I’ve never seen The Godfather. I know you’re currently thinking (in a voice several octaves higher than your own and with infinitely more exclamation points and question marks), “You’ve never seen The Godfather?!”, but no, I haven’t. In fact, the only desire I have to see the movie stems from my interest in avoiding the scary voice of condemnation and eventual shunning that ensues whenever I come clean. Perhaps I’ll end up seeing it one day, but maybe I’ll just toss out a random quote here and there so you’ll believe I have and stop yelling at me.
I understand and accept the judgment, as I am prone to dishing out the same high-pitched squeal of disapproval when my friends say ridiculous things – like when my best friend, Shannon, saw The Goonies for the first time at thirty and said it was overrated. My exaggerated cry was passionate but well-founded, “You didn’t like The Goonies?!” I assume she was just trying to play it cool so we didn’t have to fight over who would get to add the handsomely sweat-banded Josh Brolin to our “list.”
No matter how much you attempt to elude it, the voice of crazed incomprehension jumps from person to person like Sam Beckett in a USA Quantum Leap marathon. The “You’ve never been to Disneyland?!”s and the “You’ve never eaten lobster?!”s and the “How do you not like chocolate?!”s (that one was also me) taunt everyone in ear shot. Even worse are when the accusations are as irrational as the piercing bellow accompanying them. The other day I was on the receiving end of an “I can’t believe you like Cadbury Cream Eggs!” Such comments are simply unconscionable.
We all have voids of experience or knowledge that shock and appall those around us to the point where a simple oddity spirals into a source of overenthusiastic cries of foul. While I understand it might be considered absurd that I’ve never made coffee, or mown a lawn, or (if you’re my grandma) never used the phrase “cat’s pajamas,” I consider you equally peculiar for not liking seafood, or for not knowing all the words to Raspberry Beret, or for not thinking John Cusack is the cat’s pajamas. So be prepared for my voice of unreason should you bother telling me so.