www.whyville.net Nov 18, 2012 Weekly Issue

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Ignorance is Bliss

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When I was around seven years old, I asked my dad why my eyes water when I yawn. He said, plain as day, "That means you're sick."

Did he believe that? No, of course not. But for years after that, day after day, I wondered when I would stop being sick. I longed for the day I wouldn't have to wipe my eyes and dreaded the day I was allowed to wear make-up. I didn't want people to think I was crying.

My mind is a scary place. It remembers whatever it wants to, from a commercial dated last year to useless conversations. Sometimes I get really creeped and I wonder if everything in there is real, so I revisited the subject.

Without any clue as to what I was talking about, almost two years later I asked my dad another question. But great minds think alike.

"Daddy, are you sure it means you're sick?"

Clearly I had an outdated disease. No one else had to wipe their eyes after a yawn. It wasn't a yearly virus, it was serious. I would find my cure.

I stopped going outside, I kept my jacket zipped up. I even sneezed into my arm, but nothing worked. More watery years passed when my biology teacher said something.

"Anybody ever wonder why your eyes water when you yawn? It's because you're squeezing the muscles in your face, causing your tear ducts to release tears."

I couldn't believe it. This man stole every bit of hope my father ever gave me in a few quick words. I was shattered, because I was so set on that hope. I hoped I'd get healthy, find a cure, save the few other people with my problem. But it made sense, and that was all that mattered.

Hope isn't easy to come by. Perhaps that is why ignorance is bliss.


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