The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Little White Lies

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OK, fess up: Have you ever lied about liking something because your significant other does? Like, football or a band or a TV show? Did the fib work, or were you found out?

Bridget McManus: Oh my god, I am the worst liar ever! When my wife and I first got married, I said liked a bunch of classic rock bands to be supportive of her music obsessions. Then I was dragged to a slew of crappy elderly concerts and forced to really listen to the music of Cheap Trick, Eagles and other shitty geriatric musical monstrosities.

Dara Nai: The only thing I’ve ever had to fake (for a while) is liking some of their friends. Because wow. Really?

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Grace Chu: I can’t even fake-like anything. The “This sucks” comes out of my mouth before my brain can stop it. I do support my girlfriend in activities she likes, but I wouldn’t be caught dead at from the sidelines. Because if I lied and said I was dying to try something like Crossfit or various contact sports, I’d have to actually try it. Not I, said the fly.

Chelsea Steiner: Nothing will make you betray your core beliefs faster than a pretty girl. I pretended to be fine with the fact that my ex was a smoker, despite having a life-long hatred of cigarettes. Three months of ashtray smooches later, my tender lungs and I were ready to bail. Ugh, just smoke weed like everyone else in Los Angeles!

Ali Davis: One of my main barriers to dating women has been my inability to lie and pretend that I like camping and earnest songs played on acoustic guitars. But I have lied about not minding smoker’s breath for a couple of otherwise amazing women. Oof. That is its own punishment. It makes kissing really difficult. A little ashtray breath is one thing. When it hits the point where it smells like the woman who’s about to kiss you is rotting from the inside out, it tends to put a damper on the romance.

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Dana Piccoli: I dated a girl who wore this really heavy sandlewoody, earthy perfume. She loved it so much that I pretended to like it, too. Truth was, I couldn’t stand it and it really put a damper on our makeout sessions since she smelled a bit like a woodland creature. It didn’t last long.

Elaine Atwell: Even if I start out hating the stuff my girlfriend likes, I usually end up coming around. She has great taste, it turns out. EXCEPT FOR HART OF DIXIE. NO, I WILL NOT “GIVE IT A CHANCE.”

Jenna Lykes: Apparently, not being able to lie is some kind of queer trait, because I am also terrible at lying. It just makes me feel bad, too, so fuck that. The one kind of lie-ish thing I do, though, is laugh when other people laugh—pretty much no matter what, even if I don’t know what they’re laughing at. I don’t even really mean to or think about it at this point, it’s just a weird tic. My wife (who I’ve been with for almost nine years) noticed it for the first time recently, and now finds it hilarious.

Anna Pulley: Not a girlfriend story (I am also a terrible liar, and incredibly accommodating), but during my first and only guitar lesson, my teacher asked me what bands I liked and for some reason (I still don’t know why) I said Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd! I don’t even know how I knew that name, having never smoked pot before, and being generally UNHIP. How unhip was my musical taste? Let’s just say the seaweed was always greener in someone else’s iTunes library. But for the next hour, I pretended that learning the chords to “Comfortably Numb” was a transformative experience. I had never heard that song before! At any time, I could have been like, “Oh, oops, I meant to say Jewel. Jewel is my favorite ‘band.'” But in my head it was like, YOU MADE YOUR PSYCHEDELIC BED, NOW LIE IN IT.

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Valerie Anne: I think the closest I’ve come to that is pretending I didn’t see a movie already so we could watch it together. My face does not allow me to fake liking things very well. I’m not a terrible liar, but if I made you believe I liked a band, then we went to the concert? My face would give me away by the bridge of the first song. So I try to stick to the whole honesty thing. 

Kim Hoffman: I am so brutally honest about the small stuff because I know my face will eventually give me away. If I think a song sucks or a movie isn’t funny, I can’t really model through it without being found out. Being agreeable for the sake of keeping the peace is so boring though. Having a difference of opinion can not only be OK but it can even be kind of sexy. My girlfriend and I agree on music to such a fine point that we can talk about it for hours, but there’s one band she’s way into that I can’t get down with. Try as I might, I just can’t. At first, I’m sure I said it was wonderful and thrilling because 1. She’s emotionally invested, 2. It was late in a drunken Saturday night, and 3. Maybe I DO need to give them a chance. But then I went to one of their shows, listened some more, and sadly had to fess up that I wasn’t a fan. I don’t expect her to suddenly be into Pretty Little Liars with me, so I figure you win some, you lose some. 

Trish Bendix: I once lied and said I had a thing for Angelina Jolie so that I could cue a girl in on my being into women. I’ve never really crushed on Angelina—I like her as a friend—but at the time, she was everyone’s dream girl, especially for lesbians. Even in her Foxfire era, I wanted to hang out with her, but I never dreamed of kissing those lips like so many others have. The lie definitely helped secure me some Sapphic status—that and the consistent playing of Tegan and Sara and some mopey singer songwriter types within distance of my crush. 

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Caitlin Bergh: I started dating a girl who was funny, interesting and beautiful—but she could not stop talking about her exes. She was clearly still in love with several of them. I got phone calls from her at three a.m. because she wanted to tell me stories about her exes—and I listened. I pretended it was OK. On dates, we would hang out and she would play me some songs on her guitar THAT SHE WROTE ABOUT AND FOR her exes. My name is Caitlin, and she would literally sit in front of me and play me a song about Tara. I pretended to like it. Her ex-girlfriends and boyfriends were like a special book of stamps she had collected and couldn’t stop talking about. All of this made me so uncomfortable, I sometimes had to run out of the room for fresh air. So naturally, we dated for three years. Whatever, I can’t help myself. I sometimes wonder if she is talking someone else’s ear off about me now. I guess that would be kind of an honor after what I went through. I really hope she wrote a song. 

What have you lied about to make your partner happy, or to snag a date with a cute girl?

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