Sunday, August 22, 2010

Point of View

While I'm on the topic of my mother and her quirks... One of my mother's peculiarities which has always puzzled the hell out of me is, she always assumes that if she can see something, then anyone else can also see it. Even if they can't.

For instance, she will hold up a book to show me a picture on the front cover. Only she will hold the book with the front cover facing toward her. That means the front cover, which she is trying to show me, is facing away from me: all I can see, facing toward me, is the back cover of the book.

I will try to explain to her that I can't see the front cover, because she is holding the front cover (which she is trying to show me) facing away from me. This gets her all confused, and she just doesn't get it: after all, she can see the front cover perfectly well. The fact that the front cover is facing away from me, and that all I can see is the back cover, and that I don't have X-ray vision, just doesn't register on her. She just can't get it.

I will repeat to her over and over, "No, I can't see the front cover of that book, please turn it so I can see it," and she reacts with utter confusion, either doing nothing, or else turning the book so its front cover is facing more squarely toward her, that is, facing more perfectly away from me.

This is such a peculiar quirk, that I've long been tempted to suspect some wiring crossed in her brain, some kind of neurological dysfunction. Or at any rate, something very peculiar psychologically. But to her it seems perfectly normal: If she wants to show something to someone, she will hold it facing toward herself, never mind if that means it's facing 180° away from the person she wants to show it to.

No comments: