Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Diagnosis: Adult-onsent Dyslexia With Hypochondrial Complications

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.


  1. This is funny. Personally, I think you're just distracted. Too many things to look at and pick fault with.

    - fellow Sagittarian.

  2. I loved exhibit 2--you are so funny! And, I never knew you sacrificed an Olympic medal for your baby--wow! There's still time, you know. I heard today that the oldest Olympian is a curler, at the age of 40 something. Go for it! I'll come and watch:)

  3. I find your diagnosis correct, I like to diagnose others, most commonly with Asbergers, but I digress. I, like you, think cities adopting electric chairs is far more interesting than electric cars.

  4. I hope you don't mind me linking to this post on my blog.

    From now on, I'm going to playfully read every passage in any lesson manual I pick up.

    (And so you're not completely freaked out by some strange guy commenting on your blog, politicchic6 lead my friend hollylynnsays over here, and she told me about it ... I'm starting to have flashbacks to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. "My best friend's, brother's, girlfriend's, cousin's ...")

  5. Nathan, it's a pleasure to "meet" you. Any friend of a friend of politicchic6 is a friend of mine (until proven otherwise).

  6. It sounds to me like you are suffering from more of an issue of mind heuristics (i spelled htat wrong) rather than dyslexia. My favorite, under my theory, is the playfully thing. Somewhere inside of you, it just feels right to be playful rather than prayerful. The others are more obvious: electric chair is a way more reasonable mind jump than car, and your political mind would see lefties in a nyt article and read candidates quite easily. I totally get it.

    When are you due?