Archive for the ‘Positive stupidity’ Category

Stupidity on the Sidewalk

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

I thought I’d bid a firm farewell to Miss Margot and The Stepford Wives in my last entry; but it wasn’t yet to be, thanks to some of my astute readers.

First of all, how did you folks find me? I’ve mentioned this blog to just a handful of people I know.  The ones I’m one hundred percent certain will never be even remotely featured here. And only a tiny fraction of my relatives are in on it, since the majority prefer to subscribe to the minimalist school of thought . That comes to a total of seven people. Of the seven, only half visit regularly as the rest have advised me they don’t do blogs. (Yes, that’s 3.5 known visitors). So who are the rest of you intelligent, charming, authentic folks? I very much appreciate your taking the time to read and certainly hope you enjoy your visits here.

Now back to my capable readers who asked, how exactly did I finally find the ideal preschool, post The Stepford Wives ordeal? Miss Margot referred me, of course. During our discussion about bathroom cleanliness (before she feasted her eyes on my exotic car), she said, threateningly, “Why don’t  you go down the street to the cooperative preschool? The parents there are in charge of cleaning the bathrooms.”

I thought that was sheer genius. How better to insure proper sanitation of facilities used by our tots than when the parents themselves are held responsible? See what I mean about stupidity sometimes having a positive impact when you least expect it?

One last note about Miss Margot before my final farewell: Three years later, my son attended kindergarten directly across the street from Miss Margot’s School for Children of Stepford Wives (SCSW). After a field trip, I accompanied my child’s class on a trek back to his school’s campus. We walked on the sidewalk in front of the SCSW.

At a distance, I spotted a cloaked figure peering out of the blooming hydrangea bushes in front of Miss Margot’s office. As I got closer, I realized it was none other than Miss Margot herself.

Across the street, at my son’s campus, an ambulance with flashing lights was parked. So intent was Miss Margot on witnessing this spectacle that she failed to notice the approaching kindergartners until they blocked her view. Not one to miss a beat, she quickly feigned interest in pruning dead flowers between her thumb and forefinger, eyeing the ambulance all the while.

The kindergarten class continued marching toward school; I brought up the rear. I later learned that the paramedics were assisting a fourth grader who’d sprained his ankle during a spirited soccer match. 

When the injured boy was carried out on a stretcher, Miss Margot  practically drooled puddles in fascination. Again, another instance of the unrelenting stranglehold curiosity has on stupers (short once again, for those downright stupid persons).

As I came upon Miss M., I slowed down to give her a long look. I wondered if I could possibly embarrass her into putting away her gawking. An ambulance loading an injured child is not a spectator sport.

For a few short moments, Miss Margot broke her fixed gaze and regarded me. I saw the wheels slowly turning in her head; a dim memory filled her mind. But since I wasn’t standing next to a luxury automobile, Miss M. couldn’t place me. She resumed gawking.

I crossed the street. Just before entering the campus, I took one last look at Miss Margot. She stood, statuelike, one shoe on the edge of the sidewalk, the other hovered in mid-air; her neck stretched out, Inspector Gadget style. She pined for a closer view of the mishap. Her pointed chin rested on the back of one hand; the other arm outstretched before her. I’m not quite sure how she maintained balance in that position, but she managed. Was this some sort of street yoga Miss Margot was engaged in? No, dear readers. It was stupidity. Instead of gawking, she should have been supervising her school.

It is best to draw a wide berth around stupidity of this sort, which is exactly what I did. And always bring along your sense of humor.

Next time: Turn Signal Deficit Disorder.

Keep thinking!


Smoldering Stupidity

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Before I introduce a new installment of stupidity, I have to sweep away a few cinders that escaped the fire from last time’s episode. First, I’ve been asked how I came to choose a Mommy & Me (M&M) program inhabited mostly by The Stepford Wives? Blame it on my inexcusable naivete (1st time parent) or on my sheer stupidity (my informant sucked). I was told that this M&M was part of an exclusive pre-school operation that promised its pint-sized pupils would get into the best private schools. I believed this would virtually guarantee admission. My source? Obviously, a stuper (short again, for those hopelessly stupid persons).

Now to clarify what irrevocably cemented my exit from the school. If the mannequin moms hadn’t clinched it, this last scene certainly did.

The M&M class had one bathroom. That was fine. Except that my newly potty trained 26 month-old needed to use it now and then. Unfortunately, the toilet resembled one used in the outback by twenty bushmen accustomed to emptying their bowels in the first, most convenient, location. Every time we entered the bathroom, I heard the theme from Jaws.

So I paid a visit to the headmaster’s office. I discreetly asked the head, Miss Margot, whether the janitor could possibly engage in a more rigorous scrubbing. Or just a noticeable cleaning. A clearly irritated Miss Margot, narrowed her squinty eyes, obviously offended by my request. She informed me that said bathroom was sanitized daily. That was about as likely as my baking an apple pie underwater. I wanted a powder room, not a latrine. Miss M. was appalled that I’d dared speak out loud about so insensitive a subject.

So I left and strolled out to my car.

At the time, I drove a two-door, luxury sports car, leftover from my salaried studio days. It was one of those sets of wheels seldom seen by mortal eyes. Positively not the type Mommy and toddler would be driving.

As I approached the car, Miss Margot, who’d apparently kept her steely eyes on me since I exited, came bounding out of her office, hands flying over her head. She clip-clopped along in her size 10 Ferragamos, frantically calling out my name, “Mrs. G! Mrs. G! Waaaaaaaaait!”

My tot and I turned towards the hysterical figure. Scattered Stepford Wives lingering around their SUVs turned, smiling, towards the commotion.

“Yes?” I patiently responded.

“I’m so sorry about the toilette! I’ll make sure it’s cleaned daily. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention. Anything else I can do for you?”

Needless to say, during this fawning monologue, she’d only glanced at me when necessary. The rest of the time, Miss Margot ogled the car.

“No, thank you,” I replied.

I drove off into the sunset seeking a more illumined vista. Was this not clear in-your-face stupidity? Was she trying to please the automobile or me? Initially, to Miss Margot, I mattered as much as a dust-mite sauntering about in her shawl. But standing next to the car, I appeared eminent and noteworthy; a tiara behind a glass case that she might have a chance to try on for a minute or two.

Why does stupidity insist on being so obvious at times? Answer: To help us reach important decisions in our lives. These stupers enabled me to realize that I needed to walk in a different direction in order to make the right things happen in my life. Leftover ambition from my attorney days caused me to be a bit overzealous when it came to my tot’s pre-education. I needed to redirect my ambition…and trade-in the car.

Thanks to what I learned in M&M, I found a wonderful, caring preschool where I enrolled my child. It even had a clean bathroom.

Despite leaving Miss Margot’s tutelage, my son did get into a private school, and I learned how never to be a Stepford Wife. Sometimes a brush with stupidity can end up leaving a positive trail behind. It certainly did for me.

Think about it!