Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When Lying is a Good Idea

The questions have nearly stopped about Beck's name and where it came from (a list of baby names we liked) and if it's a family name. But periodically, I do still get asked and I think I may start lying. I mean, isn't it so much easier to say, "Yep, Beck is my Grandmother's maiden name," and I'd have all the little old ladies of the world nod their heads in agreement that that is a good reason to name a kid Beck?

I did this once in college, lied I mean. (OK, I lied more than once, but this is the story your getting at the moment.) My best friend Emma and I moved to off campus housing our third year of college. We were both 20, but most of the women in our ward were older. It seemed like every conversation in Relief Society* and at social functions began, "On my mission..." Emma and I grew weary of that, so we concocted a plan.

There was an upcoming social and we'd only know a fraction of the people there. Emma was fluent in Italian and French thanks to living in Italy for a year when her dad was on sabbatical from the BYU Chemistry Dept. Emma and I decided to say that we were returned missionaries. Emma eventually picked Italy, since she knew the mission that covered the area where she lived. Since I didn't know a foreign language, I decided to say I served in Denver, Colorado. My great-grandma lived in Loveland, so I knew parts of Colorado well enough to wing it. And off we went.

When Emma and I met people we'd introduce ourselves with our names, mission and major. Sometimes we'd just say, "On my mission..." to begin a conversation so we'd sound cool. Eventually, we met a guy who seemed really cool. "So where did you guys serve your missions?"
"Italy," Emma said. "Denver, Colorado," was my response.

"Seriously?" he said suddenly turning his attention to me. "Denver north or Denver south?"

"North," I said not missing a beat but beginning to panic. He clapped his hands in excitement. "I had friend who served there! Her name is .......... Do you know her?"

I pretended to search my memory. "No. I don't think I know her."

"When did you serve?" he said pressing me for more details. "You have to know her. If you just got back, then you were serving at the same time."

I racked my brain to come up with a plausible answer, but it took me too long and the pause was obvious. I don't remember if it was Emma or me who started laughing first. But one of us got the giggles and pretty soon we'd both burst out in hysterical laughter. The poor guy had no idea what was so funny.

With red faces, Emma and I admitted that we weren't returned missionaries. We were only 20, but we wanted to be "cool." He didn't think our faking was funny or cool. He thought it was stupid and juvenile. And now that we'd been "had" we couldn't pretend to be RM's** any more. But it was fun while it lasted.

(*Mormon 101: Relief Society is the women's organization of the LDS church. The third hour of church is the Relief Society meeting, where we are instructed spiritually. There are also quarterly enrichment activities as well as optional mid-week activities with different focuses if a person is interested.

**Mormon 101: RM is short for returned missionary.)


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love it! I could see myself making something up too, when I was in college. The whole, "On my mission" thing could get old really fast!

*Tanyetta* said...

it has to be quite exhausting explaining YOUR reason for naming YOUR child. i always wonder what makes people think and some of the things they come out of their faces with.

on getting caught in your RM flubb??

well that spoils any ideas of me faking to be a RM.


Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

Serves you right!

LOL-to make it more confusing, my brother served in Denver South, and spent most of his mission North of Denver. Go figure.

I didn't serve a mission either, never had any desire to. But sometimes RM's act like its some kind of special elusive club or something. Oh well..

Happy Valentine's Day!

dh said...

oh, Jenna, I am laughing so hard. That is HILARIOUS!! Too bad he didn't have a sense of humor. I remember being in the college wards and there were some pretty cliche goings on... as a result, for a while, I dreaded Fast Sunday. It was like a scene straight out of "Singles Ward"

zippy said...

I never knew that about you and Emma...wow. Too funny!

Jenna Wood said...


You laughed so hard at your comment! I'm thinking about you telling people you are an RM with "devil juice" on your counter. Too funny!

Unknown said...

I hear ya! It is SOOO annoying when people start conversations that way. They always seem to turn into my-story-is-better-than-your-story competitions. Ugh!

As far as lying about the origins of Beck's name, I say GO FOR IT! Sometimes it's just easier! I have a bad habit of not correcting people when they misunderstand me, or assume incorrectly. There is some girl out there who thinks my son's name is Texan.

Alisa said...

Ha, you do have more guts than me. Fortunately I was never in a ward with quite as many RM women. I did experience in my first married ward (the only one of my 3 that you weren't in!)some of that "when I was on a mission" crap and it was more than I could handle somtimes- especially since I had wanted to serve pretty bad. There were some others I knew who weren't so showy, and that was always nice.
Its funny I have a hairdresser diva type chick in my ward who served a mission and NOBODY would ever guess, everyone is so surprised when they find out.
As for Beck's name, I don't think there is anything strange about it. I have heard A LOT weirder- It must just be the older generation. My son has a girl named Mystry in his class. She is really cute, but I think her name is weird. I feel like you are calling her a mystery!

*Tanyetta* said...

I'm glad you caught that! LOL

You should have seen their faces. Bless their hearts. And they even invited me to their 'party' that night.

I bet they were worried if I was going to bring the juice or not. hahahhhha!