Thursday, October 15, 2009

Keep It Simple Stupid

The other day my 4-year-old son was doing karate in the nude. Why? I have no idea. Sometimes I think it is best not to ask questions that you really don’t want to know the answer to. Why even start that conversation? It is better to just look away and pretend that you never noticed anything amiss.

I never used to believe that old saying “ignorance is bliss” but life has a way of reinforcing lessons, whether you believe them or not. Over the years I have learned that ignorance is a nice way to live. It is much easier to be happy when you don’t know what you are missing, and it is less stressful to be able to say “I don’t know,” rather than explain things all the time.

Sometimes it is better to not think of what is out there, and to remain ‘in the dark.’ It gives you freedom from trying to forget things that may be shocking or painful. For example, my husband and my son were playing “got your nose” and my husband said, “Don’t take my nose, because it is yucky.”
“Everyone’s nose is yucky Dad.”
My husband said, “Well yours looks pretty clean.”
Then my son said, “That is because I eat the stuff that is in mine.”

Anyway, it is easier to believe things that aren’t true. Like when I make my children a nutritious and well-balanced lunch. I choose to believe that they are being nourished by my care, both physically and emotionally, but in reality we are having conversations like this:
“How did you like your lunch today son?”
“It was the best lunch ever!”
“Really? You liked it that much? Wow, that is great! What was your favorite part?”
“Well, it is tough to say . . . I gave my sandwich to Nick and he gave me a Snickers bar for it! Plus, Alex gave me some chips for my yogurt, and since you put 2 cookies in my lunch, I was stuffed!”
“You traded away all of your food for junk? What about the carrots? Did you at least eat the carrots?”
“No, I just threw those away.”

Sometimes, even if what you learn is inevitable and necessary, it is better to be eased into it, because once you know something, you may wish you didn’t. Like with dating. You don’t want to know everything about someone on a first date. It destroys the mystique and usually leads to a break-up anyway. Case in point: I once met a guy at work who told me within the first 10 minutes of dating me, that he had to know my intentions. He said he needed to know whether I was serious about him or not. He hated to put pressure on me, but he needed a mother for his 4 kids, and wanted a working woman with a car, because his disability payments were running out soon and his food-stamps had been cut back, and his parents wanted him to move out of their trailer ASAP. Aaah if only we can just turn back the hands of time.

Don’t believe it when people say things like “knowledge is power” if that were true how come Einstein was never President? Smart people don’t get anywhere in life. It is the dumb, lazy people who make their mark on the world. Don’t believe me? Then how do you explain the Snuggie phenomenon, Billy Bob Teeth or the Electric Slide? Dumb people and dumb things are always in style. Americans especially, are known for gathering around, and showing support, for the village idiot. If I am wrong, then how come “The Hills” is still on television?

I started making a list of all the things I wish I had no knowledge of and after a few minutes came up with a list of 20 things I wish I didn’t know:

How fiber is affecting my facebook friends.
That my parents French Kiss.
How to imitate Bowzer from the group Sha-Na-Na.
The approximate size of animal that can be flushed down the toilet.
Where babies really come from.
The amount of calories in a Twinkie/Ho-Ho/Ding-Dong.
What sushi is made out of.
The definition of an enema.
What baby poop looks and smells like.
The words to “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
That bacon fat is bad for you.
How Gilligan and the Gang got off the island.
Where a rectal thermometer goes.
That Milli-Vanilli were lip-synching.
About Bill Clinton’s ‘relationship’ with Monica Lewinsky.
How big my bosses gallstones were, and how many he had.
What a hot-dog looks once it has been regurgitated.
How much money that dress cost my sister (42 cents at Goodwill).
There are no such things as Oompa-Loompas.
How it feels to be in the back of a police car.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing . . . When those brain synapses’ start firing the damage is done. You can’t un-know things—you can forget, but once you know something, it can come back to haunt you at any moment. Why do you think people say things like “TMI?” Because the world we live in is now one big sea of information overload. I don’t want to go into work and hear who has the “trots” and who had garlic for lunch and who lets their dog “kiss” them on the mouth. There are just too many information junkies out there today and I say enough, is enough. Stand with me against tyranny, don’t learn anything new today! Enjoy your bliss and just stay dumb. You’ll thank me later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can You See Me Now?

Without my contacts I cannot see. I am, according to the law, blind. I have tried many methods to improve my vision in times of contact-less-ness. I have tried, like a bat, to make high-pitched squealing sounds and have them bounce off of objects, but since my hearing is also bad, I cannot hear the sounds bounce back and just walk into walls and chairs anyway. I would wear glasses but I have a depth-perception problem . . . objects may be closer than they appear . . . or further away. I cannot tell the difference. I offer the bumper of my car as evidence.

I have worn Gas Permeable contacts for 20 years or so, and am mostly used to the troubles that come with using them. They slide up onto the top of my eyeball and get lost. I try and maneuver them back into position but while they are floating all around in my eye they are like little evil plastic shards trying to slice through my cornea. When the wind blows the tiniest bit of dust feels like barbed wire rubbing against my retina.

Not being able to see well is a problem. People will often wave to me on the street and I have no idea who they are, or what they are doing. They could be having a seizure for all I know, I can’t see them. People smile at me across a room as a greeting, I can’t see them either. Somebody will make foul gestures at me in traffic, ha ha the jokes on them; I can’t see ‘em.

People will ask me, “Are you near-sighted or far-sighted?” The answer is ‘I don’t know.’ I am confused, is it near-sighted that can see near or can see far? That is the eye doctor’s job to remember those kinds of details. He is always trying to tell me stuff about my eyes, things that are supposedly important but have no meaning to me. He tells me I have rounded corneas and astigmatism with myopia and for that little bit of info he would like $400 please.

Everyone keeps trying to convince me to have laser surgery. You know the one where they take a claw-like apparatus to hold open your eyelids so that a laser can burn a flap around the eye and shape your retina by burning it off? Then they send you home, more blind than when you came in, armed with nothing more than a little bottle of eye-drops so that the little flap doesn’t shrivel up and fall off completely. What I want to know is what if the laser is bumped during surgery? Like because the doctor sneezes or something? I guess I have always had that one eyebrow that requires a lot of tweezing—maybe they could take care of that while they are burning off other parts of my body.

Now there are all these price wars for Lasik surgery. How low is too low to go before you are having your eye surgery done in the back room of a dimly lit 7-11 located just off the freeway by some guy named Rhubarb; who performs the entire operation with a magnifying glass and a flash-light? I say if the price is so low that you can pay in rolls of quarters then it is probably not the place to go. Also, if they answer the phone “Bubba’s Gas and Go, Exotic Tattoo Parlor and Lasik Surgery Center” then that is also a potential red flag. One more tip, if your “nurse” has a wallet on a chain, wears a dog collar, a Metallica t-shirt, combat boots and is named Mike-the-Spike, then just back right out the door. Trust me.

No matter where you go, you should expect a certain level of professionalism too. When I went in for my surgery the only thing Rhubarb said to me was, “Hold still. I am almost out of batteries.” Other than that little bit of conversation, my “doctor” was all business and told me it would take 7-10 weeks to see the results. Well, it has been 10 weeks and I can see that my checkbook is $200 lighter and I have almost fully recovered from my fear of Mag lights. I can’t say that I can actually see better, but I have stopped complaining about my contacts and the costs associated with licensed physicians.

I guess if I ever want better vision I will just have to squint more. Otherwise, it is back to the drawing board, or should I say . . . the cutting board.