There are only two things worse than not being able to get back to sleep during the night when you have a new baby. The first is when it happens and you don’t have a new baby. And you lay there and wonder if you should get up and have a Milo and fold some washing since you’ve just seen the third hour tick over on the clock radio. And then you start getting angry, because tomorrow, of all days, you can’t be tired. And what if you do get up and have a Milo, and then you still can’t get back to sleep, you should’ve stayed in bed and kept trying. And then the alarm goes off and wakes you from the deepest sleep you’ve had all night.
The other thing worse actually than both those things is when people are talking about politics in my presence. And I don’t know whether to frown and nod enthusiastically where appropriate and risk having them think I’m too dumb to contribute anything of my own, or be honest and say that I don’t know anything about politics; but that would be rude and if I shut up I might learn something.
I used to think I was too dumb to know anything about politics, but now I can admit it just doesn’t interest me.
In Year 12, my girlfriend was learning about the senate and the House of Representatives. I remember thinking that what she was learning about was probably fairly important, but I was trying not to burn my eyebrows off above the bunsen burner.
Pretty sure she’s used the knowledge she gained in Year 12 at some point over the last 25 years. There’s not often been the opportunity at a dinner party to talk about how to make blue crystals form in a test tube.
Elsie got a book for Christmas called A SENTENCE A DAY. It came in a beautiful box with its own coloured felt tip pens and stickers. And when she got it out the other day and read the prompt for that day, I looked across the kitchen bench longingly at her book and wished, firstly, that I had found such a cool gift, and secondly, that I could have it.
Today in a shop I found my very own adult version of A SENTENCE A DAY. I even squealed a little as I clutched it to my chest. Three hundred and sixty-five blog post prompts! Anthony said it’s cheating.
I smugly opened it to today’s date. Can you imagine my horror when I saw this:
‘Okay, I’ll do yesterday’s instead,’ I thought.
But no. The rules of my cool new game don’t work like that. You have to write about today’s prompt, regardless of what it is. A writer should be able to do that.
I’m passionate about many things. One of them is not politics. But the prompt doesn’t ask that. It asks which political issue I’m passionate about. Health and education jump out at me as words I’ve heard tossed around in campaign speeches.
But all I really know about them is how lucky we are. If we’re sick, we go to the doctor. If we need to, we go to the Emergency department at the hospital in our town. If we have a premature baby, she’s cared for. When she’s ready for school, we look at the two primary schools in our town and choose one over the other, knowing she’d get a very good education at either.
I don’t know what different political parties say they’ll do for health and education. If I took an interest, I might know more about the rights and/or privileges we’ve come to expect and take for granted.
Is it naive and dumb not to be interested in Tony and Peta? Should I try to learn about them? Do you think it would be rude to steer political conversations over an entree in a direction that allows me to recite the first 20 elements of the Periodic Table?
On a side note, did you see the cute little Easter gifts we’ve added to our shop?