The Thinker….Intellectual Curiosity is Highly Overrated


At a family party earlier this year I was watching Nick, deep in conversation, and was struck by what a bright and articulate young man he has become. It dawned on me that it would not be long before he was way smarter than me, and we could very easily run out of things to talk about. I haven’t been able to understand his complicated Math for eons, and I’m really not that interested. As for Science, well quite frankly, I would rather step on a rake than ponder the Scientific Method. Nick is just wrapping up Latin III, and that’s all Greek to me, so to speak. But English? I’ve got a fighting chance because…….I can read.

Suddenly, I had a flash of genius (otherwise know as a Lucy Ricardo moment)! I could keep up with him by reading the same fine works of literature that were assigned to him in his English class (these are of course assignments I myself would have missed in High School while I was hanging out at the Mc Donald’s across the street. Oddly enough, Ronald Mc Donald did not distribute a syllabus at the beginning of the semester, and likely the only thing to read, other than the menu, would have been the calorie count for each item lovingly fried in their kitchen. I know that must have been frightening, which would surely have been the reason that I didn’t read that either.). I was very proud of myself for being so noble, and inquired, “What are you reading now?” Unfortunately Nick responded with, “Macbeth.” Macbeth? Really? The Bard? The only thing I know of Shakespeare is Jack Benny asking, “To be, or not to be? That is the question.” That’s not the question. The question is: what the Hell does that mean?

I guess I thought he’d be reading something cool like To Kill a Mockingbird or Catcher in the Rye. Saddened by my rotten luck, I asked Chuck to stop at Border’s on his way home from work and pick up a copy of Macbeth. I was determined to struggle through. My mom suggested, since I wouldn’t be tested on it, why didn’t I just get the Cliff Notes (I’m showing my age, because the youngsters today go directly to Spark Notes on line…..), you know, in order to get the flavor of the story (she never suggested that when I had to read a book!)? This was just the kind of idea that I could run with.

Well, then I looked at the Cliff Notes, and they looked super boring, so then I thought about renting the movie. But, who had time to watch or read boring Shakespeare? I zipity zipped over for a quick TJ Maxx and More fix instead. You know, intellectual curiosity is highly overrated. I have come to the conclusion that Nick and I have a lot in common. We love the Cubs, our baby Wrigley, silly movies and 30 Rock marathons. We’ll have plenty to talk about because love and laughter (and Vince Vaughn) are a universal language…..

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