Recently I was at an annual event where the regular cast of characters were on the loose. Most of the people are okay, but there are some I really do not care for. One in particular is a woman I will call Candice. Yes, Candice. On the surface Candice is the picture of perfection. She is a good looking blonde lady with a handsome husband and three adorable children. Candice has this perky attitude, and is “positive” all the time. Yes, positive, positive, positive. Meanwhile, Candice is about as positive as HIV because the woman is really a manipulative backstabber with nothing but seething bitch underneath.
Yes, we all know a Candice. She was that girl in school that was the teacher’s pet, and everyone wanted to beat her ass not because she got better grades, but because she was shrill and annoying. Candice won a bunch of awards for academics, tennis, and went to an elite college. After that, she went on to be a teacher and then headmistress of a prestigious all girl’s prep school. On paper Candice looks like a rize, but in person she is like nails on a chalk board.
I saw Candice and her children who aren’t allowed to speak at this function. Not really caring, I asked her what she had been up to. Candice told me that for a while she was teaching and then headmistressing. However, she discovered this new self-help program and started to apply it in her school. Candice then quickly informed me that the school had begun to run itself, so therefore they no longer needed a head mistress. Then shortly after she resigned, she started writing self-help literature, and worked as a motivational speaker. I asked her about her concept and she was shady at best, trying to give me fluff answers as she changed the subject. Her story already had more holes than a piece of Swiss Cheese, and the way she explained her idea made mud look clear.
Candice then chirped away that she wrote a New York Times Bestseller. I asked her the name of her book. Now I was officially nauseous but also rather curious. Candice named the piece of literature. There is one problem. Candice didn’t write it. Someone else did. As a matter of fact I know Candice didn’t write it because I am social media chums with the man who did. Although we only chatted twice, he seemed quite nice and the polar opposite of this intellectual property stealing wench that stood before me at that very moment.
I was paralyzed as a thousand emotions rolled through my veins. There was the initial shock that she could be so bold and audacious. On top of that I felt insulted because Candice actually believed I am that dumb. Yes, maybe I talk like a red neck chipmunk on meth but I know a liar when I see one. Then there was a part of me that was angered on a deeper level. For those that don’t know, writers are the indentured servants of the creative world. While we are by far much smarter than actors, dancers, musicians and visual artists, we have the least rights when it comes to royalties and take the most crap. Not only do we get screwed worse than a low grade porn star when it comes to contracts, but producers are always the first to throw us under the bus. Directors pervert our ideas. Then we are snobs for defending our work. Yet at the end of the day, when people need us they are super, duper nice. Now here was this C-U-Next-Tuesday taking credit for the blood, sweat, and tears of another writer.
Then I realized her husband wasn’t there. I could only wish he was cheating on her with a highly paid escort somewhere. It’s got to be better than sleeping with that thing every night, jeez. Or this is the only case aside from Tori Spelling in 90210 where I would applaud a man for throwing a woman down the stairs. I don’t advocate domestic violence, heck I survived it. But what this woman did was evil. Am I angry? Fuck yeah. But when you are a writer who has been cheated you will understand my rage at this vagina wig, trust me.
I debated calling her on it. But if I did I would look like an angry, embittered single woman and the hetero-normative majority would drop kick me. Not to mention she has her other idiot friends at the event who has more bullshit coming out of their mouths than a barnyard. So I smiled and made my way to someone else. There was a part of me that wanted to slap her myself, but I had no desire to make the Daily News that badly. Later that evening I found out from another person who despises her just as much as I do that she sold promotional materials for this author, and it was a work from home job. Perhaps she has a creative mind, baby girl certainly stretched the truth on this one.
Of course this kind of lying is nothing new. I am in the entertainment industry where it is the Smoke and Mirrors effect. At a club, when everyone is sitting around, it is amazing how many people have “pilots.” Yes, the pilots for Adult Swim, MTV, VH1, and every other damn network under the sun. Nine point nine times out of ten these pilots never materialize. Maybe they are friends with an airline pilot, I don’t know. Others have films going to “festivals.” Sometimes the films get there, but most of the time they don’t. And the short films never materialize. Oh and my favorite are the people releasing books with big name literary agents. Note: They have been releasing this book or screenplay for the past six years. Really it’s in a drawer where it should be collecting dust. The more someone tells me the less I really do believe. Call me cynical but it’s a one up game, and the best story wins. Did I mention everyone has a DVD, album, and podcast, too? Nevermind no one listens to it. They have it.
The craziest are the liars that I meet in my travels. A few years ago, there was a dude Justin who wanted to worm his way into a circle of gay men I was a part of. Henry, our sort of Queen Bee, had been the dance captain in several Broadway shows and was now a well respected teacher. Justin wanted a job on Broadway, and fabricated a life story that was insane. He said he was a former child star, and insisted he had roles in several well known movies. We were taken in because while he was a complete and utter fraud, Justin did know his crap. I discovered him in action when I left my purse with him for a few minutes. Later, I got a call from my credit card company that someone had bought a few hundred dollars worth of gay porn in minutes. This happened not only to be but several others who left their things with Justin. That is when I looked up the films he said he was in and Justin Davis was no where to be found. I called Henry panicked, who busted him in another lie a day earlier. Needless to say, we also discovered Justin had fabricated his Broadway stage hand resume as well. As soon as he was busted, Justin disappeared never to be heard from again. These days, we joke about our pet Mr. Ripley, but the way he was committed to his lies was amazing. I have to give him that.
