This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Anytime someone asks me to explain a reference I said I understood, or to define a word they don’t believe I know the meaning to, I feel attacked and demeaned. I feel like the person asking must think I’m stupid. Why else would they ask me to explain how or what I know?
When I was younger, probably between the ages of 11 and 13, I watched a movie with my birth family. It was that cute Tim Allen Christmas movie called “The Santa Clause”. I’m not going to go over the synopsis of this movie. If you aren’t familiar with it and really want to know, you can look it up. Anyway, there is a scene on a roof shortly after Tim Allen becomes Santa. He had been driving the sleigh, and stopped on a roof to deliver toys to the children in the house below. When he reached into the sleigh to grab the bag of toys, it started to float, and soon Tim Allen was hovering a few feet off the roof, holding onto the bag of toys. I don’t know why it was floating. The magic of Santa, I guess. Tim Allen’s son was with him on the roof. He started yelling for his dad to come back, and expressing his general concern. Tim Allen told him not to worry because he “had lived through the sixties.”
When that movie came out back in the mid-90’s, my birth family watched it over and over. It really is a decent movie. Family friendly without being overly sappy. No cussing or violence, but still enjoyable to for an adult to watch.
We had probably seen the movie a time or two when what I am about to mention took place. When the scene came on with Tim Allen on the roof, floating with the bag of toys, I laughed after the line where he says he lived through the sixties. As soon as I laughed, my mother spun around and glared at me. “Do you even know what that means?!?” she barked at me. I didn’t understand why she would seem upset about this question. And I DID know what the line meant. I remember thinking that Tim Allen said it was ok that he was flying, implying he was used to it, because of the drugs he had done back in the day. Instead of responding thusly, I instead told my mother that no, I did not understand. She scoffed and turned around.
I cannot tell you how many times that memory floats around in my head. It was really just last week that I realized why I become so defensive when asked to explain how I understand a reference, or to define a word it’s thought that I don’t know. Every time I feel like I am being tested. I feel like the person asking me is CONVINCED that there is no way I could know something, so they are trying to make me PROVE it. I feel that it is a direct attack to my intelligence.
On another note, I also recently realized the reason I fully believe everyone thinks I am stupid and is questioning my intelligence is because that is how my birth family has always (and I mean ALWAYS) treated me. But that is a post for another day.