Those Little White Lies Our Parents Tell Us

I was reading Bower Power last week and crazy, funny Katie was talking about how she is going to tell her newborn son when he is older that if he thinks about girls a certain way, his boy parts will fall off! Then she asked her readers for the best lies their parents told them. And it got me thinking…

The most influential one told to me was: “Nichole, if you sit too close to the T.V., your eyes will cross.” Now I’m sure you’re thinking to yourselves, who would believe such nonsense? Me, that’s who! They got me at a vulnerable age, okay? Don’t judge! I remember sitting just inches away from the television while watching Sesame Street, Donnie and Marie, and the election of a pope. I think maybe it was that one who was pope for like a month and then he died. I just looked it up, Pope John Paul I. But maybe it was JP II. How can I be expected to remember? I was only 4&1/2!

The really funny part is that I didn’t know how deeply my parents’ warning had affected me or how noticeable it was until just a few years ago. We were at the home of some friends and there was a large group of people there. For some reason, a friend of mine started recounting how all of her mother’s siblings had had this horrible thing happen where an eyeball pops out. I think it’s called retinal detachment. The hair is standing up on the back of my neck just writing about it! Anyway, her mother was terrified that the retina detaching boogeyman was coming for her. I just made up that term. Neither my friend, not her mother would ever say such a thing. 🙂 As I became totally engrossed in this story and asked questions, the husband became aware of the conversation. And I heard from beside me, “Nooooo! Please don’t tell Nichole bad stories about eyes! It’s going to start happening again!” Of course, the rest of the room (including me) said, ” What’s going to happen?” And the husband told this story:

Up until a couple of years ago, Nichole would wake me up in the middle of the night at least twice a year. She would turn on the lights and make me look at her eyes. And she would say, “Are my eyes crossed?”. I don’t know why it finally stopped, but now it’s going to start all over again! As myself and the rest of the room dissolved into hysterical laughter, I said, “I did not do it that often!” But the husband assured me that I had.

You see, I thought it was my little secret, that sometimes in the middle of the day I look in the mirror and check my eyes to be sure that they’re still okay! And even though I know it’s crazy, I confess, it still happens a couple times a year. The mirror thing, not the wake the husband up thing!

**Special Note** I just told the husband I was writing about this and he was shocked that I had ever thought my neurosis was in any way a secret. Apparently, I used to ask him during daylight hours as well!

So all you parents out there, beware what you tell your kids! You never know what craziness will result. As for the whole boy parts falling off thing: I don’t think you want to give boys any more reasons to “check their equipment”. Unless of course, you are intending for them to be ball players. 😉

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Josh Daws on July 12, 2010 at 10:00 am


    I think you left St. T’s by 3rd Grade, but Sister Rosalita always told us the ‘little white lies’ were just as bad a ‘big lies’ and that we need to go to confession as soon as possible or we would be in trouble with God.

    My mother told me that if I didn’t clean my ears, I would have watermelons going out of them. I am still trying to get over her Pavlovian conditioning about car rides and falling asleep, but I digress. Ah, how our parents torture us even in our adulthood.

    Best wishes,



  2. I’m not saying I”m a terrible person – I’m just saying that after reading this post I’m very tempted to tell my children crazy lies just to see how it would manifest later in life.

    Okay, I’m saying I’m a terrible person. But you know that sounds interesting. Or at least like something I could sell as a reality tv show.


  3. I think I’m going blind reading this blog but I can’t stop what should I do? Love, Ken


  4. I can’t think of any little white lies from my parents – I’m either very forgetful or, or, what was the other thing? 🙂

    So, since you have such an eye fetish, you probably shouldn’t read this:

    Just sayin.


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