When You Have to Pretend You Knew All Along

This railing has no connection to this post... but my husband takes some awesome photos I have to show off.

This railing has no connection to this post… but my husband takes some awesome photos I have to show off.

Miles run today: 4.5

Interviews I need to complete today: 1

Rockin’ New Year’s Day meal I cooked yesterday: 1

When I was in fifth grade, my parents went away for a long weekend and left us with our across-the-street neighbors.

In the days while they were gone, my long, thick, curly hair grew increasingly greasy on the underside, despite the fact that I was taking daily showers.

When my parents returned home, I told my mom about the Hair Situation.

Me: I can’t figure it out. My hair is clean on the top, dirty on the bottom.

Mom (in a casual, flippant tone): Have you been washing your neck?

Me (secretly horrified): Well. Um. Yes, of course. I mean, I always wash all my body parts. For sure. Yes.

I hadn’t been washing my neck. 

There have been other moments like that over the years.

There was the time when my sister, who was a mere teenager to my worldly college student, told me that plastic wrap should be pulled tightly over the top of food bowls, not lightly draped.

Me: Uh, yeah. Of course. Everyone knows that.

Her: Really? I just discovered it. It really helps the plastic wrap cling to the bowl better.

Me: I know. Totally.

I never pulled plastic wrap tightly across the tops of things. 

In fact, I rarely used plastic wrap. Plastic wrap was not a part of my daily routine, and I had never considered it much one way or another. But after that, my world was changed. Plastic wrap is made to be pulled tightly.

I moved forward in the world with no one being wiser about my own lack of wisdom. 

I learn new things about cooking in much the same way. In spite of the fact that I cook five or six nights a week, I have plenty of new horizons to be broadened, plenty of new skills to be acquired.

I have certain ways that I cook my vegetables, and when my father-in-law (an excellent cook) was visiting this summer, he showed me how to bring the water to a boil, then add the green beans, then allow them to sit in the covered pan to steam.

I thanked him for showing me. Then I tried the very same technique with broccoli.

As we sat around the table that night, gumming our broccoli, my father-in-law and I looked at each other.

Me: Maybe it doesn’t work so well with broccoli.

Him: Yeah. Maybe not.

I couldn’t even pretend I already knew that. Dangit.

Ever since we got out on our own, my sister and I have used my mom as a Cooking Hotline. But of course, sometimes we have to pretend we already knew all of the information it has taken her a lifetime to acquire.

A few days ago, my sister was making one of our family’s favorite dishes, squash casserole. She only makes it about once a year, during the holidays. So she forgets from year to year precisely how to make it.

Time to call the Mom Cooking Hotline. In this case, my mom was at my grandmother’s house, and they were on speaker phone.

My sister: So… I don’t know what I did wrong. The squash is all pulverized and runny.

Mom: So when you went to drain the squash, did you…

My sister: Drain the squash? Oops.

My mom is like a one-woman tech hotline, with plenty of questions lined up to ask, ranging from the simplest to the most complicated. When you’re immediately dinged on a simple question, it is akin to the time when I called up the Help Desk at one of my first big jobs: my computer wasn’t working.  In fact, nothing happened when I went to start it.

Tech guy, edging around my desk: Have you checked to see if it’s plugged in?

Me: Of course it’s plugged in. I mean, why wouldn’t it be plugged in? [sinking feeling in stomach, having hopes that the computer was horrendously damaged by a massive power surge overnight]

Tech guy, sticking cord unceremoniously in wall and pressing power button: Mmmm hmmm.

He did not even tell me to have a good day.

What life truths have you discovered through embarrassing mishaps or revealing conversations? Were you able to cover up your ignorance, or was it on display for all to see?