Thursday, February 16

Innocence and Naivete

Due to a thread at FMH I was recently disillusioned (not that thread, this one). I had a friend in my younger years who, out of the blue one day began to call himself 'Winky the One-Eyed Wonder Weasel.' I had no idea what he meant by this, or where it came from. I just thought it was clever alliteration, and a play at his rougish nature (weasels are rougish right?). And, no, he wasn't LDS if you are wondering. When I learned that his pseudonym meant more than I originally understood, I was completely caught off guard and more than a little embarrassed.

First, so many things that just seemed a little bit off suddenly made sense. He often questioned my stance on sexual morality, and made many references to the idea that he thought I was a bit of a fraud. I remember him joking about whether or not I really would be able to wear a white dress on my wedding day. I see now that it wasn't anything I had really done, or lies he had heard that led him to believe this about me. It was my participation with him in joking and use of double entendres that I didn't understand. I called him Winky, he assumed I knew what it meant, I assumed it meant nothing.

I'm not stupid. I may be best at mathematics, but I have a solid command of English. I get puns very quickly, and I can banter with the best of them. He had good reason to believe I knew what his nickname meant. He didn't understand that I just don't think that way.

So here's the question, was it innocence, or naivete? Was I naive to think that a teenage boy could think about something other than what his hormones dictated? Did I have an innocent mind that didn't know someone could be so preoccupied? Is there really a difference between the two?

What about the time last year where I accidentally inferred that one of my classmates masturbated because he had an EMF flashlight? Should I have known better? Probably. But is it really a bad thing that I am that naive?

Is it really possible for a person to not be naive, but still maintain basic innocence and faith in the innocence of others. The old addage that 'it takes one to know one' says otherwise. Is it true that I have to have a dirty mind just to recognize, and most importantly, not repeat the dirtiness around me?


Anonymous said...


You're probably going way deeper with this than I can fathom, but I'll take a stab at it anyway.

Naivete (to me) implies knowledge that you should  have but are lacking. Innocence implies knowlege you don't have and, for the moment anyway, do not need. I definitely put you in the latter category here, however, the label is irrelevant, since the story isn't really about you -- it's about him. Most teen boys are all too preoccupied with their little appendages. Many have to make some mistakes in order to understand appropriate boundaries and parameters. But he also sounds like someone craving attention, with some deep needs that probably went beyond mere "testosterone poisoning" as my DW likes to put it. I honestly don't believe it had anything to do with your "participation with him". Consider that perhaps he was drawn to your innocence instead, and he couldn't fully grasp it, and gave you crap for it.

As for the whole EMF flashlight episode, you kinda lost me with that one. "Accidentally inferred"...? 

Posted by Rich

Anonymous said...

That is a good point about his needs for attention. He was from a broken home, and didn't get much attention from his dad.

Ahh, the EMF flashlight. The way you charge it, is you shake it. The probelm comes when you pretend like you're shaking it, the miming is very suggestive. I was trying to make a joke about how hard it would be to use the thing while running, and well, once they saw me pretend to shake the imgainary flashlight it my hand all thoughts of running and charging a flashlight were replaced.


Posted by Starfoxy

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