A little education is a dangerous thing, they say. Personally, I think a reasonable amount of education can be even more dangerous. I mean, the term “blissful ignorance” didn’t just come from nowhere. Some days – usually when I’m driving down our road for the fifth time, or finding myself confronted with the daily puzzler of “what can I make for dinner in ten minutes from virtually no ingredients” – I genuinely think I would be better off if my education had stopped sooner than it did. That way, I simply wouldn’t know about a lot of the stuff that causes me headaches on a daily basis.
Do I really need to know that Anna Karenina threw herself under a train in response to the pressures of modern womanhood? And speaking of Tolstoy, I would definitely be better off without the knowledge that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Aaargh! I don’t want to recognise myself or my family in epic tragic figures, thank you!
There are definitely days when I almost believe that the guys at The Fast Show got it right about education turning women into venomous harridans – just going by myself, of course.
In this spirit, I’ve recently been conducting an experiment with myself as guinea pig. For two weeks now, I have read nothing but fashion magazines and chick lit novels. So far, I’m feeling pretty good. (I had a brief slip last weekend when I unthinkingly bought the new Colm Toibin, but I remembered myself and haven’t looked at so much as the cover since.) I reckon I’ve undone at least the first few weeks of my undergraduate degree already.
If I persevere and apply myself, I might even be able to erase that Master’s from my mind forever.