My latest self-diagnosis is adult-onset dyslexia. My rational self (who occasionally visits a small corner of my frontal lobe when not on vacation in Bora Bora) says I suffer from pregnancy-induced bad eyesight. I disagree with my rational self and offer into evidence Exhibits 1, 2, and 3.
Exhibit 1. A sentence in a Sunday school manual: "Prayerfully read the following passages."
Instead, I saw "Playfully read the following passages." I immediately realized my mistake, but I read the passages as playfully as possible anyway because I thought the story of Noah's ark would be much better that way. It was.
Exhibit 2. A New York Times headline:* "Cities Prepare for Life With the Electric Car"
Instead, I read "Cities Prepare for Life With the Electric Chair." I clicked on that link, giddy with horror, expecting the story of how rogue city counsels are purchasing used prison equipment to "persuade" local trouble-makers into compliance with recently-passed ordinances requiring individuals to sort their recycling into 37 different bins. I was perplexed by the actual text of the article, which described how business owners are installing electrical outlets in their parking lots. I thought long and hard about how the title might come into play (will the electric chairs be available for use just outside the local tanning salon?) but finally decided that the author of the article had consumed one too many packets of Splenda and was therefore suffering from a misfiring neuron. I realized the next day, when perusing the news, that I had misread the title of the article. Electric cars. Not as exciting, but much more practical.
Exhibit 3. Another online headline: "It's Not Political, But More Canadians Are Lefties."
I read "It's Not Political, But More Candidates Are Lefties." I scoffed. How can it not be political if political office is at stake? And how can most candidates be left-leaning? That's ludicrous. I didn't even click on that link. It turns out the article is about Canadians who use their left hands in hockey. (Is that still an Olympic sport? I prefer curling. Did you know I once considered putting together a Venezuelan curling team for the 2010 winter Olympics? I even found someone to coach the team. But then I conceived Alex, which put a crimp in my anticipated training schedule. I sacrificed an Olympic medal for you, Alex. But I digress.)
I will be monitoring my condition closely. I cannot afford to misread drug labels or street signs, even if it is more convenient to drive 51 miles an hour instead of 15. (Provo Center street, I'm talking about you.)
*I freely admit that virtually all my news comes from the "Most E-Mailed" list on the New York Times website. It's a populist approach to staying informed.