Friday, December 2, 2011

Yes, That Was Truly, and in All Other Ways, STUPID

December 2: Reverb Broads Prompt
What is the stupidest thing you did this year? What about in your whole life? You can take stupid to mean: embarrassing, dangerous, funny, lame, whatever you consider "stupid."

I do a lot of stupid things, mostly of the open-mouth-insert-foot category. I hope they are as transient for those who see them as they are for me. Sadly, they don't really stick in my mind so I am somewhat condemned to repeat them.

This week seems to have been somewhat full of stupid things: leaving my phone/music at home one day; leaving my coffee at home two days in a row; leaving my computer-glare reduction glasses at home one day.  Stupid, stupid, stupid, but likely forgotten by next week

Then there are some stupid things I have done that I don't simply forget. They teaching devices after all.

At the end of my first week at a new job I went out to my car to find the inside dripping with some sort of liquid.  My first thought, my absolute first thought: Who hates me so much after one week at this job that they would vandalize my car*.  I was convinced someone had done this on purpose as some sort of revenge for some previously aforementioned foot-in-mouth event.  Upon closer examination, I realized it was Diet Coke, from the full, unopened can I had intended to take with me into work on that hot July day**.  The can, inside my car on a rather warm day developed a pin-hole leak and sprayed the inside of my car with Diet Coke.   So the stupid thing? That was assuming someone was out to get me.  No one wished me harm, but that was the first thing I thought of.  Since then, I've made it a priority to look for causes rather than someone to blame when things go wrong.

But, in the grand scheme of things, those are relatively benign stupid things.  Sadly, I have made at least one, potentially malignant, mistake.

One of the more stupid things I did was smoke my first cigarette.  Absolutely, hands down, without a doubt, the stupidest thing I ever did was smoke the second one.  I don't know much about the science of addiction, but I know this: it took me six or seven attempts over thirteen years to finally become an ex-smoker. The lesson, don't do drugs. Ever.  Accept that I have a tendency to obsess over or become addicted to things and I need to find a way to put limits on them.  Do what I can to repair the damage I've done to my body.  It's been years since I last had a cigarette, but, in those minutes when I really, really want one, that's when I need to take a deep breath and figure out what it is that I'm trying to avoid.

*It should be noted that this was before my window was smashed and my car radio stolen from that same parking lot. Not from malice, just because it was a bad luck parking lot.  Mine was not the only radio that was stolen, and unlike my truck driving colleagues, my spare tire never went roaming.
**Yes, if my head wasn't attached there are days when I would show up at work without it.


  1. I love that you immediately thought someone was out to get you, because that's exactly what I would have thought. I once spilled an entire large latte across my dashboard and into my vents. The car smelled like stale coffee and rancid milk for weeks. My security word was scryou, which sounds like some kind of insult.

  2. Yeah, despite the fact that I didn't think of it until later, sticking my foot in my mouth is a frequent stupid thing I do, so I feel your pain. And what a great part about how you have struggled with your addiction - well-written!