When I was a kid, I really liked that BJ Thomas song, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”. Of course, it was entirely lost me, since I didn’t understand the concept of metaphor and thought it was about somebody who literally was followed by a rain cloud. But I found that image amusing, I guess. Which is the opposite intention of the song, now that I think of it.
One line totally stumped me though, and not because I also didn’t understand the concept of simile, although that is also true. “And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed”, what? I really tried to figure it out. I wasn’t sure how being rained on was like a guy in bed, but assumed it just meant the guy in bed was also rained on all the time, and it seemed like kind of a bummer that he was getting rained on in bed.
But what perplexed me was the idea of someone’s feet being too big for his bed. What did that even mean? In my world, a bed was many times larger than a person and the idea of someone’s feet hanging off a bed wasn’t even within my realm of existence.
We view the world through the only frame of reference we have – our own experience. We can’t walk a mile in someone’s shoes or whatever it is we’re supposed to do for understanding and peace and love and the rest. If the bed is ten times bigger than we are, that’s the only size bed we know exists.
And then you get older and you think, oh. Sometimes the person/bed size ratio changes. I didn’t realize that.