The worst is when you give your heart to a liar. It happened when I was coming out of a rough time in my life. Yes, my ex James Scott Buchanan, but he went by Scott in order to distinguish himself from his grandfather that he was named after. Scott insisted he was directly related to the worst US President in history, the one that caused the Civil War. Also, he told me before going to law school he had played with the Detroit Cobras and had a career as a musician. Scott had also been a music major at the University of Michigan, before leading a protest and having a change of heart.
Additionally, Scott also trained as a boxer and even practiced with the Olympic squad before going off to college. Scott’s grandfather had been a teamster, and his dad’s godfather was Jimmy Hoffa. Before me Scott dated a slew of impressive women as well. One ex was a Playboy Model, another won an Academy Award for Costume Design, and a third was a Smith/Yale educated international rights lawyer who he caught in bed with another man, and Scott had nearly killed the guy.
After Scott destroyed the relationship with the help of a third party, the truth came out. Scott’s law license was probationary, and he was in danger of being disbarred because of misconduct. Then I found out via the Detroit Cobras website where all the alumni are listed that Scott had never played with them. Also, the ties to president Buchanan are sketchy because his living descendants are small in number because he never married and left any heirs. Not to mention Scott attended Eastern Michigan University and was a history major, and the story about the University of Michigan was just another lie. My Uncle Franklin was a union organizer and was nearly killed by a Jimmy Hoffa car bomb. He had no knowledge of Scott and his fabricated familial relations of the famous mob boss. Also met someone on the Olympic Squad that year, they had never met Scott.
I Googled Scott’s exes. Apparently they were so famous that Google had never heard of them. Oh and the gf that won the Oscar for Costume Design, a man won that year. As for the story about the former fiancé, I think she woke up one day, realized she was marrying Scott, and broke it off. In order not to look like himself, Scott made up a fabulous story. Then I remembered Scott was a lawyer, but said he might change career paths in ten years. I agree. The asshole needs to put his talent to good use and write fiction, because he lies everytime he breaths.
Did it hurt? Yeah, especially since I had survived an ex before him who was physically violent and stalked me. This was the last damn thing I needed. But it was only a few months of my life, and we didn’t share property or children. Then I thought of my late friend Chacho Vasquez who always had misgivings about Scott. While those around me thought he was a positive change from Sean, Chacho let it be known whenever he could take the floor that he didn’t like the guy. At the time, I didn’t realize let alone appreciate Chacho’s sixth sense when it came to sniffing out individuals who were less than kosher. But most of the time, he called it as he saw it and he called it correct.
Then as Candice passes through my mind, the lying piece of air suck, I remember Chacho fondly. Candice would probably look down upon Chacho, as would Justin, Scott, and most of the entertainers who exaggerate on the reg. Chacho did every possible “wrong” thing with his life. He sold drugs, did drugs, stole, went to jail, and had sex with a beautiful stranger whenever possible. Oh and Chacho always looked for Prince Charming but fell in the arms of a married man. Chacho was always honest with me to a fault. Sometimes I would beg my buddy to lie. Chacho would reply, “Why would I do that? I am such a jerkoff I would probably screw it up.”
Of course for as crazy as it sounds, Chacho is superior to all of them. Sure, most of being his friend was not killing him but Chacho could tell the truth. Granted, his honesty got him in a boatload of trouble with a lot of people but that was a part of his charm. When he passed we debated what station in the after life he was in. While he made his mistakes my belief is my friend is an angel, and God has given him the job of correcting the phonies because he is the perfect man for the task. So as I strangle Candice in my mind, another Chacho quote pops in my head, “A nobody trying to be somebody is the worst kind of nobody there is.”
Candice believed she had to exaggerate her credentials because she was just a mere stay at home mom. Nothing wrong with that. In order to make herself look like a winner she became the ultimate loser. Same with everyone else in this blog. If you have to pretend to be someone you aren’t in order to have that person be your friend, they are not a friend worth having. And if that person doesn’t like you for who you are, it’s not you who’s worthless, it’s them.
Of course, in a world where we are pressured to keep up with the Jones’s, we forget they are an imaginary family that never fights, has financial problems, let alone a bad day. They Jones’s aren’t real. Then again, when someone lies so much to keep up, you wonder if they ever knew how to tell the truth in the first place. Of course when this realization hits, the anger fades and what remains is pity, pure and simple. Having a liar be honest is like having someone who has never driven a car drive a mac truck. They don’t have the ability to tell the truth, and they don’t even know what the truth is. Why ask them to do something they have no knowledge of in the first place?
Fantasy is appealing because it has the bells and whistles the truth doesn’t. But while the truth is uncomfortable, when you accept it you can do things you never dreamed of. Most of the time, the truth is not as bad as you think, either. When you think of it, being a liar must be a lonely existence. You always have to remember the tales you spun and probably get a headache trying to keep it straight. With truth you seldom have that issue. Not to mention eventually people see a liar for who that person is and they move on. In the end, the liar is just left with themselves and the mess they call a mind. That is a sad, sad existence if you ask me.
So my hope and prayer is that Candice finds peace along with Justin, Scott, and a great many entertainers I know. It is my dream that they wake up someday and give reality a shot. It’s not all that gnarly. It is my sincere hope that they know that they are good enough as they are, and maybe, just maybe, they can achieve some sort of peace and calm.