Isn’t stupidity a peculiar malady? It typically arrives out of nowhere, wrecks havoc and then nonchalantly departs, leaving the recipient with a bad aftertaste or much worse. It’s like getting smacked on the back of the head while in the middle of innocently reading a good book (the smack being the symbol for stupidity; the book, a symbol for life).
I have days, despite the fact that I am a renowned stupidity specialist to my 3.5 readers, where I become fixated on a past idiotic occurrence that leaves me asking over and over again, “Why?” Recently, I regressed back to a time many years ago when I suffered a run-in with a person of particularly stupid proportions.
When my older child was in pre-school, we pre-school moms decided to throw a baby shower for our sixty-year-old, exalted leader, Margie. Actually, Margie was the school director, and the forthcoming baby belonged to her daughter.
I found, quite possibly, the most adorable stuffed animal ever to grace a toy store, and one on which I formed an instant crush. It took all my self-control not to purchase the precious little dust collector for myself; I bought it as a present for Margie’s grandbaby’s shower.
That very afternoon, in the school parking lot, while awaiting the dismissal of our little guys and girls, a few of us moms discussed the gifts we’d purchased. I heard one parent, let’s call her Tammy Jean Mayhew of Rolling Hills Estates, describe the exact stuffed animal that I’d bought. When I told Tammy of my duplicate purchase, she squinted her eyes, crossed her arms tightly against her flat chest (don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against flat chests on men or women. Only on Tammy), and puffed out her cheeks, squirrel-like. Then she announced in a huff,
“I think you should march yourself right back to the store and return your’s!”
“Why?” I asked.
“I bought mine first!”
Of course, Tammy’s reasoning was unsound as well as irrelevant. But stupidity rarely makes a viable defense.
I noticed other mothers stepping backwards, away from the potential fray, and/or ducking behind the nearest mini-van. Meanwhile, I pondered how to handle such disagreeable derangement. Tammy stood there stubbornly, shoe-horn style chin sticking out threateningly, pointy nose jutting upwards. Had she somehow traded places with her four-year-old a la Freaky Friday?
I then did what any thinking, rational being would do in such circumstances. No, I didn’t kick her in the shin or squash half a grapefruit on her impertinent face. And I did not give in to my unnatural desire of pulling her rubbery chin just to see if it was stretchy as well as stubbly. Instead, I informed her,
“See you at the shower.”
And I gladly left.
I may have been a receiver of stupidity, but I was certainly not going to be a giver.
Left alone and forgotten, inane situations, such as this one, generally resolve themselves. The shower went swimmingly and afterwards, I received a lovely thank-you note from Margie. In it, she stated how lucky her new grandchild was going to be to have two identical, darling stuffed animals. One would stay at Margie’s house, and the other at her daughter’s.
The less contact and thought we give to stupidity, the better off we are. It gives us more time to focus on creating our own positive, enlightening thoughts which is what I should have been doing instead of recalling Tammy’s inanity.