Sep 07 2006

Ignoramus

Recently, I’ve been around conversations that make me feel really dumb. I’ve never felt particualrly brilliant, but there have been times in my life when I’ve felt more informed than the average American. Most of those times were in college when I was taking especially interesting courses and listening to NPR a lot.

But now I just feel stupid and ignorant. My sister and husband talk about anthropology and biology and world events and I say “durrr- there’s this beetle? and it likes to mate with bottles? and it’s getting wiped out! Har-har-har!!.” Illluminating, isn’t it? And then they look at me with pity mingled with annoyance and go on talking about complex social theory which my comment had nothing to do with, obviously.

Or my husband talks to one of our co-workers and they laugh and joke about history and wars and politics and philosophy, and I say “Cole’s been swallowing pieces of corn whole and pooping them out! Har-har-har!!” Which neither has anything to do with their conversation about the history of Afganistan nor is at all appropriate at lunch. Especially lunch of Mexican food. With refried beans.

So what’s my problem? I think it’s multi-faceted. For one, I rarely listen to NPR anymore. I don’t really have time at home and I’d rather sing to Cole while in the car (he likes that better, too). I’m no longer in college and, therefore, not forced to read things that I most likely otherwise wouldn’t. It also doesn’t give me a chance to be a part of the kind of debates I used to get into. I don’t get much time to read, and when I do I usually choose to sleep instead. Or I fall asleep with the book still in my hand. Frequently. I also only really have patience for fiction anymore. I don’t watch the news. I think it is terrible coverage and I hate to listen to it. I also don’t like to expose Cole to more tv than necessary.

But I fear it’s more than just those things. I fear that… I just don’t care anymore. I’d rather hear about the lives of my friends and about good deals on diapers. I’d rather play with Cole or try a new recipe.

Somehow I’ve become a goddamn stereotypical housewife without actually getting to stay at home.

So tell me, has this happened to you? Am I being unfair to myself by comparing myself to people who 1)are still in college 2)have much older children 3) are insane and search out any speck of information and actually read difficult non-fiction for fun? Will I start caring again? Is this just super-extended baby-brain? Or am I doomed?