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Monday, April 04, 2011


When I was 15, I was at a party one night and I - as it was so eloquently put back then - 'got with' a boy from school. Meaning, of course, that I kissed him. More than once.

About a week later, I was walking in to my social studies class when my bestfriend, Tracy, whispered to me that she had heard a rumour that I had slept with M (by then, my new boyfriend) during the party. Everyone was talking about it, and apparently it was thanks to M that the rumour had started.

This was ridiculous for a couple of reasons: a) the party was held in a small, probably two bedroom house, with every room completely jam-packed with people. (Where exactly was this supposed to have taken place?); and b) I just wasn't that kind of girl, thank-you-very-much.

I was livid. There is nothing worse than when people spread outright lies about you. So I did what any self-respecting girl should do in the same situation: I decided to confront him in the school yard and out him for his untruths in front of everyone so all and sundry would know the rumour wasn't true.

By this stage, the word had spread through the whole Year 10 class, and everyone knew that I was not-happy-Jan, and on my way to give M a piece of my mind. By the time I located M just metres from the school hall, I had quite a number of my peers following me, with many of the girls encouraging me to, "Let it rip," on M. In fact, many of the boys were doing the same.

I stood in front of M, hands on hips - my newly acquired entourage behind me - and M looked just like a deer caught in headlights. I asked him, loudly - so everyone could hear - why he had told people that I had slept with him? He denied saying it at all. I didn't believe him, and becoming even more irritated by the second at his blatant dishonesty (after all - how could so many people be wrong?), I instinctively lifted my hand and swung it clear across his cheek with a SLAP!

Everyone behind me, rather vocal up to that point, suddenly went quiet - apart from the collective GASP that escaped their lips simultaneously as my hand met M's cheek.

I turned, stormed off, declaring it, "OVER!" and took myself off to the bathroom to regroup. I didn't cry. I was too angry to do that.

Later that day, M would call me at home to plead his innocence. I, once again, refused to believe him, and promptly hung up on him.

About 7 to 8 years later, I was out one night with some friends and I ran in to M. After exchanging awkward pleasantries, M asked if I recalled the time I had slapped his face because I thought he had spread a rumour about me?

"Of course I do," I replied, curious as to what he was about to say.

He said, "You know, I really, honestly, never did spread that rumour about sleeping with you. Truly." I looked him in the eye, and his gaze met mine. That's when I saw it - the look of truth. I believed him.

Liars often can't look you directly in the eye. (The bad ones, anyway.) This, I know.

Who knows how the rumour first started about M and I at the party? Perhaps it was someone's idea of a really bad joke. Perhaps someone was jealous of our union. Perhaps someone said something that someone else misinterpreted and - just like in a game of Chinese Whispers - it all came out wrong and mixed up. Who knows? But M paid a price for being the victim of either an outright lie, or at the very least - an exaggeration/misinterpretation of a situation.

Best to go to the source and listen to the full story, huh?

Have you ever been the victim of a rumour? Not believed someone's story and then found out later they were speaking the truth?

Image: We Heart It


Liz@Mumstrosity.com said...

Damn, don't you hate being wrong lol. It's nice to put things at peace though.

I went to a party with some friends and kissed a guy, then later got a lift to my girlfriends house where I was staying the night.
Then Monday at school comes and apparently I stayed at this guys house, even though there were a couple of us girls staying at my friends place lol.

Rumors didn't bother me though - as long as they don't cause someone to want to bash me.

I don't think I've ever wrongly accused someone of starting a rumor, I like to get my facts straight because I don't like confrontation.

Torkona said...

imagine what life would have been like if u were still with this guy.. disappointing how kids can be though, isnt it. dont realise the bigger picture until years later..

- tork

Miss Pink said...

Rumours are nasty things. I have been a victim and i have sat by and watched people make them up, knowing they have and done nothing (not proud of that, but we have all done bad things, and i was 13 in my defense).
I am very much like you. Direct. To the point. I go straight to the source.
I'd have to say he's telling the truth, why would he keep up a lie all these years later?

Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures said...

How humiliating for you, given the situation, I also would have slapped him.

I haven't been in a situation like this, but I know how M must have felt.

I had a friend who was my other half. We did everything together, knew everything about her, and when I started dating her fiance's best friend, we became even closer.

One day, my boyfriend and my friend's fiance's brother were talking about my friend. When I came into the room, my boyfriend ceased the conversation saying "Don't say anything in front of Tara". Curiosity roused, I asked what they were talking about. They were talking about my friend and how much of a sook she is and how jealous she is of her fiance's female friends.

Now, I was just as close to my friend's fiance as I was to her, so I knew he was not the world's most loyal guy to my friend, and told him on more than one occasion he needed to stop giving her reasons to be jealous. She was incredibly fragile and suffered depression so faced with this conversation, I ripped both my boyfriend and my friend's fiance's brother a new one saying "She's not a sook, she has depression, leave her alone".
I then dumped that boyfriend.

In a case of Chinese Whispers it got back to my friend, via her fiance who told her that I was bagging her out to my ex boyfriend and his brother.

Hurt, she believed it.

We lost our friendship, and I never saw or heard from her for nearly a year. I did see her once at a mutal friends' tupperware party and was gutted to find her several months pregnant. I would have loved to be there for her.

I'd just had Master S when I received an email from my friend. She apologised to me, told me her fiance admitted the truth to her while he was packing his bags to leave her. He even said to her "We told a lie about Tara so you'd have no friends".

We cannot get back what we had, but are working on it, and I forgive her for reacting the way she did. I would have done the same.

Lies are a nasty bugger, and people who tell them for their own benefit are nastier.

Jacki said...

It reminds me of a movie I watched over the weekend called 'Gossip' where a bunch of students make up a rumour, just to see how far it goes.

april said...

Oh yes, so so many. My particular 'favorite' if I can call it that was when I was in year nine. I had a huge crush on my 'friend's brother. She and my other 'friend' convinced me to write to him. He wrote back, this continued for about a month, both of us telling each other what were really important things about each other and then I thought I'd send him a letter instead of passing it on via my friend (as i liked getting mail, I reasoned he would be the same) the reply I got was in another style of handwriting, barely two lines, very embarrassed and stressed sounding. He had no idea what I was talking about, in fact only a vague notion of who I was.
Turns out my 'friends' had been writing these letters and thought it all a fantastic joke, on top of which they now had all of these facts about me I never would have told anyone, particularly them, to tease me about for the next year.
Oh yes. Isn't high school fun.
And the sad bit? I couldn't help but feel so so bad for that boy getting a letter from a random girl talking to him as though they were a couple - how stalked would he have felt?

Mom said...

I love the mayhem! I think that's why I had 12 kids. Your blog looks fun. Thanks for letting my visit.

River said...

I'm in the unlucky position of never being able to tell if people are lying or telling the truth. So I choose to believe most things.
Colour me gullible.
I'll sometimes discover the lie for myself later, but usually way after the fact so who cares and I just brush it aside.

ForeverRhonda said...

I hate being wrong about that kind of stuff!!! Yeah this has happened to me before. I still don't know the answers to some things that really changed my life drastically! But it all worked out.


Being Me said...

Yes, I've been involved in that sort of thing.. I think everyone has. I've got this awful (some would say good) sense of seeing everyone at face value, so if they choose to lie to me, I see it as their prerogative. Kind of like, they're only really hurting themselves in the long run. Helps me detach, I suppose. But it doesn't mean I haven't felt duped on more than one occasion.

Interesting, what some people will call "their truth." And on that note, I'd better leave it just there! ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised you reacted so strongly, after all your whole reputation was at stake.

Poor M though. Glad you got to sort it out with him eventually.

Shame you didn't get the chance to slap the real culprit!

MomAgain@40 said...

That's a bad story! I also feel sorry for the guy!
I don't give too much thought to rumours, and when I got divorced and knew that there were rumours circulating... I ignored it! Because in the end people came back to me and told me that they found it not to be true! The truth always stays the longest!

Thea said...

Oh boy, your highschool life should be a movie. Who would play you?

Great post, great message!

Penny said...

Oh so many times have I been in this situation! The worst however was when a workmate propositioned me at a party and when I declined, he went and told my flatmate that as the head tenant I had sorted it so I didn't pay any rent and was using my flatmates for money. Not true at all, but flatmate went and told other flatmates and all our mutual friends and I ended up losing a few that wouldn't listen to the truth. The best ones are still in my life today though :)

wideeyedgirl said...

At least your guy was decent - my first boyfriend was a christian and so we never went all the way. When we broke up all his friends wanted to date me I was still in love and heartbroken so of course refused them. Years later one of those friends tried it on again in a pub and wanted to go all the way. When I refused he complained that if I could put out for his friend why wouldn't I with him. I was mortified, my 'christian' boyfriend had spread the rumour that we had done it! What a hypocrite, but he's paying the price for it now I hear he is single and the real 40-year-old virgin. Heehee Thanks for the post - it reminded me of my long lost youth! Check out my blog if you get a second http://www.myidealife.com.au


Jayson James said...

This is quite similar to the movie I just happened to watch which was entitled Easy A. Well, except for the confrontation part. After all the things happened in the past, he still made an appeal unto the case, pleaded not guilty and then turned out it was the truth.

It is always advisable to first talk to the person involved and settle things between both parties before making some unnecessary actions. The good thing about this story is that everything got settled and it was definitely a lesson learned.

Kris said...

I went away to another city for uni and when I went back home ppl asked if I had a boy or a girl. Apparently I went away cause my highschool bf knocked me up. I got all my friends to lie with me and say I had a girl. Some still believe it until facebook happened.