Almost everyone has heard or uttered something resembling the following statement before: “How can you have gone so long/your life without doing _____?” If you haven’t, how can you have gone so long/your life without hearing or saying it?
I know I’ve definitely said it and have had people say it to me many times. Society has these “rites of passage,” so to speak, for everyone about everything. Things like watching Disney movies as a kid or Mean Girls as a teenager — come on, you know it’s true.
I’ll admit it. I have yet to ever see the movies Beauty and the Beast or Pocahontas. Go ahead. Judge me. I’m sure you’re thinking something like “How can you have gone your 22 years of life without seeing these movies?!” Or maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re one of those people that doesn’t think I’ve “missed out.”
Does this make me a social outcast? Sure, to some it might. Do I feel like I’ve missed out on an important societal obligation? Sometimes. But at the same time, I can argue that by not seeing these films or doing certain activities like carving a pumpkin (yes. I haven’t done this either.), I have a different kind of appreciation for them.
Sure, I’ll never experience them from the perspective of a young age, but I appreciate these experiences for their continuous ability to be present in the upbringing of people nation–maybe even world–wide.
While these experiences may help you understand some of the workings of society, I don’t think they should make or break the way people perceive you. I am guilty for judging someone in the past for not having experienced one of these societal “rites of passage,” but I’m going to try harder to not do so in the future.
It hurts when people assume you lack some knowledge because you have not passed some societal test. I know; I’ve definitely felt that way before.
So you haven’t had a Fudgesicle before. It’s OK. Maybe you don’t want to try one. Oh, you do? Well, let’s go get one and you can see what all the hubbub is.