Facts of Life

I learned something new recently.  Not only can you eat corn raw, but it’s actually better that way.  When I first heard this, about two weeks ago,  I thought some highly guarded culinary secret was inadvertently leaked, but it seems that a bunch of regular non-chef people know about it already.  And all I keep thinking is –  isn’t this a crazy enough game-changing fact that, if you did know it,  wouldn’t you want to tell everyone?  Yet no one told me.

I love knowing why I know something – where I learned it, who told me, what I was doing at the time.  It makes the fact seem more solid.  But obviously only super memorable pieces of info have their moment of discovery marked in my brain.  And that bothers me.

I know where I learned about raw corn, but I’m constantly wondering where I learned other less meaningful things.  Of course I learned stuff from my parents, from school,  from just being alive, but wouldn’t it be great if you could remember the exact moment that you learned a specific thing?  A few years ago I was obsessed – and I do mean obsessed – with this thought and I picked an example out of blue.  Of course I knew what a screen door was but I wanted to pinpoint the exact moment of when I learned that.

I asked my mother over and over again if she remembered teaching it to me.  Of course she didn’t.  I would let a few phone conversations go by without mentioning it and then I’d try again.

“Do you think maybe you said ‘open the screen door’ and I said, ‘what’s that?’ and you explained it?”

She actually began to hang up on me.  Finally, after months of this, she exasperatedly said, “I probably mentioned screen door and you saw a door with a screen and made the connection!”

I could tell she was just saying that to shut me up.

I’d ask friends if they remembered learning what a screen door was.  No one did.  Not a single one.  I started feeling like my need to find this out was getting dangerously close to having to count my steps or lick a light switch before turning it on or something so I tried to get it in check.  But even though I no longer asked about it aloud, I still wondered about it in private.

Months later,  I was having dinner with a friend who was visiting from California.  He was telling me a story about his next door neighbor and how he thought she was smoking hot when she came to his door but then, when he opened it, he was sorely disappointed.  Typical guy story.   But I didn’t understand why he would think she was hot when he hadn’t yet opened the door.  He explained:  it was because he had a screen door and she was all back-lit and he couldn’t see her face.

He did not know about my obsession.

He paused and then said, “Oh, I’m sorry.  Do you not know what a screen door is?  It’s a door,  but instead of being solid, there’s a screen.”  I flipped out.


“Oh, you just had such a weird expression on your face that I thought you didn’t know what it meant.”

Persistence paid off!  At last, here was the exact moment someone actually articulated the definition for me.  I’ve always heard it’s possible to manifest what you need, and here was proof.  I have no idea how, but I’m 100% sure that I somehow conjured up that explanation.  And since that’s true, logic follows that that must mean it’s also possible to conjure up more important things.  Like people and work and situations and experiences that add to my life rather than drain it.   It’s easy for me to forget that’s possible.  Luckily I had an ear of corn to make me circuitously remember.

Maybe after awhile it would get overwhelming if I knew where each fact inside my head came from. I know when I learned about the corn and the screen door.  And this week at least, I know when I re-learned the importance of concentrating on what I want in my life rather than all that’s there that bogs me down.  And, who knows?  Maybe that’s enough.



3 Responses to “Facts of Life”

  1. jonathan Says:

    some things are learned through osmosis. no one teaches them to you your brain puts the pieces together. What I do find amazing is when you learn something that you feel like you should have always known. two that stand out for me.

    1. the best way to peel ginger is with a the edge of a small spoon
    2. there are slots or holes in car ashtrays to put the cigarette out

    or in your case you can eat raw corn

  2. Robert Goolrick Says:

    I’ve always been intrigued by the things I DIDN’T know. An example: why do strawberries, unlike other fruits, have their seeds on the outside? I have pondered that my whole adult life.

  3. jonathan Says:

    this is what google is for

    Seeds are on the Outside
    They are not. What you see on the outside are actually the fruits called the achenes. The red part on which the achenes are attached is a container. It’s actually the point or stem where the petals are connected to. Fruits of this type are called aggregate fruits. Anther fruit that belongs in this category are raspberries.
    The seeds are always within fruits. In this case, the seed are in the achenes. There are usually 200 in each one.

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