I have some grading to do this morning, so here I am at my favorite table at Donkey Coffee alternating my time between reading essays on The Kite Runner, which thankfully are not that bad, and browsing the internet. Sometimes I worry that I browse the internet a little too often, then I remember that I have always been extremely (overly?) curious (nosy?) and the urge to seek new information runs through my veins.
When I was a kid, I was an observer. I read voraciously, kept diaries and journals, and eavesdropped on others’ conversations in order to catch a glimpse into how people outside my circle lived their lives. I remember one instance in junior high school when I researched another girl’s wardrobe. She was beautiful and popular and I was trying to learn her secrets, though my guess now is that she might have been a kind of easy, if you know what I’m saying. She always seemed to be wearing something new, so every day in French class, I took note of the exact item of clothing she had on. Turns out she had about a dozen pair of jeans, and they were DESIGNER. Yes, designer. I’m talking several pair EACH of Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein, and Jordache. Seriously! Once my research was done, I was completely astonished that someone could have such a large wardrobe of new clothes. I’m sure my wardrobe was just as plentiful, but it mostly consisted of hand-me-downs (which were usually fantastic, by the way).
Another time, I decided to record the time of sunrise and sunset every day for months, gleaning my information from the Detroit Free Press and/or The Midland Daily News (I can’t remember which one, but even as kid, I read both papers cover to cover every single day). I also loved studying our church’s hymnal and the World Book Encyclopedia. Sometimes my curiosity wasn’t so cool, as it led to a bit of snooping, mostly when I was babysitting and had the opportunity to examine bookshelves, medicine cabinets, and other corners of my parents’ friends’ houses.
There are times when Anna jumps into a conversation among adults with immediate and urgent questions about our subject of discussion. As soon as I scold her for interrupting something that doesn’t involve her, I realize that she’s me. She’s got the curiosity gene that makes it nearly impossible for her to let something go that could put just a little more information in her head. I still correct her, though, just as I was corrected, then I shake my head in amazement at the 12-year-old mirror I’ve just looked into.