Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people talking on Twitter about the game “Two Truths and a Lie.” When I worked as a lighting designer for theater, directors sometimes made us play this game as an icebreaker at the start of a new show, but I haven’t played it since. This obviously must be remedied immediately.
I’m going to tell you three stories. Two of them are 100% true, and one of them is completely fabricated. Leave your guesses in comments. (If any of my good friends are reading this, you are not allowed to play. Sorry.)
I’m a fairly shy person, and I find parties stressful if I hardly know anyone there. Near the beginning of my freshman year of college, my friend Lisa (name changed to protect the innocent) dragged me along to a late-night cast party for her production of The Pirates of Penzance. The party was being held in a large suite in one of the upperclassmen dorms. I was hesitant about going, but Lisa promised she’d stay near me the whole time. Of course, that lasted about three minutes after we arrived, and then Lisa plunged right into the center of a group of cast members who were dancing in the middle of the living room. She tried to get me to dance too, but I’m not a dancing-in-public kind of person, so I said I was going to the bathroom and would be right back. Then I escaped into the host’s roommate’s bedroom down the hall, which was empty.
I had just intended to take a few minutes to pull myself together and figure out what to do. But there were tons of books in that room, so I picked one up (I think it was a Margaret Atwood novel) and sat down on her bed to read for a little while. I thought it would help calm me down.
And I was still on that bed—asleep—three hours later, when the host’s roommate stumbled in with her boyfriend, drunk and already in the midst of a makeout session. Needless to say, she was not thrilled to find a random freshman sacked out on her bed.
Great start to the college party scene, Alison.
When I first moved to New York, I dated this guy named Mark (not his real name) for about a year. When we broke up, we stayed friendly and still hung out occasionally. One day about three years later, I ran into a friend of Mark’s at Coney Island. He had a girl with him, whom he introduced as Natasha. When Natasha heard my name, she sort of narrowed her eyes and gave me a thorough head-to-toe inspection. Then she said, “Did you date Mark?” I said yes, that we had dated years ago. She asked me when, exactly. I told her. She was like, “Did you ever live with him?” I said no, thinking this interrogation was getting kind strange and intense. Then we said goodbye and went our separate ways.
The next day, I received an email from Natasha, who had gotten my address from Mark’s friend. In the message, she informed me that she was the girl Mark had dated right after me—except that it wasn’t actually AFTER me, as it turned out. Not only had Mark been carrying on two completely separate relationships for SEVEN MONTHS, it turned out he had MOVED IN with Natasha while he was still (allegedly) dating me. He was such a skillful liar that I had absolutely no idea.
Needless to say, Mark and I are no longer friendly.
When I was in college, I had an enormous crush on the TA for my photography class, whose name was Jim. (Again, not his real name.) I tried all kinds of things to get his attention, including telling him I needed a letter of recommendation when I didn’t really, just so he’d have to think about all the reasons I was awesome. But nothing seemed to be working, and I was worried I’d never see him again once the class ended. Then I learned that Jim had been taking a beginning tap-dance class and that he intended to take the intermediate class the following semester. So I signed up for the intermediate class, too.
The thing was, I had never tapped before in my life.
I showed up to the class in my shiny, brand-new tap shoes, and there was Jim. He seemed really happy to see me, and my heart did lots of little backflips. And then the teacher arrived, and I realized this was probably a huge mistake, as I had no idea what I was doing. But when class actually started, I discovered something very interesting.
I was kind of awesome at tap-dancing. And Jim was absolutely terrible at it. In fact, on my very first day, I was better at it than he was. The teacher actually congratulated me at the end of the hour.
The perfect end to this story would be if Jim had noticed my awesome tapping skills and asked me out. Unfortunately, Jim turned out to be gay, and that never happened. But I still love tap-dancing.
Which story is a lie?