Opinions: Politically Correct?: Childhood misconceptions

Opinions: Politically Correct?: Childhood misconceptions

This is the picture that hangs in my Grandparents’ living room that I’ve always thought was a man on a beach.

Last Saturday while watching House Hunters International with my mom at 1:30 a.m. I had an epiphany.

A commercial played for Flintstones Gummy Vitamins. For the first time ever I actually looked at the spelling of the word “Flintstones.”

I realized that “Flintstones” was composed of two words “flint” and “stones.”

I quickly turned to my mom (who was half asleep) and asked her, “Wait…so it’s flint like the rock?” My mom laughed at me for at least 20 minutes.

My whole life up until this point I thought that the Stone Age animated characters were called the “Flindstones” because I’ve never actually taken the time to look at the spelling.

I have spent 17 years of my life calling a group of animated characters the wrong name. (I’m sorry, Flintstone family.)

I felt sad about giving up my childhood conception of the Flintstones.

In giving up my version of the Flintstones’ name, something in me escaped like air out of a balloon.

I had a similar experience when I realized my aunt’s name was Aunt Ellen not Aunt Dellen.

I was never wrong in saying “Dellen” because that’s the way Ellen sounds when you say it fast combined with the word “aunt.” And my aunt probably thought it was cute because of my adolescent lisp.

But again, at the age of 10 when I found out that I had been calling my aunt the wrong name my whole life, I felt like some part of my childhood was shattered as if the bubble of my childhood popped the reality of my former lispy, dork childhood self.

Calling the Flintstones the Flindstones and my Aunt Dellen instead of Ellen isn’t vital. But, it’s a mind-blowing revelation when something I’ve believed my whole childhood to be true is debunked.

I’m sure there are a number of other things that I perceive to be one way and are actually another.

My Flintstone revelation made me wonder that if I could fix all of my misconceptions right now, would I want to.

Half of me thinks that fixing these flaws would save me potential embarrassments, but the other half feels as if these mistakes are what have pushed me to grow up.

In my grandparents’ house there is an abstract painting that hangs in a shiny two-inch-thick brass frame in their living room. I’ve always thought that it’s a painting of a stick figure on a beach, but then I realized that I was looking through a pair of kid-sized rose-colored glasses.

On Thanksgiving I asked my family members if they saw anything in the painting. Everyone said that it was just brush strokes and some straight lines. My romanticized idea of the painting was a childhood misconception that has stuck with me all this time, like the “Flindstones” and Aunt “Dellen.”

Not everything I’ve learned in my life has been painting by number. Mostly everything I’ve conceived growing up has been created by my own brushstrokes and hues, sometimes going outside the lines.

I’m not so sure if I want those blurred lines to become clear because every time they do I feel like I’m losing a little part of my childhood self.

Maybe this is part of the reason why I am drawn to a creative field. I like to muse about different ways of looking at the world; viewing it all from different angles. Why can’t the painting be a stick figure on the beach? And when I say Flindstones, and Aunt Dellen, no one knows the difference but me.