Thoughtful Thursday: Misunderstanding

March 15, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayMel had a delightful post a couple of days ago in which she explained evolution to her twins. At their age, you understand so much but there is still so much you don’t understand.

It reminds me of a misunderstanding I had when I was their age, an error in deductive reasoning.

All of the photos from my dad’s childhood were black and white. Sometime in the 60s, the family photos changed to color.

In The Wizard of Oz, Kansas is black and white, and Oz is in color.

Based on these pieces of information, I determined that the entire world must have been black and white until sometime in the middle of the 20th century.

One day I asked my father, “How old were you when the world changed to color?” When I explained my logic to him, oh how he laughed and laughed.

What is the silliest misunderstanding you ever had, that seemed reasonable at the time?


17 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Misunderstanding”

  1. Elana Kahn Says:

    When I was 10 my family was planning a trip to Boston, so my mom gave me a book about the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides. I read the book and loved it, and when I told my mom about it I pronounced Old Ironsides as “Ih-ron-sih-dees” rather than “Iron-sides”. How was I supposed to know it was a combo word?!? Yeah, whoops…

    P.S. I still pronounce it as “Ih-ron-sih-dees” as a joke when talking to my family. 😀 Old habits die hard!

  2. Esperanza Says:

    It’s a famous piece of family lore that my cousin once asked my grandmother, “when you were new, was the world in black and white?” My grandmother still refers to her younger years and “when she was new”.

    When I was younger I thought that every owie only had a set amount of pain so if you pressed on it and made it hurt more the pain would run out sooner than if you just let it hurt a little. It was like squeezing a bottle, if you squeezed hard the water came out faster than if you just let it stream out on your own. It took me a while to figure out that wasn’t the case and I was just making my owies hurt more than they had to.

  3. St. Elsewhere Says:

    LOLOL…that is so naive and funny.

    I was a lazy kid…in frustration my mummy would say something to the tune of – God knows she is stuffed to her pores with laziness…don’t know when that will come out.

    Needless to say, I used to believe that the tiny skin pores that I saw were the ones I used to consider that this is from where my laziness will come out…

  4. Sara Says:

    I was probably in middle school or so before I found out that it wasn’t the case that boys were left-handed and girls were right-handed (which *is* the case in my immediate family, and amongst my childhood friends!). I was fascinated when I found out the mom of one of my friends was left-handed. I didn’t think it was possible!

  5. Sam Says:

    As a young child I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t call my Uncle Anton, Aunty Anton. To my mind Aunty Anton sounded so much better than Uncle Anton. I also used to call my Aunts Uncle all the time… it just couldn’t understand why Uncle was reserved solely for men and Aunt solely for women…


  6. Elizabeth Says:

    Have you seen the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon about this? Where Calvin’s dad is trying to tell him that what you believed was true, and then Calvin asks, but then why didn’t the black and white photos turn color too?

    Also, Ih-rohn-si-dees – love it!

    I can’t think of a good story right now but if I do I’ll come back and post it.

  7. Anne J Says:

    That is spooky, I thought exactly the same thing about the wizard of oz and colour – I wonder how many other children around the world have seen the film and thought that!

  8. a Says:

    I’m sure there must have been some of these occasions when I was a kid. The only one I really remember was being so middle class that I had no idea what the Mercedes symbol was and thought it was Chrysler!

    However, my daughter was recently introduced to sour cream and onion potato chips, but she calls them sauerkraut potato chips.

  9. Yours sounds perfectly reasonable from that perspective!

    Not exactly deductive reasoning, but as a child I thought that there were Girl colors (reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, whites) and Boy colors (greens, blues, purples, grays, browns, blacks). I thought everyone knew this.

    I still kinda think this way.

  10. strongblonde Says:

    i’ve been thinking about this all day and can’t come up with a great story. 😦

    i suppose the closest thing is that when i used to have to go to church as a child i couldn’t understand that the minister wasn’t god. i apparently asked every.single.week: “is that god” when he approached the pulpit for the sermon! my parents were mortified, but how is a kid supposed to believe in something that she can’t see? i’m an adult and am still not sure what i believe!!

  11. BB Says:

    Lol…. this is probably super silly! I used to think that when a couple got married… when they exchanged their vows… something feel in the brides tummy and that began to grow and turned in to a baby! Hahaha… I am sure there were other missunderstandings too, but this was the craziest of it all! Come to think of it, I don’t think that I was way off on my thinking. My embabies were delivered in my tummy, and it didnt really happen the natural way… so may be it was an intuition right from early days! 😉

  12. Mel Says:

    I know I must have had many, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

    Today, Chickie was telling me this ridiculous story and I said, “this sounds like a soap opera” (she doesn’t watch television, so she has no clue what a soap opera is) and she shouted, “that is exactly what it was! I threw soap on him and then I turned on opera and THAT is how I kicked him out of the house.” (She was speaking about her fictional husband when I sat down next to her at a bridal shower and said in a bright voice, “so, how long have YOU been married?” since that was the question du jour).

  13. clumsykisses Says:

    In about 1989, when I was 5, Cliff Richard and the Young Ones did a version of ‘Livin’ Doll’ for Comic Relief, where the Young Ones joined it, making it a parody of itself. I can remember hearing this version, and it was certainly the one my dad always sang whenever we heard the song.

    I was about 14 before I realised it was *not* the original version…

  14. Cat Says:

    I’m not sure this is the silliest, but it’s the one I remember the best and the one that comes to mind after reading your story. I don’t know how old I was, but it was probably when I was in the upper grades of elementary school, so somewhere between nine to eleven years old or so. I asked my dad why the Baby Boomers were called the Boomers when shouldn’t it be their parents that were called the Baby Boomers and their children were the Baby Boomees?

    The other day we had another one as my husband (who truly is one of the very smartest people I know – among the engineers he works with, they go to him when they can’t make something work) took the grate off the intake vent on the floor in order to wipe up some milk that had gone everywhere after an errant two year old elbow tipped over a cup. He retrieved an M&M from several days prior and remarked that it hadn’t even melted. To which I replied that was because it was the intake, so the air isn’t heated. One of those times when you realize the logic right after the words come out.

  15. I don’t know if it’s the silliest one, but it’s the one I remember best:
    My dad was always great in preparing my sister and me for possible emergency situations, like “what do you do when mommy lies at the bottom of the stairs”, but also “what do you do when we’re in the car and the driver gets unwell”. So one of the things he taught us for the latter situation was to turn on the emergency lights (if that’s the correct term in English…?). I had no idea that there was a button for this, so I thought I’d have to use the blinkers, and just move them really fast from top (R) to bottom (L). I didn’t dare to ask how to do it otherwise. Only years later (maybe it was when I got driver’s ed…?) I admitted to this.

  16. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    When I was in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, I thought the fire alarm was to alert the teachers to get out of a burning building. One of my classmates (a boy whose name shall not be mentioned but I remember to this day 30 years later) told me that was the case and I believed him. Every month when they tested the alarm I had to go to the principal’s office and have my mom called because I was scared to death. It wasn’t until 3rd grade when my mom ran into the burning school (the only fire in all those years) to retrieve my lost mittens that I came to my sense and noticed that everyone was coming outside- teachers, students, principal, custodians. Life changing that moment.

  17. Having such a large extended family, I assumed any black kid I saw often was a family member. Basically, before I started preschool, I thought all my black friends were cousins. I can still remember my mom explaining to me that this one little girl from Sunday School wasn’t related to me, but yes, almost every other black girl in the class was. We had to go through them all. I was so confused, because in most cases I was right about my friends also being cousins.

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