At times, my naiveté astounds me.
At some point in my adult life, I actually believed (note the past tense) the following:
1) That I had to be perfect.
– When I finally realized that no one was perfect and that I set myself up for failure, the feeling was liberating.
2) That the word “ambulance” was spelled left to right, just like every other word in the English language.
– I was home from college, watching a 4th of July Parade with Mom, when I first noticed that “ambulance” was spelled backwards on its front.
– Incidentally, Mom had to explain why it was like that to me.
3) That I would lose the 35 pounds I gained while pregnant with my son as soon as I left the delivery/recovery room.
– The first tip-off was when I put my legs over the side of the bed and noticed that my ankles were still swollen like balloons.
4) That having a child would not disrupt the lives of 2 working parents; things would go on, as usual.
– Really! I thought – how hard can this be? It’ll just be something else to be added on to a busy day.
– The first year of my son’s life is hard to remember; it was almost like I was in a fog (or shock).
5) That the “terrible 2’s” would disappear on my son’s 3rd birthday.
– My sister’s answer to my shock that they kept going – no parent who’d already been through this had the heart to mention it to a new parent.
6) That men and women, on the exact same diet, will lose the same amount of weight in the same amount of time.
– Ladies, unite! This is so not fair.
7) Life is fair.
– See 6) above.
– Life is not fair. Period. So move on.
8) That everyone in this country graduates from high school.
– It wasn’t until I entered community mental health that I met generations of families who never graduated from high school.
9) That there was very little poverty in the USA.
– It wasn’t until my second Red Cross deployment after Katrina, when I was in western Louisiana, that I saw unbelievable poverty, which was present before the hurricane’s damage.
10) That all men are created equal.
– After all, if it’s in our Declaration of Independence, it must be true, right?
– Forget the all men part – we don’t even have gender equality!
11) That all politicians tell the truth.
– I’ve never heard anyone actually answer a question that was asked of them.
12) That someone with a reasonable IQ would be able to figure out how to use the iPhone 5.
– I wish my trusty “Teach Yourself Visually the iPhone 5” book came in an abbreviated pocket edition.
– A banner day: when a few of my freshmen guys were trying to show me how to use it, and all of a sudden, some words and numbers came up on the screen – I asked them what that was, and they responded, “It’s a phone call – answer it.”
13) That I would never consider such a thing as plastic surgery.
– When I walked past a mirror and thought I was my mother (no offense, Mom), the thought of a face lift made perfect sense.
– Can’t I achieve the same result with plain old tape?
14) That in my lifetime, I would be able to figure out which line has the shortest check out in a grocery, department or any type store.
– Suggestions welcome; I still can’t seem to get it right.
15) That someday I would actually fit in my old clothes that are 2 sizes smaller.
– Really? How about donating them to a Dress for Success Program, where they’ll be put to good use.
16) That there is no such thing as Age Discrimination.
– False. They forget about the work ethic, life experience, work even when you’re sick and a “past its expiration date” uterus in some of us.
17) That all parents of toddlers flying on an airplane know to keep their child from kicking the back of my seat for 9 hours straight.
– It’s a good thing weapons are not allowed on airplanes, because road rage is no longer the only type out there.
– Remember Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who quit over the intercom, grabbed 2 beers and exited the plane via sliding down a deployed evacuation slide? Everybody can get testy when confined to an airplane!
18) That the term “hook up” refers to getting your camper attached to your truck before you head out to the lake for a relaxing weekend.
– My college students (teaching me once again; see 12) above) helped me to understand they may head to the lake with a friend, but a trailer has nothing to do with it.
19) That everyone politely says “excuse me” when they accidentally bump into you.
– Have you ever been to NYC? And, it’s not always accidental.
20) That every man from the ages of 15 – 95 knows the Etiquette of Wearing a Hat.
– When did people forget or stop teaching hat etiquette for men???
– According to Emily Post and my parents, hats (including baseball caps) come OFF when a man is in someone’s house, at a table for a meal, in church (unless required), at a movie or an indoor performance, in public buildings such as a library, school or courthouse, during the National Anthem and when the Flag of the USA passes by, as in a parade.
Like I said, at times, my naiveté astounds me.