It’s just a pen
That’s what keeps going through my mind tonight: “It’s just a pen.”
But to me, it’s not the pen that’s causing me to feel the way I am, it’s the lie behind the pen.
Let me back up a couple of days.
I have a pen that always sits on my desk. Nobody else uses it – just me. If ever I need a pen, there it is, sitting silently on my desk, waiting for me to pick it up and use it.
It’s not even a nice pen, to be honest. It cost me under a dollar. It’s a brand name – UniBall – and it writes very smoothly. I’m not sure if it’s a gel pen or not. It has blue ink. A lighter shade of blue than normal blue ink pens.
But the color doesn’t matter. I’m not picky about pens, really. As long as they’re comfortable in my hand (this one is), I’ll use it until the ink runs dry.
What I’m trying to make abundantly clear is that it’s nothing special. It’s just a run-of-the-mill pen. But it’s mine. It’s one of the few things in my house that I always know where it is, ’cause it’s mine, and nobody else uses it.
Well, that’s not 100% accurate. On occasion I will hand it to my Husband to sign a check that I’ve just written from his checkbook. But he gives it back to me when he’s done using it. Well, usually.
There is the rare occasion that he’ll forget to hand it to me, and will stick it in his back pocket with his other pens. No big deal – he usually realizes when he’s at work and uses it, that it’s not his pen. His pens are black ink. I don’t know why – it’s his preference. In the morning, when he gets home from work, he’ll deposit the pen on my desk where it belongs.
Two days ago, my pen went missing. It was there, then it wasn’t. I hadn’t used it. I asked Bill if he’d taken it by mistake. He said he hadn’t. I asked him to check his pocket, jokingly reminding him of his previous bouts of “thievery”. Nope, the pen was not in his pocket.
I went to Matthew and asked him if he took it. “What pen?”, is the response I get. My pen; the one that sits on my desk. “No, mom. I haven’t been anywhere near your desk.”
Ok, so it wasn’t taken by a human. My attention then went to the cats. Only one can get onto my desk, and she can be a thief of sorts. But only with things that she thinks look interesting enough to play with. My pen qualifies.
I search the floor around my desk. I search the perimeter around my desk. I see no evidence of my pen anywhere. I relegate myself to having to buy another pen, since it’s obvious to me that it won’t be found any time soon … at least judging by how quickly the cats’ toys are found when they go missing. Hint: not quickly. I’ll just use an old pen that’s uncomfortable to write with for the time being.
Oh well, such is life. No big deal. It’s just a pen.
Last night, I go to bed, pen still nowhere to be seen. I wake up this morning, sit at my desk, go through my usual routine of flipping on all the buttons that turn on all the electronics connected to my computer. I settle back in my chair, and reach for my glasses – the glasses that I laid on my desk before going to bed last night. In the same spot I lay my glasses every night.
But before I could actually grasp my glasses, my fingers bumped into something familiar, something laying right next to my glasses.
Yep, you guessed it! My pen!
I smiled, glad to have my pen back, and happy that either my Son or my Husband had found it. I couldn’t wait to thank them!
When Bill woke up, I made some half-assed remark that my pen appeared on my desk, and asked him if he put it there. For some reason, he took that as an accusation; I was somehow blaming him for putting the pen on my desk. He didn’t come right out and say that, but I could tell by his tone when he answered me. I let it roll off my back. No big deal. It must’ve been my Son.
When Matthew came home from school, I asked him what he knew about my pen being on my desk. I again got the typical teenage look of confusion while he asked, “what pen?”. After explaining it … again … he assured me that he did not put the pen on my desk. He looked, with his eyes, on my desk for a note that I was supposed to write (but didn’t) to his school, but claims he never touched my desk or anything on it.
Now I’m questioning my sanity. I know the cat(s) didn’t put it there. They lack thumbs with which to do so.
Which leaves only one option, right? It’s The Ghost. The one that goes by many different names, the most typical of which is “It wasn’t me” or “I didn’t do it”. I announced to both of my guys that our ghost is back. Then proceeded to do dishes, mulling over the pen situation.
That’s when it hit me. It’s not the pen that’s got me so upset. It’s the fact that one of the two people in my life that I trust the most has just lied to me. And not even a big this-is-too-earth-shattering-and-I-can’t-possibly-tell-her-the-truth kind of lie.
A tiny, inconsequential lie, about something utterly ridiculous.
Do either one of them think that I’d be so pissed off about a pen going missing that I’d harbor resentment toward them? If so, they don’t really know me at all.
What I am pissed off about, though, is that one of them lied to me! And they both know how I feel about lying. I despise liars.
To the best of my knowledge, my Son has never lied to me … ever! In 13 years, I trust him more than I’ve ever trusted anyone else in my life. He knows he has my full and complete trust. He also knows what it will mean to me if he breaks that trust. And so far, he’s not broken it.
I also don’t believe that in almost 5 years of marriage, my Husband has ever lied to me. He knows the consequences, too. He knows the level of trust I have with him. And he’s also not broken that trust.
So, for one of them to risk breaking the trust I have with them … over a PEN … well, it borders on the ridiculous.
And that, my friends, is what is eating at me tonight. I don’t want to obsess over this. But I also don’t want that nagging feeling that someone has lied to me to overshadow everything else. And so far, tonight, it has. Every time I look at the pen, I think about it.
I know that might sound crazy. But you have to understand how monumental it is that a lie has been told in this house. I also think that this is how it starts: one little itty bitty lie will lead to another, which will lead to another … so on and so on … until eventually a whopper is told.
I should know, I was a world class liar back in the day. And that’s exactly how it started with me. As soon as I realized I could get away with it, I kept pushing my own limits. Until eventually, I had told so many lies that I couldn’t keep them straight any more. I literally stopped cold-turkey.
It also made me a bit of an expert at spotting a lie.
Now all I want is for the guilty party to just ‘fess up and apologize to me for lying. Oh, and apologize to the non-guilty party for making them look like the guilty party in my eyes.
Does this make me crazy? Or am I justified in feeling the way I do?
It’s NOT just the pen!