Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Selection of Misconceptions Held by Young Minds, A List

I used to think that every serious or dramatic film was essentially a documentary, ie, a film about Abraham Lincoln, someone was there at every dramatic turn film in events as they unfolded.  John Wayne had a busy life certainly.  Funny how he kept turning up. I think I must've felt cheated when I found out events were recreated. 

My fantasy life was richly fed by Grimm's fairy tales, Gilligan's Island, and I Dream of Jeannie.
I believed in magic, miracles that saved one from a dire situation at the last moment, happy endings.

I thought that adults would be uniformly kind.

My first boyfriend used to think that the dark brown rubber leg pads, put under furniture legs to protect the floor were made of chocolate.

My mother thought we would always be small.  I thought she would always stay the same age, but I was also wary, I thought she would die once she reached the same age my father was when he died.

I thought there would always be something to graduate from or to, that each year would repeat like a song on a record that skipped.  I liked the structure of school for that reason.

Another boyfriend believed that everyone would like him if he were thin.  One summer in high school he lost weight and was surprised his peers were still cruel to him.  These were the same kids in his rural community that tortured insects and animals for "fun."

Yet another boyfriend, when he was 3 years old, looked forward to the day he'd be a grown up.  He was under the impression that adults understood each others' intentions, motivations, and generally knew what was going on.  Disappointingly and in continued frustration, he found that it was not that the fellow travelers theory was not the case. 

He also thought having a girlfriend would mean he wasn't gay. When I met him, I thought he was gay.  Then I thought I must've been wrong because he was seeing 2 other girls.  His trademark signoff for ending a phone call was, " I don't want to be rude to my guest."  He said that to me on the phone and to others while I was visiting.  That engaged my competitive spirit and I became determined to "win."

I thought there would be a moment when I knew I was an adult.  I still feel every age I've ever been, 3, 9, 23, 32, yup all of those.  When I had my son, an aunt told me now you'll know what worry is. Curse? or Affirmation of adulthood?  I love in Harvey Pekar's Another Day when he declares as a middle-aged man who successfully unplugged a toilet, "Today I am a man!"  He couldn't bring himself to do it as a young teen-ager at his bar mitzah.

I also think of myself as every weight I ever was, or the potential to return to a certain weight, surprised when clothes not longer fit.

A male cousin thought girls wouldn't have cramps if they let themselves fart at will.



Jessica@CapeofDreams said...

I never thought I would have trouble remembering things. I also thought I would remain as attractive to men as I was when I was 18. My how things change.

tess said...

Yes! I remember a radio interview with Germaine Greer who talked about the surprise of becoming invisible to men after middle age.