In 8th Grade I told the best lie I've ever told. I was in Catholic school at the time, and May Day was approaching - a very important religious holiday. On May Day in Catholic School you don't just give flowers to someone you like, or dance around a maypole. No no, that's for pagans. In Catholic school you crown a statue of the virgin Mary with flowers. May is her month. She gets the entire freaking month! It's ridiculous, yes, but it's doctrine, and she did carry and birth the Lord, and at that point in my life, that's all I knew. As a female in 8th Grade, placing the crown on Mary's head is a coveted honor. The chosen lady wears an amazing pastel colored dress, gets to lead the rosary (the ritual where you pray and count beads on a necklace), and forever be remembered in the annals of the yearbook as the May Queen. This was our Miss America pageant. In order to get this position, all the 8th grade ladies had to write an essay. I never won or win anything. I wasn't athletically gifted. I wasn't artistic. But, I could write. Especially in fiction. This is where I was going shine. I had to win this contest. Not just because I wanted to be CrazyVirgo, May Queen, but because I knew my best friend thought she had it in the bag. She was one of those people that are natural winners. She won everything. MVP in basketball. Girlfriend of the cutest boy in 8th Grade. Most pull-ups in gym class. I loved her and hated her for this. It was awesome being best friends with a winner, until you wanted to win. Remember that scene in "Talledega Nights" when Cal Naughton, Jr. asks RIcky Bobby if he could win just this one time, and Ricky laughs? That's what I felt like most of the time. That's just how it was - she won, I congratulated her, and if I was lucky, I came in second. Well,Not. This. Time.
I put so much thought into what would win this essay, my brain hurt. What would the judges - my 8th grade teachers - want to hear? What was going to beat the unbeatable opponent? My devotion to prayer? Nah. My lifetime commitment to Catholicism? Nah. And then, I had it - family tradition. This is Catholicism after all. Nothing matters more than family. Hmm.... my family... what could I write about? Nothing came to mind.... that was true. But, a little story started formulating in my brain. What if my Mom was May Queen, and her mother was May Queen, and her mother was May Queen? And my older sister? What if all the females in my family had been May Queens and it was my duty to keep the tradition alive?! That wasn't the case at all. But, damnit, it was going to be. What Catholic school teacher alive would keep a young, blossoming Catholic away from completing her role in her family and crowning Mary?
So, I did it. I wrote my essay about the female tradition of being May Queen in my family. I wrote about how I wanted to make my sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother proud. I wrote how I thought Mary would appreciate my desire to honor her and my mothers. I lied and lied and lied. The words flowed onto the paper like a Pulitzer Prize winning novella. Fiction came to me so naturally. And, guess what? I WON! I BEAT HER. The impossible became possible. The teachers panel commended me on my devotion to family, females and the Mother Mary. I wore an awfully heinous pastel pink dress, put on my most pious face, placed the crown of flowers on Marys head, lead that rosary like a pro and enjoyed my 30 minutes as Queen. I was smiling and laughing an evil laugh inside the whole time. "Ha ha you idiots! You believed me? A 14 year-old? Serves you right for letting me have this win.
I've evnjoyed that victory almost every day since. Did my lie hurt anyone? No. Do I lie everytime I want something that I think is unattainable? No. But I knew what it would take to win, and I went for it.
Happy May Day mofos.