"Tangerine!" by Amanda Prowse
No 8 - "GULLIBLE MOI?"
No 8 - “Gullible Moi?”
‘Did you know they are removing the word gullible from the dictionary?’
‘Oh no, why?’ was my reply – and then came the guffaws of laughter. An old joke but one that got me good.
I am gullible.
There, I’ve said it. And I always have been! I used to feel embarrassed about this situation, was I stupid to always believe what people said to me? Or to rarely question what I saw in print – believing this must be the absolute truth because it was written down? I was the child who sat rapt while listening to a joke being told, the more detailed and laborious the better – only to feel the firework of joy explode when I realised it was a joke – unlike my siblings who would roll their eyes way in advance of the punchline as they were fully aware of the jest.
Examples of my gullibility are legendary.
I’m sure you too were told that if you swallowed chewing gum it would wrap around your heart and you’d die and that if when pulling a face and the wind changed, you’d be stuck like it! How my heart (chewing gum free) would pound at the prospect of these and other horrors involving the danger of swallowing apple pips and the crusts of bread making my already curly mop even curlier.
And I remember looking aghast at nurses and doctors who would promise ‘This won’t hurt a bit, just a little scratch,’ as they jabbed a metal needle under my skin or any other number of medical interventions about which they lied.
And don’t get me started on Santa, The Tooth Fairy and that bloody Easter Bunny who used to eat my chocolate when he got bored of an evening – leaving great big bites out of my Mars bar. Why would he do that?
Alas, I can’t entirely blame my gullibility on the naivety of youth. Here is a fine example of more recent shenanigans. First, I need to tell you that I’m afraid of frogs. Yes, I know they’re cute. Yes, I know they’re more afraid of me than I am of them, yada yada… but I can’t help it! Even the thought of touching one or even seeing one is enough to make me come out in hives!
We moved into a new house, and I noticed there was the remnants of a pond. ‘Urgh!’ I exclaimed in horror – ‘Does that mean there might be frogs? Because if there are I will never, ever be able to go into the garden, unless you carry me, and I am blindfolded.’ Now before you think I’ve gone all fifty-shades, I am a rather hefty unit and my husband has a dicky back, it would be excruciating for us both. My other half very calmly explained that there was no possibility of there being any of the green skinned, bug-eyed little critters in the garden as we lived on the top of the hill and frogs needed to live at the lowest point on the land, so they were nearer water. I did not know this! But must admit to feeling mightily relieved. I could happily traipse to the compost or put the washing out after all… then I remembered my mum and dad live on the top of a hill and they had frogs in their pond – how was this possible? My husband told me it must have been frog spawn that was dropped by a seagull which could happen but was extremely rare. Pheweeee!
It was only when I was on a TV panel show and the topic of phobias popped up that I mentioned I was afraid of frogs, but that I didn’t have to worry as I lived on the top of a hill etc… I knew instantly by the stares of disbelief and the titter of laughter that I had of course been duped, albeit with the very best of intentions.
I vowed then to be more vigilant and suspicious!
Yet only yesterday I tuned up at a showroom to look at building materials, oh the glam! (although in fairness one brick looked pretty much like another) I arrived and announced that I had an appointment with David. A gentleman directed me along a corridor and into an office where I was told to wait. And so, I waited, and I waited… until eventually I crept out to find a rather bemused David wondering why I hadn’t shown up! Turns out the man and his friend who had directed me into the empty office were random builders who happened to be passing through and David had been confused as to why they were apoplectic with laughter when he found them slumped against a wall. Hmmm very funny…
I also find because of my trusting nature that it is entirely shocking to me when someone lets me down or doesn’t do what they say they will. It mystifies me because to deviate from the plan or not deliver is the worst thing imaginable for me! Because they SAID they would!
I can’t help it. It’s just how I’m made. And I guess in this current world where cynicism, mistrust and hostility are blighting so many lives, I no longer mind the fact so much that I trust maybe more than I should and give the benefit of the doubt wherever I can. It’s not a bad way to live. I kinda like the phrase: “When you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence.” I think at the moment this generosity of spirit and lack of suspicion should be something we all adopt.
Right, must dash, need to find my cheque book. There’s a man at the door with a handful of magic beans just for me…
*Has this resonated with you in any way? Please tell me I’m not the only gullible one out there…
To find out more about Amanda Prowse or to buy her books head to www.amandaprowse.com Thank you for reading! X