We are celebrating Stephanie Hale’s newest release, The Alpha Bet this week, with a daily giveaway of a signed copy the book. So be sure to comment each day to be entered to win!
Relating to the theme of The Alpha Bet, we’re going to be talking about lies we have told. And I must start with the line I’ve tried to live by all these years: if you’re going to lie, make sure you do it well. In other words, do not do what I did...
Okay...back in my single days, I found myself in a nightclub in Copenhagen. My friends had disappeared, and I was sort of killing time waiting for them, when this guy about my age approached me. We started talking about both being Americans on vacation in Europe...and then he asked me where I worked.
I told him the name of the university, and that I worked in the physics department. Where I was, incidentally, the office manager. I expected the usual so-what-do-you-do-there, and he really shocked me by instead asking what I had written my Ph.D thesis on.
And suddenly, I had this scathingly brilliant idea. I mean, here I was in Europe, talking to some guy I would never see again. What the heck? So I took a breath and relayed the title of a research paper that one of our professors had just had published.
Funny, huh? I thought so. Until he responded with a physics-lingo-appropriate question.
It turned out he was a physicist. And he was familiar with my “research topic,” my department, and my “co-workers,” (actually, my bosses). WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THIS?
Happy, he started talking shop. Relativistic this-and-that, thermo-whatsis, hydro-whatever. While adrenaline raced through me. How could I get out of there? Where are my friends? And worst of all...if he showed up at my office, could I get fired for “impersonating a physicist?”
When it was my turn to speak, I impulsively blurted out: “I can’t...have this conversation. You don’t understand.” Then I really started lying. Because what better way to get out of a lie? “My--my husband and I divorced because we couldn’t talk about anything but physics. And I swore I’d never date another one. Or if I did, we wouldn’t talk about work.” (To be very clear, no such ex-husband existed.)
Stupid? Totally! Because of course, now to top things off, the guy thinks I’m interested in him romantically!
I made it through another hour or so, then my friends returned and we hit the door. He followed me, saying the next time he was at my university, he would look me up. Would this ever end?
So when I got back to my office a couple weeks later, I had no choice but to tell the front office staff what happened, so if he showed up, to say I no longer worked there. The story, of course, went like wildfire around the department. Tina pretending to be a physicist--to a physicist. And the person who loved it the most? A good-looking post-doctoral student named Ferraro, who took me to dinner to hear more...
Okay, so this tale of my red-faced deception has a happy ending. I am, after all, a romance writer (and not a physicist). Ferraro and I started having regular dinners together, and went on, of course, to marry. And that guy never showed up in my office. He probably looked back on the evening and either thought me emotionally unstable or completely full of it. (Both of which are arguably true.) But it really taught me a lesson about lying: don’t do even if you THINK you can do it well!
To be entered in this contest, feel free to tell me what you think of this and what would might have done. Or maybe a lie you told. Your choice! Just be sure to enter because you're going to love Steph's new book!
All of the winners’ names will be posted on Sunday!
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