When I was a teenager, I hid all of my vices from my mom and dad. My high school boyfriend snuck in and out of our house so they wouldn’t know I was having sex, I kept perfume and eye drops in a boot in the garage so I wouldn’t smell and look so stoned when I walked in, and once I even hid my jeans in the backyard when I came home so drunk I peed my pants while trying to open the front door. For the most part, mom and dad remained oblivious to my shady behavior. (Except, sadly, my mom found the pee pants in the backyard before I could wake up, and threw them in my face. And a nosy neighbor once squealed to her about strange boys jumping out the window. Also, sorry, mom. I do hope I don’t have a daughter like me.)
Cut to fifteen years later. I still harbor those bad vices. I still drink, I still smoke cigarettes, and still love to occasionally party until dawn. And yes, I may have peed my pants once within the past three years. It was a heinous drunken mistake, but it happened. But my parents gave up caring about that crap years ago. The only person I have to hide it from now is… my boyfriend. I can hear your cries already: “You shouldn’t lie about anything with your partner! Honesty is the best policy! He should love you for who you are!” But the truth is, sometimes it’s easier to tell him no, I haven’t been puffing Parliaments while plowing through three bottles of wine on a Monday night with my girlfriends, rather than guiltily admit it and face that disapproving look.
It was one thing when my mom screamed at me for coming in at 2am. I shrugged that off. But it’s another thing altogether to have someone you love and respect look at you like you’ve done something bad. (Again, sorry mother, I totally respect you NOW. I just didn’t back then!) I’m not saying I’m dating some rigid douche bag who won’t let me ever have fun. He parties and knows how to have a good time. But he doesn’t smoke and never has, and doesn’t get why I do it. He also doesn’t get why I would want to have a heinous hangover on a Tuesday morning. (Look, I don’t want the hangover, it just magically shows up the day after an alcohol soaked gossip-fest with the girls.)
The good thing is, it kind of helps me to have to hide my habits from him. It stops me from partying so hard, just because it’s so damn annoying to pretend I’m a better person than I actually am. I mean, I want to be a better person and quit smoking for good and try to only get rip-roaring drizzunk on the weekends and eat more salads, but life is life and I’m a creature of (bad) habits. And my boyfriend should love me for who I am, thick and thin, better or for worse, and all that anyway, right? Probably. But, it ain’t gonna happen.
He doesn’t totally dig my party side. And I like the fact that he keeps me in check, because I do have the tendency to be the “just one more!” girl at the party. And by that, I mean “just one more bottle.” So, ultimately I’ve concluded that he doesn’t always need to know that when I said I went to bed, I might have instead called another girlfriend on the phone, poured another glass of red, and lit another fag. And he doesn’t need to know that at times I’ve been lying my (throbbing) head off when I’ve said that I wasn’t hungover. Although, sometimes I feel like I should just admit the truth. Like when I spent the other day playing tennis with him after a big night out, trying hard not to think about that mac n’ cheese I snarfed at a friend’s house at 3am—and also trying hard not to barf all over myself.