23 January 2011

the end: in which my life becomes a lifetime movie

{This is the last installment of a three-part story, so maybe, if you want the full context, you should go back and read part 1 and part 2. Or you could just jump in here and try to guess what's happening.}

What's my boyfriend's name?

I considered my options. Quickly. Lies have to come out of your mouth quickly in order to sound like truth. Otherwise, it sounds like you're trying too hard, which I was.

Two basic lies presented themselves, and isn't it frightening how quickly the mind can think of lies?

We are full of stories, and here I was, about to tell one when I wasn't sure why it was necessary. I've lied before about having a boyfriend, but that's when I didn't want any more attention from some guy in a bar, or in one particular instance, at a grocery store. But this was Mohammed, and hate of Christmas aside, he seemed like a genuine good guy, very interested in my life but not about to suggest that he become part of my life.

Just because you're a pretty girl {or so people, including cab drivers, tell you} doesn't mean every man wants to ask you out. This is an excellent hubris-checker to keep in mind, but there I was, about to lie about a boyfriend to Mohammed, safe on the other side of the plexiglass.

The two lies were:

  • make up a man wholesale, a breakfast-eating, Brooks Brothers type {name the musical}. I could make him whatever I wanted, and if I were one of those girls who had a list of what made the ideal man {like a recipe of marital perfection, something I've never tasted before}, I could simply recite that. Making up a man would be like writing a short story character, except I was in a cab and directly interacting with my audience. I've never been keen on fiction, though.
  • which left me with the second type of lie—start from a story I already knew and make it my own

How did we meet? I thought about using White Christmas, but I didn't know if I could pass as a nightclub singer, one with a sister act who meets a famous entertainer.

When making up men, by the way, never make them famous.

The night before —Saturday night—I'd watched a Lifetime movie in my flannel pj's. I'd had a cookie baking party that afternoon {the 4th Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Party, if you're someone who cares about titles and tradition}, and by 7pm, the sugar-and-hosting high had faded.

Pouring the last of the mulled wine into one of the only cups I had that wasn't in the dishwasher {a mug I'd bought for myself that said Employee of the Year}, I'd fallen in a heap on the couch.

It was a classic Lifetime movie moment—not in the sense that this scene would be in a Lifetime movie.

More in the sense that this is the state most people are in when they settle on watching a Lifetime movie: alone, flannel, wine.

“Luke. His name is Luke,” I told Mohammed. Luke had been the main guy in the Saturday night Lifetime movie Marry Me, and it had worked out okay for that lady.

“Yes, Luke.” I hoped I wasn't saying his name too much, but I suddenly liked how the word melded with my mouth. Luke.

“He's an architect.” Now I was volunteering information to Mohammed, who had taken to repeating Luke's name like a mantra bringing happiness.

“Luke the Architect,” he said, as if we were still in the Middle Ages when your last name was also your job title. “Luke. How you meet?”

I'd missed that part of the movie. Dang it.

“At church. Luke and I met at church,” I answered, thinking that I would like to meet someone at church, so maybe this one isn't as much of a lie.

Mohammed hit the steering wheel. “I knew it! You are a good, holy woman! God give me a gift to see who people really are. And as soon as you get in my cab, I know you are holy.”

Holy Mary, Mother of God. I'm a holy liar, but instead of being damned for it, I'm getting complimented.

I proceeded to recite the plot of Marry Me, and if Mohammed had also spent his Saturday night in flannel pj's and drinking mulled wine while watching Lifetime, he didn't let on that he knew what I was doing.

I told him about how our first date had been disastrous because I thought Luke was too full of himself {Lifetime drawing a bit from Pride and Prejudice, it seems}. But he'd persevered, changing my mind and getting a second date with me that had gone much better. He'd made me dinner, and I had swooned a bit at his culinary skills and choice of wine.

Mohammed asked all the right questions; in that way, it was like talking to a very good girlfriend, except that I was going to pay him and I was lying.

What do you like about him?

Where does he take you on dates?

Do your friends like him?

And then—do you think you'll marry him?

The movie had ended with a marriage proposal at a château in France {again, not something I'd be opposed to, especially if the château was going to be my home}, but I couldn't bring myself to use that detail. I will lie about having a boyfriend but not about marriage and France. There is a line.

"Oh, I hope so," I told Mohammed, just as we pulled up to the train station.

I paid him, giving him a nice tip simply for letting me pretend that I had a different life, and then as I got out of the cab, Mohammed called after me, "I know Luke will propose. Soon. God gave me a gift to see the future, too, and I see you marry him next year."

And if my life were a Lifetime movie, I know he'd be right.


  1. I am reading this on my laptop. Steve Slagg and Blade are on either side, one reading over each shoulder. You have cracked us all up.

  2. This is great. If you don't mind, I'm reblogging it on my tumblr.

  3. I'm glad I brought you all laughter :) And Steve, thanks for the reblog!

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  6. Oh dear Lord Kamiah! I am so conflicted at the moment!!! On one hand I am laughing so hard at getting an "insider's view" at how your mind works as you spin your yarn, while on the other hand I feel like I may burst into tears! Yes, tears of sadness that you haven't found Luke yet. You'd have so much fun with him :( Just remember, you'll finally marry him in a year. Just don't forget to include Oesa, Mary and I as your bridesmaids ;)



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