I even battle internal conflict about not divulging complete truths. This was witnessed firsthand by “T” in Corisca, when the landlord of our vacation rental came to do the final inspection and take us to the train station. “So yeah, everything was tres bien, tres super, magnifique… J’adore cet apartement! The heater absolutely didn’t stop working at all (it did), and we definitely didn’t have any problems with the fuse for the electricity constantly blowing out (we did, multiple times. Correction: I did.). And uhhh… oh, all you asked was if you could help me with my backpack? Oh, Oui. Merci.” Meanwhile, being shot looks from “T,” Stop talking, Lauren! At least I didn’t tell him we broke the toilet paper holder on the wall, even though I think it was already broken.
I attribute the truthfulness gene to my mom, who ingrained in my head at a young age, that lying is the most heinous act a person can commit, that is of course, second to addressing groups of people as “You guys.” Ya’ll agree? I’ve accepted that with this trait, I’ve disabled my options of certain professions: Used-car salesman, politician, a priest. I also suck at infidelity… very un-French of me.
So, when it came time to call the airlines to barter a credit for the second half of my roundtrip ticket that I failed to postpone (You would, too if it said 1MAR10. I mistook it for March 10th) I assumed honesty and the classic "helpless-girl" voice would be the best route. I was wrong. “Oh, so there’s really nothing that you can do? And, why? All because I didn’t reschedule it before the departure date? Ugh. Okay, thanks anyway.”
I may proscribe to an honest philosophy, but I’m not one to walk away when there’s something of value at stake and nothing to lose. Plus, when my good moral-bound friend Kim instructed, “Lie, baby, Lie, and make mama proud!” I realized what had to be done.
“Hello, Aer Lingus? Customer Relations, please. Sure, I’ll hold.” Start to cue tears.
“Top a’the mornin’ to ya.” (No, they probably said something along the lines of ‘How can I help you,’ but with the Irish accent, that’s all I heard.)
“Hi. I’m hoping you can help me. I had a flight from Ireland to LAX, that I missed. There was a … family emergency; my sister, (cue tears), well, my sister passed away (Always use a relative that doesn’t actually exist). I realize that the ticket was non-refundable but would it be possible to attain a credit? I have to get f light home… please don’t leave me stranded here with (here’s the kicker) the French. (cue sobbing).”
“We’re not supposed to credit non-refundable flights (yeah, whatever), but hold on…”
5 minutes later.
“Okay, I just spoke with a supervisor who agreed to credit you for the flight and you just need to pay the flight-change fee and whatever difference there is to reschedule you’re flight. Oh, and I spent some time in France; I know how you feel.”
I did it. I lied and it worked. The tears came easier than I expected and it was even, dare I say, gratifying? But more so because I got what I wanted. In the end, it wasn’t a complete lie; I may not have a deceased sister, but I was in mourning: of my patience with this job, patience with the "kid," patience with the family, dinners that don’t involve crème, ham, and pasta, the loss of personal space, tasteful home décor, dance classes, turning right on red lights, and well, you get the idea. But, when life gives you lemons, take them and turn them into a $300 airline credit.
I knew I always liked the Irish.
 Adultery is quite the institution in France and looked upon as innocently as their Chocolate Nutella spread; They know it’s not healthy but they have it, anyway.
- My friend Rachel is coming to visit in June!!! We're not sure where all we'll go but backpacking will be involved :)
- The weather has been warranting sandals and shorts. There may be a purchase of some, this weekend.
- I went to a weekly quiz night at an English Pub in Vieux Lyon... I had fun.
- I'm watching French television and I understand what they're saying.
- Play-dates with the kids of the American family. I adore them :)