As a kid, we take the word of adults or at least those in our family as gospel. We never question their credibility because we haven’t learned that people lie to us for whatever reason. Sometimes, we formulate our own truths and those authority figures around us never correct the notion because the fact that we believe it makes it seem cute and adorable. Meanwhile, we lie in bed, awake, worrying about the consequences of those actions that we believed to be set in stone.
Lie #1: Crossing your eyes for an extended period of time will cause them to stay that way.
I believed this myth well into my teens. But being of a rebellious nature, I always tried to push the limits of that timeframe
Lie #2: A swallowed piece of gum will stay in your system for seven years.
Growing up, I enjoyed stuffing almost an entire pouch of Big League Chew into my mouth but never had the need or urge to swallow it. However, when it came to smaller pieces such as Big Red or Juicy Fruit, sometimes you accidentally could swallow a piece and then dread set in, “I just swallowed my gum! It’s going to be in my stomach for seven years. CRAP!” Of course, the truth is that is does digest much, much quicker than that. It may be a week but it won’t be seven years.
Lie #3: If I eat watermelon, orange, or apple seeds a tree will grow in my stomach.
Apparently, at the age of seven, I had not learned the basics of horticulture. After ingesting a few orange seeds, I was pretty sure that I had a the beginnings of an orange tree growing in my tummy. I imagined the tree growing inside me, like an alien, and it would eventually burst a branch full of oranges out of my navel. I had no concept of the makeup of the digestive system containing acids or the fact that there was no light or soil for those seeds to grow in while it churned away in my stomach. Nor did I realize that it if not already dissolved, I would pass the seed naturally before it could germinate.
Now, the ingestion myths did not hold up as long as the eye crossing one, but to this day I’m still convinced that I shouldn’t swim after eating. Worse yet, I still need to remind my father-in-law that going outside without a coat will not cause you to get a cold. He continually tells his daughter, my wife, “It’s no wonder you’re sick. Put on a damn coat!” To which I say, “We have a four year old in Kindercare. That’s why we’re sick all the time.”
Still, the worst lie my family had me believe was that I was the mailman's kid. I'm sure they were joking but you kind of get a complex when they keep repeating it like they did, year after year.
Maury, can I get a reading on this one?