Thanks for breaking the cherry on my site, Stef! For everyone else tuning in, here’s Stef’s dilemma….
“i am a very forgetful storyteller and, as a result, i am often struck by the realization that i’ve inadvertently lied. somehow, in the middle of guessing at all the parts i’ve forgotten, i say something that is clearly not true, only this clarity comes several hours later. my question is this, doctor: should i confess the true details of the story upon discovery or should i just forget it, taking for granted that people don’t really care so much about the truthfulness of anecdotes? and if your answer is forget it, how can i?
— Signed, “Stefanie”
First of all, I dig the lowercase “i’s” in the beginning of your sentences – very ee cummings/kd lang of you in an anti-structuralist sort of way. Second, I can tell you’re not from the Deep South because you’d never even be asking this question – you’d just write off your storytelling style to your fabulous eccentricity entitled to all Southern gals.
Seriously, I get your concern here, and I’d never tell you to just forget it. I mean, no one wants to be known as the James Frey of their social set, with most of your told tales being written off as fabricated fiction. On the other hand, you ARE telling an anecdotal tale, meaning, everyone expects the time/space continuum of your yarns to bend and stretch a bit. History and stories are shaped by the people who live to tell them.
I think the easiest solution is to start off your stories by simply saying, “So what I’m about to tell you is a true story – I tend to throw in a bit here and there to add some color – but you’ll get the idea.” Something along those lines anyway. You don’t want to go back after you’ve told a tale and act as your own anal-retentive fact checker. It doesn’t make you look good – and frankly, it misses the point entirely – which is to convey a point or “moral” of a story – not to recall every detail. These are stories, Stef – NOT accounting ledgers. So relax, throw back a few – and keep them guessing with all your tales – messy yarn bits and all.
1. “Movie of My Life,” Colleen McHugh. [Songs of Self Delusion]
2. “The Sound of Fear,” Eels. [Daisies of the Galaxy]
3. “The Circus Song (Can’t Let Go),” Kim Richey. [Kim Richey: The Collection]
4. “Forgive Me,” Peggy Lee. [Black Coffee]
5. “Trouble Sleeping,” The Perishers. [Let There Be Morning]
6. “Talk,” Coldplay. [X&Y]
7. “Deception,” Miles Davis. [Birth of the Cool]
8. “Breathe,” Telepopmusik. [Genetic World]
9. “Hangover,” Pillow Theory. [9 1/2]
10. “Here I Dreamt I was an Architect,” The Decemberists. [Castaways and Cutouts] — thought you’d appreciate a lit rock reference. They also tell good stories.
Until Next Time –
Ms. Mix and Bitch