My Secret Is Out. Please Love Me Anyway.

January 20, 2009

My childhood was happy except for one thing.

My dad insisted on taking us to every museum within 872 miles of home.

Even on vacation, he dragged us to any and every museum he saw, heard of, or read about.

To this day, I hate museums.

Let me say that again so that you understand the voracity of that last statement.

I.

Hate.

Museums.

I know, I know.  A homeschooling mom like I am shouldn’t feel this way.  I should be THRILLED to impart to my children the educational-ness of museums.

But I’m not.

Because museums ruined my vacations, Sunday drives, and Saturday afternoons my entire childhood.  I just can’t seem to conjure up any excitement whatsoever for museums.

I particularly have a problem with glass cages.  The ones that sit in a small room or hallway and hold things like……

One lone centipede.  Just sittin’ there.

One hairy spider.  Just sittin’ there.

One black snake with red spots.  Just layin’ there.

One gecko.  Just hangin’ there.

And my personal favorite…..

A plant in a glass box.

Other times they hold thrilling things like……

A shovel that someone used to plant corn long ago.

An apron like prairie women used to wear.

Barbed wire.

And I PAID for this?

I like to see REAL animals in REAL habitats.  Particularly habitats that involve swimming.

Like polar bears.

Or penguins.

Or beavers.

Today, Yummy Man suggested we take Grandma, who is visiting us for the week, to the Desert Museum.

Immediately, my fingernails dug into my palms involuntarily.  My jaw clenched.  I broke out into a cold sweat.

But we went anyway and what I had dreaded came true.

We saw lots of glass boxes.

The REAL animals were all sleeping except for the otters and beavers but you couldn’t see THEM because people were standing in front of the windows talking.  And taking video of the beavers.  For 5 whole minutes.  Which means that 4 minutes and 54 seconds were of the water…….um…..being water, basically.  And the rest of the time, one fat beaver would FLY past the window like he was checking to see how well that retired guy’s video camera could take footage of really-fast motions.

Oh.  And the only birds that were out in the aviary?  Morning doves.  The same ones that come to our house every morning and eat our bird feeders dry.  Or they sit on the roof of the neighbors house, glaring at us until we fill the feeders.  Honestly?  We get cooler birds here at our house than I saw at the museum today. 

And some lady kept walking up to us, telling us we were going the wrong way.  That we’d already BEEN that way.  It was like she was the Official Museum GPS Person or something.  And when she directed us the RIGHT way, we felt like we’d been paddled or something, such was her demeanor.

The few friends that I do have probably don’t know this museum-hatred fact about me.

I’m not proud of it.

I TRY to like museums.

But then I see the glass boxes and my Childhood Miserable Museum Memories come rushing back and I am 11 again and my dad has announced excitedly that we are going to the Midwest Agricultural Museum today and we’ll find out how farmers used to feed cats 100 years ago and why no one seemed to be able to make really attractive rugs and other equally fascinating facts.

So.  I apologize to the friends I have that didn’t know this about me.  Please forgive my secrecy.  And yes, the fact that I hate museums appalls even me so please don’t make me feel any worse about it.  Just support me while I deal with the emotional scars of a childhood interrupted by museums.

And just because I.  Hate.  Museums.  doesn’t mean that I’m shallow and uneducated.  Quite the contrary……

I’ve learnt me a LOT of good stuf owtside uv moozeeums!

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7 Responses to “My Secret Is Out. Please Love Me Anyway.”

  1. Lori said

    Don’t fret – I won’t hold it against you! Daniel likes to stop at every ball of twine as we travel across countless counties! There are only just. so. many. balls. of. twine.

    You know what annoys me about the glass boxes? ALL THE FINGERPRINTS ON THEM! Going to a museum is always an occassion for long sleves so I can polish off the fingerprints :o)

  2. Susan said

    Oh my gosh. That is my Dad. I bet you didn’t know that there are about 20 different museums in about a 30 mile radius where I live. Do you know how I know this? Becasue my Dad has been to all of them. Not once but every time he comes and visits.
    When we went to Branson last summer he found one museum and spent the whole day there. I just don’t get it. I don’t ever take the kids to these places Papa takes care of that part well enough.

  3. Vicky said

    Ohhh, shoot. And we were just about to embark on a museum sightseeing trip… and now you won’t want to hear about it… well. Okay. : ))))))

  4. Nina said

    Have you given the interactive children’s science museums a chance? They’re really cool…. and no glass boxes!

    FYI, in the spoken realm, I regularly use the word “learnt”, although it has been several years since I used it as a synonym for the word “taught”, as in “I learnt her how to tie her shoes”….. and if you’re wondering why I felt led to share that with you ……well, so am I.

  5. Kristin said

    Really? You didn’t like the Desert Museum?? Must have been a bad day, ‘cuz when we went a couple years ago it was great! (Except for the freak rainstorm that drove us all inside and made traveling home treacherous in the AZ desert…)

    And, the most fun part was throwing small pebbles at the javelinas to make them react (shh, don’t tell. LOL)

  6. Tricia said

    Allison – I’m learning new stuff about you – and love it! You are very entertaining!

  7. Kristina said

    Aliison, you warm my heart and make me smile. I need to hang out here more often, since #10 is interfering with seeing you in person. You are a marvelous writer with practical skill and wit. Thanks.

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