What I Don’t Know

People are continually surprised at what I don’t know. Let me clarify: I do not regularly attempt to dull my mind or my intellect (I have at least one of these things) with blissful distraction or empty calories.  I just don’t pay attention to things that do not interest me.

But it’s beyond that: such things do not exist for me.  I do not know who sang “I want to rock and roll all night,” but I do know that I always thought the next line to be “and part of every day”, until a friend’s hysterical laughter alerted me otherwise.  I do not understand nor do I have any interest in understanding pop culture references unless they have had some bearing on my life.  My mother did not forbid the television, teenager magazines, scary movies, make-up, or pop music, but I do not know much of any of these things.  They happened all around me, but I didn’t notice.

I didn’t see Star Wars until I was 18, and I found it very, very boring. I did, however, watch Married with Children obsessively as a child… to the great chagrin of my mother, who, nonetheless, did not forbid it and merely gritted her teeth.

I would not be able to pinpoint Led Zeppelin, Britney Spears, or the Clash on the radio. I would not recognize Kim Kardashian if she were walking down the street, nor would I know what thing she is, if I should expect her to sing or act or strike a pose.

There have, of course, been instances in my life wherein I tried to markedly remove myself from society.  But such instances did not particularly influence my knowledge of such things. I still continued to know what I know, but even more, to not know. I do not mean to keep myself apart. I just do.

I do not mean to appear arrogant, here.  I do not consider myself better than anybody else for what I do not know. I am frequently embarrassed by my lack of understanding a reference here or there, and the “Are you serious?” answer to my questions. I feel left-out, sometimes, as if I had grown up under a sheet of impenetrable, frosted glass, or maybe somewhere in Amish country. What I mean to say is that…well, I don’t know.

I didn’t notice I had eyebrows until I was eight years old. And I distinctly remember the first time I actually discerned them as an entity on my face.  Why did I suddenly notice I had eyebrows? I can’t recall now, but I’m sure it’s because there was some sort of eyebrow-related-sensation that pulled me to Katie Willis’ bathroom mirror and thus forced my recognition of these strange, kinda fuzzy things on my face.

I looked at them for a long time.