For this entry, I’m taking a break from my regular mental illness writings and writing on something more light hearted. Growing up, we’ve all had mistaken impressions about what things were really like in the adult world or in popular culture. I was no exception.
Here is another installment of the depth of my youthful ignorance. It’s amazing, though. I’ve been out on my own for ten years and I’m now less intelligent than I thought I was when I was eighteen. Either the older I get the dumber I was or I just forget what I actually did know.
As a kid growing up in rural Nebraska, I not only had no idea that Minnesotans and Canadians spoke with accents BUT I was ignorant enough to believe that we in Nebraska did not as well. Way wrong on that one. Just ask anyone who has ever heard me talk.
Growing up as a hopeless college football junkie, I knew that the Wishbone formation was a football offense long before I knew it was a chicken bone. Sad but true. Yet I did know who The President was before I knew who Tom Osborne was.
As a kid who was an avid reader, the old library in my hometown was a second home to me. I read so much as a kid that I was well into college before I even imagine why other people just couldn’t get into reading. Just a matter of practice makes perfect.
When I was in grade school, I found it laughable that kids from the big cities on the coasts thought that kids from the midwest rode horses to school or lived two miles from their nearest neighbors or didn’t have indoor plumbing or such other nonsense as if we were still in the late 1800s. Yet it didn’t occur to me that the idea of there being drug dealers and pimps on every street corner, mobsters buying off entire state governments, and the ‘valley girl types’ were just as ridiculous. But that’s stereotypes for you.
Even as a kid I didn’t like Mickey Mouse at all. I was more partial to Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck. And I used to have endless debates with my friends about who was the better cartoon character. Think a grade school version of the deeper debates (i.e. Capitalism vs. Communism, Evolution vs. Creationism, Ford vs. Chevy) if you will. Of course when I’d be losing my argument I’d bring out the heavy artillery and yell “Yeah, well Donald Duck is such a man that he doesn’t even wear pants!” or “Yeah, well how much money does Mickey Mouse have? Scrooge McDuck can swim in his cash!”
The first time I saw ‘Braveheart’ as a teenager, I unintentionally spent the next 24 hours speaking a Scottish accent. I’m just glad that I didn’t own a kilt or a massive sword.
My biggest aspiration as an 8 year old child was to “Be rich enough that me and my friends can play Monopoly with real money.” Of course I’m well short of this goal right now but I could probably start building houses on Baltic Avenue right now.
When I was 13 and first heard about the book ‘Anthem’ by Ayn Rand, I immediately thought it was about the writing of the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ I was a bit off on that one.
When I was in college, I read an email forward titled ‘Jocks vs. Nerds.’ It described how much money Michael Jordan had and how fast he was earning his money and “at that rate it would take over 400 years to have the money Bill Gates has right now. Nerds win.” I was telling one of my friends this and he retorted, “Yeah, well how many women would want Bill Gates if it weren’t for his money?” To which I responded, “Well, at least any paternity suits against him would be automatically false. So there’s one advantage.” And I say that typing with a computer program he made famous.