During the school year is the worst time for me because as smart as I think I am, which as it turns out, is not very smart, the chillin’s manage to reduce me to stuttering answers to questions that I have only a vague understanding of, doing quick google searches on my phone, in the car, to find out what revolves around what in the solar system, and often feeling like a ten year old ignoramus.
Growing up, my parents thought I was smarter than I actually was (I always had a sneaking suspicion but never said anything) therefore I was constantly playing catch up, dancing as fast as I could, trying to keep up with their expectations, and then subsequently mine. Fear drove me to get good grades. Fear that my folks, and pretty much everyone around me, would find out that I was a fraud and in fact just an average student.
And what is smart anyway? I had street smarts. Yeah, I talked my way out of a knife fight once when I was eight years old in Yonkers, NY. Not every eight year old would have been able to do that. Word.
Now with these kids, it’s friggin’ ridiculous as to how much they make me see all that I don’t know and frankly all that I never knew. Luke and Laura (for those that missed my last post when I named my boyfriend’s kids check it out here) catch me in my deceit left and right. It’s annoying.
Laura was over the house the other day, and came into my office for a little visit. I was going through some comments that were made on a post that I wrote for Modern Mom about letting your child have a sleepover with his /or her boyfriend or girlfriend in your house. I read her one out loud. “Tell me where in the Bible does it say that sex before marriage is ollswwk?l” Now while this isn’t my reason for not allowing it with Luke or Laura, I thought more about the idea of using the Bible as my moral compass and taking it literally. The point in mentioning this has to do with Laura’s response. She said, “Yeah, if you took the Bible literally, then you wouldn’t exist.” I smiled because, if I understood her correctly, she was saying that Jews (of which I am one) don’t believe in the Bible (?)
I think this probably had to do with the Old Testament versus New Testament. Either way, I’m ashamed, and just a bit more than embarrassed, to say that I didn’t know how to respond. Was she right in what she was saying? Why didn’t I have an intelligent response instead of a stupid look on my face that screamed, “You caught me! I’m a dumb-ass.”
At this stage in my life, I should know the relationship between Jews and the Bible, old, new, the different books, the Torah, Moses and the whole lot. But I don’t! And that sucks… for me. Was I a better actress than I thought I was, and managed to fool everybody, including myself? Until now.
Instead of delving further into her comment, as to ascertain what she actually meant, because I was confused, I said nothing and saying nothing made me feel complicit in the potential inaccuracy thus validating my ignorance, as if my ignorance needed any more validation.
My head throbbed as I tried to find some relatable information that was surely tucked away somewhere in the recesses of my brain. How could I not know this? I have gone my whole life not knowing things and smiling my way through it, or asking stupid questions, or embarrassing myself in public, but there is something about exposing my stupidity in front of the kids that is a lot more mortifying and harrowing.
I feel the need to go back to school so I can keep up with the kids. They persist in reminding me of my failed education. They unconsciously point out the fact that I never learned the proper way to study or how to think. I was great at memorizing facts and dates, like learning lines for a show, so I memorized my way through school. As it turns out, no one is interested in hearing monologues from the musical, Runaways, as tragic as that may be.
I’m going to google Jews and the Bible and then have a conversation with Laura to redeem myself. Why can’t they ask me questions about show business? Shit, at least give me a fighting a chance. Thank god it’s summertime.