Originally posted July 16, 2013
Kids make me feel stupid. My stupidity is at an all time high during the school year. That’s a long time to feel stupid.
As smart as I think I am, which as it turns out, is not very smart, the kids have an incredible knack for reducing me to stuttering answers to questions that I have only a vague understanding of. I’m often googling on my phone, searching for what revolves around what in the solar system, for the umpteenth time. It usually leaves me feeling like a ten year old idiot.
Growing up, my parents thought I knew more that I actually did. As a result, I spent most of my childhood playing catch up, dancing as fast as I could, trying not to fall short of their expectations, (and mine).
Fear drove me to study. Fear that my intellectual shame would be discovered and everyone would soon learn that I was just an average student.
What is smart anyway? I had street smarts. Once, I talked my way out of a knife fight when I was eight years old. Word.
It’s friggin’ ridiculous how much the kids make me see all that I don’t know, and probably never knew. They catch me in my deceit left and right. It’s annoying.
I was going through some comments on a post that I wrote the other day, about letting your child have a sleepover with his /or her boyfriend or girlfriend in your house. I read one out loud to the my boyfriend’s daughter.
I read, “Tell me where in the Bible does it say that sex before marriage is ok?”
She said, “Yeah, if you took the Bible literally, then you wouldn’t exist.” I smiled. What the hell was she talking about? Was she saying that Jews (of which I am one) don’t believe in the Bible? Or that they don’t exist in the bible? I felt dizzy.
Was this an Old Testament versus New Testament question? Is Old and New capitalized? How had I come this far, knowing so little? How far did I have to go back? The Big Bang? Dinosaurs? Apes? Damn you kids. It was inexcusable. I was inexcusable. I lacked basic knowledge about Jews and their relationship to the Bible: Testaments, Torah, Moses, the whole lot of them, including Abraham’s nephew Lot.
Either way, I was ashamed, and just a little embarrassed. Was she right? Why didn’t I have a response? All I had was a silly look on my face that screamed, “Dumb-ass.”
At this stage in my life, I should know things but I don’t. And that sucks for me.
Instead of delving further into her comment, as to ascertain what she meant, I said nothing, which only made me feel complicit in the potential inaccuracy, thus validating my ignorance, as if my ignorance needed further validation.
I had gone my whole life not knowing things and covering it up with a laugh or a smile, or embarrassing myself in public. However, there is something about exposing myself to the kids that has been the most mortifying and harrowing.
Why can’t they ask me questions about show business, comedy, or Pilates? Shit, at least give me a fighting a chance. Thank god it’s summertime.