

Me:        (Laughing) You said it was Janet.

Mum:    (Laughing) It doesn’t matter what her name is.

Me:        It will when you call her the wrong name.

Mum:    I’ll mumble.

Me:        Because the names Janet and Lynette sound so much alike.  How did you ever remember the daughter’s names?  They were like fancy.

Mum:    Stop picking on me.

Me:        So, what am I supposed to do?

Mum:    Actually just don’t come that week.

Me:        That sounds like the easiest thing.

Mum:    Because you might forget to lie.

Me:        I might.  Dad always said I wasn’t smart enough to lie.

Mum:    But if I call you and I say happy birthday don’t think I’ve gone off my rocker.

Me:        (Path of least resistance). Ok.  (Light bulb).  Oh you’ve told them you can’t go to the wedding because it’s my birthday.

Mum:    Yes.

Me:        Liar, liar pants on fire.

Mum:    Shut up.

Me:        Won’t it be odd if it’s my birthday but I don’t come around.

Mum:    They’ll be in Kempsey.

Me:        At the wedding.

Mum:    (Exasperated) Yes.

Me:        Couldn’t you just tell the truth.  That it’s a long drive and you’ve already been up there once this year.  Do you really care if they don’t understand?

Mum:    Of course I care.

Me:        You can’t remember if she’s Lynelle, Lynette or Janet.

Mum:    I know what she looks like.

Me:        That’s helpful.  Otherwise a total stranger might come and expect to stay for the week.

Mum:    I’m sorry I thought of this.

Me:        That makes two of us.

Mum:    So if you can’t lie for me, don’t come around.

Me:        Excellent idea.  And you won’t need to phone me and say happy birthday when it’s not.

Mum:    Yes I will.

Me:        Won’t they be in Kempsey?

Mum:    What kind of a mother would I be if I didn’t ring you and arrange something for your birthday in advance?

Me:        One that makes that kind of phone call when they’re not listening.

Mum:    That’s true.  I could just tell them I talked to you.

Me:        Because that won’t make it any less confusing.

Mum:    Stop being sarcastic.  You’re just like your father.  He’s confused too.

Me:        So I don’t have to do anything except not visit.

Mum:    That’s right.  Funny, you’d probably like Janelle.

Me:        (So laughing).






7 Responses to “Mum Constructs a Lie

  • Too funny…made me laugh out loud in front of my computer…hope no one heard me as they will think me totally crazy!!!

  • Ok, this is actually my late, great ex-MIL. OMG! The stories she came up with!! I sort of miss those now. Go figure!

    • I get off a plane. 13 hours. Mum meets me at the airport. It’s 6am. I’m buggered. She says: I’ve got some bad news. You’re not going to be happy.

      I brace. I’ve been away three weeks, she might’ve kept anything from me. Maybe my house burned down. At least I know Dad wasn’t dead because he was there too.

      She says: My Kindle is dead.

      • Dying! Dying! Dying! She. Is. Priceless!

        • Wait for it. There were four separate conversations that day about the Kindle while I’m dying of jetlag. I’m writing them up now. Will post later in the week when I’ve recovered sufficiently to see the humour

Hello, what are you thinking?

%d bloggers like this: