The Lie That Got Out Of Control

“I’ve not seen you for a while. Did you have your hair cut here last time?”

It was a simple enough question. I had no idea at the time that it was going to lead to one of the most shameful lies of my adult life.

I was sitting in the barber’s chair of my local hairdressers as the owner of the establishment trimmed my hair and made small talk. It was him that had asked the question.

I like my local hairdressers. I’ve been going there for the past six years. I go there whenever I need my hair cut. However, the last time I had gone there (the time he was referring to) he had been too busy to fit me in and instead of coming back the next day I had sneaked off to another hairdressers. I’m not proud of it.

So when he asked me, “Did you have your hair cut here last time?” I needed a moment to think.

It was an innocent question which I could have simply answered but I didn’t want to tell him that I had been unfaithful with another hairdresser. I felt guilty about it. It was because of this that I told a small white lie.

“I… was out of the country for a while.” I said, heavily implying that this was when my hair had last been cut.

It was a small white lie that answered the question neatly without any need for further discussion on the subject. There could be no arguing with such a statement. I’d been in another country, I’d needed to get my haircut, I’d had no choice but to see another hairdresser, and besides, what happens on vacation, stays on vacation even if the vacation is completely fictitious. Most importantly of all it was a small white lie that avoided the need for any awkward confessions on my part and allowed us to continue our happy relationship…. That is until he did something I was (foolishly) not expecting him to do.

“Where did you go?” He asked politely, smiling with interest.

Bugger!

I quickly said the first thing that came to mind, “I… er… went back to London.”

London was an easy choice. It’s my home city after all but the closest I’d actually been to London in the past six months was when I had spotted a sign post on a Dutch highway that read ‘London 356 kilometres’ and pointed in the vague direction of the sea.

“London is very nice. Did you do anything fun there?”

I said the first thing that came to mind again, “Oh… nothing much… Just a quiet Christmas with my parents.”

This had not been the plan. The lie was supposed to be a small, innocent lie. Now I was telling fibs about how and where I’d spent Christmas two weeks ago. In reality I’d spent Christmas and New Years in Friesland with my family-in-law. My ‘small white lie’ was slowly taking on a life of its own.

“That’s nice.” There was a short pause, which for a moment made me think his curiosity had been satisfied, “I think a lot of people had trouble travelling this winter. You did also, yes?”

I wanted to stop, I really did but I could not simply say ‘no’ any more. The answer would have been too unbelievable and the lie had become too big for unbelievable answers. The lie was forcing me to get creative. I picked a number at random. Eight seemed like a good number.

“Well… we had a delay of about 8 hours at Schiphol airport.” I said uncomfortably, feeling my cheeks burn a little.

The lie had not only taken on a life of its own, it had a wife, two kids and a mortgage. If it continued to get any bigger it was going to need its own postal code.

“That is not too bad,” he replied. “It was a lot of chaos here. Many trains not going.”

I eagerly grabbed the chance for a subject change, “I know. I…”

Then I quickly stopped myself.

I was going to tell him about the trouble I had experienced getting to work during the snow fall in Holland but I’d quickly realized that it had all happened during my fictional vacation and I could not have possibly experienced it.

“…heard.”

Arse!

“Did you watch the fireworks in London on New Years?” He asked.

“No, it was too busy. We watched it on TV and had a quiet New Years Eve.” I replied feeling quite defeated.

The lie now had a life of its own, a family, a mortgage, a mid-life-crisis, a Ferrari and a mistress.

There was an awkward silence.

“So you had your haircut while you were in England?” He asked.

“Yes.”

“During Christmas?”

“Yes.” I replied and hoped that this would really be the end of the questioning.

Surprisingly it was. He did not ask any more questions. In fact he did not say much of anything else. In fact he seemed a little annoyed. I suddenly realized why.

Christmas had been two weeks ago. I had said that my last haircut had been two weeks ago. In reality it had been two months ago when I had sneaked off to the other hairdressers. I was sitting there in the chair with two months worth of hair growth, not two weeks. That’s the kind of inconsistency that most hairdressers would notice and it seemed that my now pissed off hairdresser had.

I like my local hairdressers. I don’t think I can ever show my face there again.

29 responses to “The Lie That Got Out Of Control”

  1. Heather says:

    I’m surprised you made it home with both ears still attached!

  2. Invader Stu says:

    Me too. It was maybe not a wise idea of me to lie to a man with easy access to so many sharp objects.

  3. Valentijn says:

    The important thing is that you came back to your faithful hairdresser, instead of continuing on with the other relationship. I’m sure he appreciates that :-)

  4. Breigh says:

    oh man, that’s like something Jeff would do (from Coupling). I can so see your face burning as you spun that web! I think you should go back but never stray again! Show him you learned your lesson haha
    Is it local to us or local in Amsterdam?

  5. Invader Stu says:

    Valentijn – I don’t know. If does not forgive me I might be forced to go to the new one.

    Breigh – Local to Amsterdam (so local to my office). I was felling like Jeff as it happened.

  6. Heidi says:

    Your posts always crack me up! This reminds me of what happens when I smile and nod, pretending that I understand what someone is saying to me in Dutch. I was at a stop light a while ago and a woman almost got run over by the tram. The woman next to me said something to me in Dutch and I tried to give her a look that said, “Oh, yeah, that was a close one.” The only problem is that she kept talking to me and the light seemed to last forever. I didn’t want to say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t understand anything you said for the last 5 minutes”, so I just kept smiling and nodding. I’m sure she thought I was completely crazy because as soon as we went through the light, I realized my bike had a flat, which is probably what she was trying to tell me all along.

