I was out with a friend recently and we were chatting about the weather patterns; how they were so erratic of late (who doesn’t talk about the weather?) I happened to ask if she’d noticed the full moon we had a few nights earlier because I recall it was so lovely. The night was clear and the moon was so bright it illuminated everything. I guess I was just so in awe of natures’ beauty I felt compelled to share it. (actually, I was just making small talk) Who knew it would open the flood gates? My friend is smart, well informed, and a great conversationalist, so I enjoy my banter with her but I was a little unprepared for her response.
She said the moon is the brightest and largest object in our night skies despite the fact that the moons’ surface is actually dark. I thought to comment my surprise at this nugget of information but before I could she continued. She said the moon is the only ‘natural’ satellite to orbit our earth and is the fifth largest such satellite in our solar system. (who knew?….ok, who cared?) She went on to say that the moon, which is 400 times closer to the earth than the sun, is actually slowly drifting away from us at a rate of some 4 cm per year. (I’d better make note of the next full moon and get my fill before she’s gone for good!)
Thinking to move the conversation on to other topics, I commented on the numerous potholes on our roads caused by the bitter winter temps and lamented about what would surely be an irritating drive in the spring with construction destined to be everywhere. She replied by saying how amazing the effects of the moon were, not just to our planet, but to us, the people. (ok, wow, we’re still on this) She went on to say how remarkable it was that the moons gravitational pull could literally move our oceans, then she stopped, and we enjoyed a comfortable silence for a few moments. (thank God that’s over….) I opened my mouth to suggest we stop for a coffee somewhere but she started speaking before I could get a word in.
She said a full moon has been attributed to strange human behaviour, and went on to describe the noted irrational behaviours documented throughout the years. (what is she, Wikipedia?) She said the effects of the lunar pull on the human psyche have also been known to cause strange or insane behaviour, including suicide, sleepwalking and violence, (ok, I’m contemplating the latter right now girl!) then she looked pointedly at me to emphasize the importance of this message. (I asked a simple question… did you see the full moon, yes or no… how hard can it be?) She went on in great detail (I think anyway, I tuned her out at this point) about scientific research, something blah, blah, blah, and I found myself thinking maybe that moon wasn’t so pretty after all (who knew I’d have to pack a lunch to hear about it?) I fell silent deciding I was better off to just wait it out.
After she’d finally run out of steam she looked at me and said, “so, what’s new with you?” Stunned at finally getting an opportunity to speak, I found myself speechless and I just stared back blankly. I opened my mouth, said “not much”, and was about to return the same question, then thought better of it. I still have another 30 or so years of my life to live and I’d rather not live them in this scenario.
If ever you think you’re asking a simple question, think again.