I Used To Believe newsletter: September 2011
We've got some sporting beliefs this month: drag racing for royalty, driving ranges for non-golfers and the delicate breathing techniques of boxing.
My mother used to tell me I was like a bull in a china shop. Only, I heard "bowl" in a china shop. I imagined myself as a one-of-a-kind, delicate, beautiful, priceless heirloom... until I was in college when I heard the correct version.
I used to believe that tourists and terrorists were the same thing.
I used to think that when you were an adult you never slept because as you got older you got to stay up later and later, so i thought that eventually you just didn't sleep.
I was told as a child that, if I opened the door of our mini van while it was driving, squirrels would get in. This caused me to slide open the door while on the highway. I thought it would be nice to have a squirrel visit.
When I was little, I didn't know that having butterflies in your stomach meant you were nervous. One morning I had a tummy ache, and told my mom I had butterflies in my stomach. My sister overheard, and thought I'd swallowed butterflies. My misunderstanding lasted until I was 8. My sister thought I was a butterfly murderer until she was 10.
As a child I used to believe that the objective in boxing was to hit the other person's gloves; while forcefully exhaling.
I used to wonder why the government didn't just make war illegal.
I used to think that the driving range at a golf course was a track for racing golf carts to keep the non-golfers amused.
I used to believe that sex was something Marilyn Monroe invented.
I believed till I was 8 that eggs grew on plants. It didn't help that dad used to hang his cleaned out eggshells on a plant in the garden.
I suppose I must have had the properties of limos and taxis confused as a child, because I used to think taxis were only for very rich people. We had to ride one away from the airport one day and the whole ride (as I held the seatbelt closed because it was broken, I may add) I kept saying under my breath, "I'm rich, I'm rich, I'm rich."
When I was in kindergarten I was afraid of going to the zoo because I thought that elephants could suck me into their heads with their trunks...
I used to believe that drag queens were actually queens, princesses, countesses, or any royalty that would be dragged across the ground under the cars at drag races, and the queen they dragged the farthest would win. I would always wonder why they enjoyed this, or why there were so many of them. I found out when I was 14, during a class presentation!
I remember as a kid I saw an ad for the movie "The Bridges of Madison County" and I thought the whole movie was just 2 hours of pictures of bridges! Needless to say it sounded like the most boring movie ever!
I used to think that ducks lived under bridges as whenever we drove under a bridge my mum and nan would shout "DUCK!" Later, after I had realised, I thought that you would hurt your head if you didn't duck down.
When I was a very small child, there was a TV drama about war called "Combat." My brothers used to watch it. I thought that they used live ammunition and actually killed the actors. But oddly, this didn't upset me. I thought anyone who was dumb enough to be an actor and die after one TV episode wasn't worth worrying about.
I used to think "an armed person" meant a person without any arms. I grew up during the Vietnam War and so there was a lot of news about "armed camps." I imagined children with hooks standing around the campfire and playing games. (Naturally, crime reports on the news about "armed robbers" and gave me equally vivid mental pictures.
Our youngest daughter used to think that that all movies and TV shows started out in color and then gradually faded into black and white by the time they were old.
My sister used to believe that the first person who got up in the morning decided what side of the road they wanted to drive on and then all of the other drivers adapted to them.
I remember that when I was little whenever I got in trouble my mom would tell me that she kept my reciept from the hospital and that she was going to return me for another baby if I didn't behave.