  7. Invader Stu says:

    Heidi – I’ve lost count of the amount of times that short of thing has happened to me. It’s always awkward isn’t when they just seem to keep on talking with no end in sight and even worse when it seems like they just may or may not have asked a question.

  8. Marianne says:

    Ha ha. Although it is his fault for being too busy in the first place.

  9. Invader Stu says:

    Marianne – I want you in the jury if I ever get taken to court for this :)

  10. Aledys Ver says:

    Oh dear, that was painful…..! But funny! :D Let’s hope he’ll have forgotten “the lie” by when it’s time for another haircut….

  11. Alison says:

    I worry about getting caught in such a situation, so I sometimes plan an “alibi” in advance. I blame it on reading too many mysteries from a very young age. ;)

  12. Jules says:

    Hehe,, eleven years in the country and you’ve still not mastered the “Dutch directness”…because any other Dutch person would just say, “Oh, last time you were too busy”and to hell with the barber’s feelings.

    But congratulations on having made it out with both ears :-)

  13. Invader Stu says:

    Aledys Ver – I hope so too

    Alison – I think I should have done the same and then I would have been better prepared.

    Jules – I can’t do it. I’m just too British.

  14. julia says:

    So, how’s the hunt for a new hairdresser going?

  15. Invader Stu says:

    Julia – Well my hair is still short at the moment but I think I’ll have to start looking soon.

  16. Dave2 says:

    Oh… it’s terrible for you to visit now! What if you forget the lies and he asks about them?

    Be sure to return and read this blog entry so you can try to keep your story straight!

  17. Tweets that mention Invading Holland » The Lie That Got Out Of Control -- Topsy.com says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Unexpected Traveller, Stuart. Stuart said: On another note – New Blog Post – The Lie That Got Out Of Control – http://www.invadingholland.com/?p=2673 […]

  18. Invader_Stu says:

    Dave2 – That’s a very good point. It’s also gone through my mind that the next time I go I might suddenly discover he is a reader of my blog.

  19. kiki says:

    Oh, Stu. A delightful post. I cringe along with you.
    Remember the time the people in the furniture shop were so nice to me I felt I had to tell them that my non-existent boyfriend and I needed to buy all our furniture soon, and we’d definitely be coming there to buy it? Then, a year later, I went back with Steve and they f***ing remembered me?

  20. French Bean says:

    Ouch. Hair and lies just don’t mix well.

    I had a similar experience when I returned to the local hairdresser in Miami after my 7-month hiatus in France. I didn’t get my hair cut all that time, but I had had some caramel highlights done prior to leaving Miami, a fact that did not go unnoticed the following time I saw said hairdresser who normally gave me blond highlights when I specifically asked for caramel ones.

    “Oh, when did you get highlights?”

    “Um, it was when I was in France. (Yeah, that’s it.)”

    In any case, she got the message and gave me blond highlights just before I returned to France…but I got rid of them this past Tuesday and replaced them with a caramel color and had two inches of hair cut off. No one is the wiser!

  21. Invader Stu says:

    Kiki – At least you were able to return with Steve and lend some credibility to your story (or were you two not going out at that point)

    French Bean – I won’t tell your hairdresser if you don’t tell mine (even though they seem to know already).

  22. Bart says:

    ‘Al is de leugen nog zo snel, de kapper achterhaalt haar wel’

  23. Anita says:

    Man, I got tense with your story. One who lies must have an excellent memory. Well, I do not consider going to another hairdresser being unfaithful to your usual one. “My” hairdressers are completely open and even make jokes about it. But because they realized I am a good, faithful client who also has brought other clients to the salon they spontanesously decide occasionally to give some reductions or a “cadeautje”.

  24. dragonlady says:

    Maybe you should print a copy of this blogg and send it to your hairdresser. Surely he would see the funny side of it. Just explain that the British do not like to hurt other peoples feelings.

  25. Silvia says:

    Hi,
    I am an American looking into moving to Amsterdam…I stumbled upon your blog thru another sight for expats. I enjoyed your sense of humor and proceeded to click on your blog link..I had to smile I am a hairstylist:) haha I used to share with all of my male clients when I realized they had “cheated” that I was the one women in their life that would always take them back:)

  26. Invader Stu says:

    Bart – Ya. Het was dat snel.

    Anita – I agree with you, it’s not unfaithful really but my over developed seance of Englishness gets in the way. Hopefully my hair dresser will be as forgiving as yours.

    Dragonlady – Knowing my luck he is already a reader.

    Silvia – Hehe. I bet that made them feel better. Any tips on how I can win my hairdresser over again. And welcome to the site.

  27. linda@adventuresinexpatland.com says:

    Isn’t funny how we go out of our way to avoid ‘getting caught’ in our ‘cheating’ by folks (like your hairdresser) who likely know this kind of thing happens quite a bit? Exactly who do we think we’re kidding?! Oh well, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

  28. Angela says:

    Hilarious! I had something similar happen to me, when my hairdresser asked when I’d last had my haircut I said the last time was with him so he checked the date on the computer and apparently it was something like 28 weeks before, everyone in the shop laughed, I really wish I told him I cheated on him twice instead :)

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