This is an embarrassing blog to write, I’ll be honest. I hate to uphold the stereotype of the naive American, but I had to write about this because my lack of education surprised even myself.
When I was 30 years old, I learned that England was on an island. I never knew it was not connected to the north of France and the west of Germany, and when this information finally dawned on me (I don’t recall the exact circumstances of how I learned this) I felt like an idiot. How could I not know this? In my head I apologized to all Europeans for not knowing what should have been a very obvious geographical fact.
A couple of days ago I was looking at a map of Europe in a book I’m reading and suddenly became very confused. This couldn’t be right, could it? I stared at the map and stared at the map and then double-checked Google maps to make sure that the book I was looking at hadn’t altered the map for it’s own humorous and/or fictional purposes. They hadn’t. The map was accurate. Apparently England and Scotland are on the same island.
I always thought (or at least, since I was 30, I thought) Ireland was its own island country, then Scotland was on its own, then England, and then all the rest of Europe was together on the rest of the continent. Nope. There’s Scotland and then riiiiiight at the Southern end of the island is England.
This seriously blew my mind. I was alone at the time, but when it clicked in my head I still shouted aloud to no one, “I’m 40 and I just found this out?!” (I’m actually not 40 until the end of the year, but still.)
This time I am making my apology public.
I’m sorry, Europe, for not knowing your geography better than I should. I swear I’m not one of those stupid, self-absorbed Americans with no respect for anyone else. I love you guys. I suppose I could take the easy way out and blame the public school system, but who knows. More than likely while the rest of the class was studying geography like they should have, I was too busy replaying episodes of The Muppet Show in my head.
I promise to try to do better.