Posted by: pendrops | February 29, 2008

i don’t know (unbridled non-answers)

non-answers1.jpg

“Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.” ~ Proverbs

“I’m voting for Hillary,” the 21-year-old sitting next to me blurted.

Shit, I mumbled under my breath. I was not in the mood for politics.

“You would not be welcome in my house,” the 21-year-old sitting across from me blurted back. “I’m for Barack.”

Maybe if I don’t look at them, they won’t see me, I thought, hiding my eyes behind my computer.

“What about you, Krista?”

My sweat glands immediately surged and gushed. My heart rate increased. My right butt-cheek twitched. I desperately wanted to give a good answer, an intelligent answer, the right answer. I wanted everyone in the room to believe that, because I definitively knew who I was voting for on November 4, I also knew where every piece of the puzzle of my life fit. Shooting off a quick & certain answer would give me the appearance of having it together – my identity and reputation, solidified in one answer.

But, honestly, I couldn’t care less about the election right now. When Election Day looms a bit closer, I’ll research the candidates at non-partisan sites like VoteSmart.org. But on this February day, I hadn’t staked my claim with any of the freaks vying to be the next leader of the free world.

Still, I would not be undone by a couple twerps nearly a decade younger than me.

So, it was, with eyes still glued to my computer and a quiet smirk on my lips, I spoke: “Ron Paul.”

Everyone laughed. Except it wasn’t that “You’re-really-clever-Krista” kind of chuckle. It was that “You’re-an-idiot” round of laughter.

“OMG, he’s not even running anymore!” (That’s right, she said OMG.)

“I know,” I said, my attempt at wit and satire wasted.

As I tuned out the two college co-eds, my anxiety about answers, reputation and political leaders dissipated; and I felt free.

In so many words, I had just responded to a pointed question with the answer everyone is afraid of giving (and hearing): I don’t know.

Maybe it’s our pride. We must, at all times, know the answer to every question about our candidates, our careers, our twenty-year plans. There’s so much pressure to know, to always know. Pressure from without and within. We’re uncomfortable in the face of non-answers, in the wake of questions that whip around unbridled in the air of uncertainty. But wasn’t it that whole knowledge thing that got us in trouble in a garden way back when?

There are so few questions with sure answers. I am certain of that. I’m also certain that I am more the fool when I grasp and strive to put answers to every question posed. I suppose that’s why I’m daring to say, “I don’t know.” And to say it bold. Because it’s just the truth. I really don’t know.

(However, I do know that Ron Paul is still in it to win it. Revolution, baby…)

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Responses

  1. Ha! Love this. I know what you mean. I sure as heck don’t have all the answers and as I continue in life, I’m realizing that is really okay. And it’s just better to admit that. I voted in our primary election. Don’t know if I’ll vote the same way on Nov. 4th. Just don’t know. I’ll tell you this – my husband and I did not vote for the same person. It’s tricky.


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