Seven writers on the lies they tell, the truths they stopped believing, and the inhibitions they’ve shed.

By Real Simple Editors
Updated May 14, 2019
Anne Bentley
Anne Bentley


“I wish I could!” It’s my go-to response when turning down an invitation, but it’s not exactly true.

Well, sometimes it is. For example, if you’re having people over to feed your baby goats, but I have to go out of town for work that day, I really do wish I could come to your farm. I’d rather do that than just about anything.

Read more: I Tell This White Lie All the Time, and I'm Not Sorry About It

Anne Bentley


Whether or not you’re one to google things like the habits of successful people, you have seen headlines such as “Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour” (whatever you say, Wall Street Journal). Unless I’ve been forced to book a 7 a.m. flight, I’m still sleeping at 5, 6, 7 a.m.—until 7:30 a.m., when I begin to play a game of snooze chicken with my alarm. As you’ve gathered: I’m not a morning person.

Read more: I Hit Snooze in the Morning—and I’m Not Going to Change My ‘Bad’ Habit

Anne Bentley


I’m about to turn 30. I’ve known my closest group of friends since we were 18, but it was only this year that I was able to tell them how I actually feel when guys (inconsequential ones, usually) mess me around.

These close friends—there are four of them, all excellent, woke white girls—and I talk to each other most days, but I threw them together into one group chat because we realized we were all just repeating ourselves by telling each other the same thing.

Read more: I’m Vulnerable Sometimes, and I’ve Stopped Apologizing for It

Anne Bentley


Biting into a forkful of lemony raw kale feels to me like life itself. But also? So do Cheez-Its. These are two true things. I am a grammar nerd—a lifelong defender of the distinction between, say, “I” and “me”—who doesn’t correct anybody anymore because I’m starting to think language is yours to do with as you like. I am an extroverted introvert. I love cooking; I hate making dinner every night. I have a friend who’s lots of fun but a terrible confidant. I dance and drink with her. I tell her nothing important.

Read more: At 50, I've Finally Realized It's OK to Say "I Don't Know"

Anne Bentley


Cat people like me have always had to self-identify a little quietly; it’s more socially acceptable to adore pups and their goofy, slobbery affection. But today, dog-ma is out of control. Witness the massively popular Netflix documentary series about good dogs, the wild backlash when a study demonstrated that dogs (duh) aren’t that smart.

Read more: I’m a Cat Person and Proud Of It

Anne Bentley


I grew up surrounded by aunties. Women—unrelated to me by blood, of my mother’s era and birthplace—seemed forever in our home or we in theirs, a makeshift family of Indians in Texas, where we all, improbably, lived. Many of these women grew up with wildly different options available to them than my friends and I had. Intergenerational, female-to-female judgment felt unavoidable.

Read more: I Won’t Apologize to Anyone for How I Live My Life

Anne Bentley


My mother was an army brat, so I grew up hearing about how awful it was to move from place to place. I internalized the message that I’d be a terrible parent to do that to my child, if it could be avoided. Now, 30 years later, I have a son, Oliver, who has lived in 10 places in seven cities across two countries.

Read more: I Believed You Had to Put Down Roots to Have a Kid—I Was Wrong