Was “boring” code for “A sort of fun you will never know”?

You know how when you were a kid, you’d get ideas in your head and you’d try to turn them into reality? Sometimes you could accomplish the goal with your  Lite-Brite set, sometimes you’d have to go out and experiment, and once in awhile, you would have to get your parents involved. Usually through begging.

Some parents help their children make dreams tangible. Other’s give their tykes space and materials to make stuff happen. And then there were my parents. Yes, we were allowed to adopt any animal we brought home (Chris had a minnow named SilverStreak for about 3 years. He had a field mouse our cat caught, too) and we had full reign of the town, from the top of the airy mountain down to the rushy glen. To be fair, we weren’t really held back often; we were like little naturalists exploring our world and that was awesome.

But when we got those ideas, the big ones we couldn’t manifest on our own, the ones that involved asking for help, well, the answer was quite often “No.” And that “No” became very specific when we were pleading to go somewhere.

Backing up: I was reminded of this because  Shana Abe photoposted the giant  May Natural History Museum beetle on Facebook and I was reminded that I have wanted to go there since I was 12. We used to drive past it regularly on our way to our grandparents’ cafe and every time, Chris, Noelle, Bedot and I would wail for mom to stop, STOP! We wanted to visit the bug museum. The answer was always “No.”

We’d cry, “Why? Why can’t we go?”

“It’s boring.”

As it happened, that was also the reason we couldn’t go to Circus Circus in Las Vegas or the La Brea Tar Pits, among other places.

In retrospect, I get that my parents didn’t want to haul our little carcasses along on their grown-up-time Vegas trips but back then, we kept begging to go because our friends said Circus Circus was the coolest place ever. I’m sure Mom had no alternative but to tell us our friends were stupid and the place was, in actuality, boring.

But the Tar Pits?  I learned about them in 3rd grade and was fascinated. In my mind, there were lots of slimy, little pits of boiling black goo and every once in awhile, a mammoth skull would bubble up from the ooze to bob along on top until someone fished it out and cleaned it up. I told Mom I really wanted to go but she told me it was boring, it was just a hole in the ground with some black water, nothing but disappointment and a nasty smell. Of course, the truth was that it would have been an expensive trip, involving several days’ travel in the station wagon, multiple stops for food and bathrooms, plus motel costs, and headaches. So why didn’t Mom just tell us that the Tar Pits were alarmingly expensive? Why did she file them under the Boring category? Because she’s evil. Obviously.

And what was up with the Bug Museum? It was an hour away and it’s not like it cost much to get in. We definitely could have recycled aluminum cans for a summer to cover the entry fees. Hell, Bedot would have gotten in for free. It’s like Mom wanted us to be uneducated and untraveled. This is how white trash stays white trash, people. It’s self-perpetuating.

Once I became an adult with mobility and funds, I went to Las Vegas. I saw Circus Circus. I was thankful Mom verbotened that one because, dude, the place is creepy. I would have been terrified as a child had our parents dumped us off there while they went off and gambled for hours on end. Mom = 1

Last summer, we went to the La Brea Tar Pits while we were in California for Gabe’s birthday. Guess what? It is NOT BORING! She completely lied about that one. Children = 1

La Brea Tar Pits

This is going to be my Christmas card to my mom for the rest of her life. Every year. And inside it will say, “I hope your Christmas is BORING” which is pretty loving, if you think about it. You know, since boring apparently means “awesome”

And that means I need to head down the road to the bug museum. If it is not boring, Mom and I, we’re going to have words. Or, rather, we’re going to define words, one in particular: Boring.

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9 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, In someone else's backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My Opinions on STUFF, Out & about or abroad, White trash childhood

9 responses to “Was “boring” code for “A sort of fun you will never know”?

  1. Tyler J. Yoder

    Perhaps she meant that it’s boring to her, and that watching excited kids look at boring things would be even worse? I’m really grasping at straws, though, because I think that secretly you are right.

  2. Stephenie

    I love your picture in front of the tarpits. If the bug museum rocks, I would totally bring a dictionary to that discussion. 😉

    • Hahaha! Oh, indeed. I’ve since found out (like a few hours ago) that both Noelle and Bedot have been to the bug museum and they found it to be AWESOME.
      I’m thinking perhaps the OED for Mom’s Christmas present with the page that contains Boring marked?

  3. My mum used to employ the same tactic, excect she used to say “You don’t want to go there…it’s stupid”. “You’re not doing that, it’s stupid”. “Why did you do that? Are you stupid?” You get the picture……It’s amazing how many of these stupid places or activities I have tried as an adult only to find that they are awesome & then my mum wants to visit/try them too…..

    • Our moms are terrible, awful people. This is why I’m always trying to find ways to get back at mine. Years and years of pointless torture. Boring? Pah. Stupid? Unlikely! Down with evil moms who use words poorly!

  4. Well, I see why your La Brea Tar Pits experience was not about forgiveness. 😉 Glad you finally got to go and that you enjoyed it!

    • You’re pre-approved to post here. Why doesn’t WordPress believe me? It’s so fickle!

      But, see? My post – bitter. Your post – beautiful. Both about moms and the Tar Pits.

      We are very different but I suspect, if you were to put us together, we would create a pleasant whole. Not hole. Or Hole; I am not a hot mess and neither are you.

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