By Kelly Hines

“He was taking a bow and the sand would reshape according to the resonance of the vibrations…”

That’s where he lost me. We’d been watching a documentary the night before on the expansion of the universe, and my husband was trying to explain what I’d missed when I fell asleep. Which was about 10 seconds into the documentary. It’s not that I’m dumb, I just don’t get it. Not only that, but I just don’t WANT to get it.

“I’m reading this book now about the mathematical…” He’s still talking! “And when they get into fractals…” My ears perk up.

“Fractals! Like frozen fractals!” He stares at me blankly, not making the connection between quantum physics and a Disney movie. “You know! Like when Elsa shoots ice out of her hands?” Then I demonstrate, with sound effects. It doesn’t help.

My husband is a smart guy. He cares about things like the universe and black holes and fractals. He is NOT bored to death with the idea that there is a direct correlation between the number of petals on a sunflower and the number of spots on a ladybug. (I don’t actually know if that’s true, I make a lot of stuff up.) He spends thirty minutes every morning in prayer and meditation. He reads the works of enlightened and spiritual people, and frequently drops nuggets of wisdom into conversation.

I can make a sound just like a pig. And I mean JUST LIKE a pig. It’s pretty cool.

In high school, I had to take every math class twice. If I had really paid attention, I’m sure I could have passed the first go around. I’m a quick learner, a generally intelligent person, and a hard worker. Unless I don’t care about something, in which case I’m a complete moron. I don’t care how the internet or TV or cars work, I just know they do. Woe to the child who asks me to explain the mechanics of anything, to which my standard answer is, “Magic”. A little man hiding in my TV manually changing channels makes a hell of a lot more sense to me than chips and circuits and wires. Satellites?? Forget about it.

I deal more in feelings than facts. I have hard, strong opinions on just about everything, and they’re based on little more than gut instinct. I will flat destroy you in an argument, because you can’t argue with someone who is passionately ill informed. When I am proven to be wrong about something (which is frequently), I dismiss it with a “Well, everyone has their opinion,” or “I suppose that’s open to interpretation”. I am a master of circular logic, a skill that often leads to my husband apologizing for something I did. Case in point: I was just in a disagreement with him and walked out of the room and shut the door when he was in the middle of a sentence. It’s kind of hard to argue with a person who does that.

Some people are on a never-ending quest for knowledge. Some, especially as they mature, seek the answers to the meaning of life. Some folks travel great distances to find spiritual direction, or go back to school for advanced degrees. Not me! I’m perfectly happy being a big, dumb potato right here in Winston-Salem. I can barely remember my children’s names. I don’t want to learn something new that might knock something important out of my brain. So-called “science” says that the human brain is limitless in its ability to learn and retain information. I say, baloney. There is a finite amount of space up there, and I am not willing to give up knowing how to button my pants to learn what a fractal is.

There does seem to be an exception to this rule: Facebook. If it is a meme or video or opinion expressed on Facebook, somehow my brain can fit it in with all the other stuff. This is how I know that there is a prairie dog model (true) and a recipe for no bake gluten free nut free dairy free chocolate brownies (also true). I know about every missing dog within a 300-mile radius, AND where to get a dog shaped shaped topiary. Armed with that kind of knowledge, do I really need to know about the origin of the species?

I listened to my husband drone on about cosmic energy this morning, letting his words go in one ear and out the other. What I did pay attention to was the look on his face. I love that he enjoys learning new things, that he gets a kick out of thinking about grand scientific theories and philosophical mysteries. I am happy to know that one of us is carrying the burden of knowledge, but for me? Ignorance is bliss.

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