Selective understanding is a skill we perfect as mere babes right around the time we discover we have opposable thumbs. Dangling earrings, glass Christmas ornaments, shiny knives at the Olive Garden – all beautiful excuses to ignore the screaming “NO!” from our parents. Years later after “misremembering” curfews and “misunderstanding” homework assignments, we’re off on our own and ready to ignore the likes of speed limit signs and needy significant others.
Here are a few things we like to ignore almost as much as we once did our parents:
Merging lines: Peripheral vision is for eagles and professional athletes. It’s every man for himself when lines unite.
Side effects: While it’s fair to assume swallowing down Aleve with red wine is not recommended, we’re all better off not knowing for sure.
Airline companions: Feign Sky Mall engrossment when approached by anyone. They either want to trade your aisle seat for their middle or they want to steal your Sudoku.
Coupon expiration dates: Whip out your stack of price-matching ads and un-organized clippings and the terrified cashier will just manually discount the ten cents from your Pop Tarts. Score.
Signs that say “Please”: When you bypass a sign that screams “Verboten!” you know you need to watch your back, but when you ignore a sign that says “Please just take one and have a super duper day” your conscience is clear.
Dressing room garment limits: Because they are just stupid.
Compliments: We tend to ho-hum praise – unless it comes from a stranger in which case we spend the rest of the day on cloud nine. This also goes for parenting advice and personal issue resolution.
Anything that happens during a football game: Dad announcing “I’ll play Uno with you when the game is over in seven minutes” and then proceeding to ignore you for the next forty-five is karma for your curfew violation.
From bedtimes to deadlines, we all love to “pretend we don’t notice” the things that don’t suit us. What are your favorite things to selectively understand?
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