Most of us at some situation have used the idiom “curiosity killed the cat” I don’t know about you but I always believed it and used it on others many times. Why not? It sounds grammatically right and I am not a cat fan so I really don’t care about who killed the cat. But now that I am older and wiser (at least I like to believe so) I am beginning to question the authenticity of this famous idiom.
This really charming man and I were beginning to converse a lot and just like how dating has traditionally worked we were in our discovery phase, where we kept asking each other questions trying to learn more about our likes, dislikes and you know the usual. It was all great until he started asking too many questions. And mostly personal. I am a modern woman and I do not get judgmental about people easily but there is something about us women and topics regarding our weight, past relationships and personal hygiene that makes us extremely conscious. Even though if the other person meant to ask us something in the most casual manner when it comes to topics like these we hit the panic button and start judging in the most creative way possible. Guess we are just wired that way, at least I am.
So when this guy started asking me questions about my past relations, what I liked and disliked, how and where I shared moments with my partners and you know all that jazz, I realized that I did not find him charming anymore. I was rather annoyed. I like talking to men about their deepest fears, their life stories, their dreams and all that beautiful things that constitutes to our existence. I was bound to be turned off and disappointed by his questions. So I finally broke the ice and asked him why he was getting too tangential to the topic and how it mattered. His response was then “oh, I was just curious”
There! Like an explosion in my mind, I spaced out into a thought process. Curious! This is an interesting adjective. Just like any other matured adult, I googled the word.
1) eager to know or learn something
2) strange; unusual
The synonyms that caught my attention: bizarre, queer, unorthodox.
Okay, so it makes sense he was eager to know about my preferences which by the way are subjected to change. He was probably just trying to observe a pattern, understand my preferences and probably re-create the same to make me feel comfortable. Though I would like certain things to remain in the dark and be discovered as we progress in a relationship naturally, Id still give him the credit for the attempt – wish he was better articulate though. So then is curiosity bad? Sounds like it could do good stuff for you. Why did it kill the cat?
No one really knows for sure who and in what context cited the quote originally. But the most famously referred to story is about how this cat called Blackie attempted to leave home and climb a wall for the first time, panicked and died. So now this brings me to the conclusion that it was not really curiosity it was a lack of preparation, planning, and resources that killed silly Blackie. If Blackie was prepared, climbed its way up gradually, then he/she could possibly have enjoyed the new discovered capability and would have gotten a great reward for its curiosity. It could have been – Curiosity rewarded the Cat!
Now that I made the short story long for you, here is your takeaway, if you are really interested in discovering something/someone better watch out for the possible outcomes and be prepared for the unexpected. Observe how someone reacts to certain questions, gauge their responses by their voice, body language and other physical cues. Study previous outcomes, calculate your probabilities and then make your move. It is good to be curious but only if you are prepared for it. Also, why be curios about something that will add absolutely no value to you, why not instead invest your time and energy on something more substantial to you. Curiosity demands certain preparation too, genius!
“Curiosity is one of the lowest of the human faculties. You will have noticed in daily life that when people are inquisitive they nearly always have bad memories and are usually stupid at bottom” – E Morgan Forster.
Pay attention to what Forster said, the next time you are “curious” about something / someone hold your horses, take a deep breath, do not jump into the situation. Prepare, Plan, and then Pursue. Don’t screw it up like my Mr. Charming and don’t die like Blackie!