Friday, June 25, 2010

Have I mentioned that I'm a little bit dumb?

"Who me?" Yes, you!

Evidence from this week, for your consideration...

1. Grace's latest trick is to take whatever she's holding in her hands: a tube of lip gloss, car keys, a hairbrush, a spoon, a rattle, and wave it wildly in your face. She's like, "Look! Things! That I'm holding!" The problem with this is that she will flap her arms crazily and totally whack you in the face with any and all of the aforementioned objects. She does this every time. I know that she will do this if I hand her something to hold and play with while I'm carrying her. I keep getting pummeled. So, why do I keep giving her things to hold? Have you ever wondered how awesome it feels to get smacked on your collarbone with a mobile phone? I will tell you. It does not feel awesome. Dumb.

2. This week, I was walking into Ava's school to pick her up at the end of the day. I noticed an older lady approaching the school from the opposite direction. We smiled at each other, in that kind of I don't know you but we're here for the same reason kind of way. I walked through the school gate a good ten paces ahead of her. And as I'm walking, I start to think that I know her--that she's this particular grandmother of a student and that we've had a few conversations recently. She's still a little bit behind me, but I didn't want to be rude. So, I stopped, turned around and breezily called out, "How are you today?" She blinked. She said, "Pardon?" And then I realized. Crap. It's not the lady I thought it was.

It was one of those weird moments with a stranger--I don't know if you've ever had one--where you accidentally overstep the we don't know each other boundary. And they're kind of going, "Wow aren't you overly friendly?" And they think you're a little weird. And you know that they think you're a little weird. Because you are. So, after she said "Pardon?", I just decided to play through. I repeated my question and then did my best to make a clean extraction. Am I the only one that sees social interactions as a special forces mission? I sped to Ava's classroom. Embarrassing! I have a tendency sometimes to think people are people that they aren't. And then they sort of think I'm an idiot. You know? Dumb.

3. Last night, I met my friend Rosemary for coffee. We stayed out late chatting and it was about a quarter to 11 when I got in the car to come home. I was tired, it was cold outside, and I was ready to get home. I turned the radio up and sped toward home. About 15 minutes into my drive, I started hearing this high-pitched wailing sound. At first, I thought it was the radio. But I turned the music off, and I could hear it even more. It got louder. I couldn't figure out what it was.

Then, I start feeling and hearing this kind of thumping from under the front of the car. And I got scared. I started to feel panic coming on. Now, don't judge me, okay? It was late, it was dark, and the road was lonely. The wailing sound, coupled with the thumping made me think that I had hit something without realizing it. Like, an animal or something. And that it was still alive, stuck under the car. (Dad--stop laughing at me!)

I remember seeing a preview once for a horror movie where these teenagers accidentally hit a hitchhiker with their car. Remember that movie? I didn't see it, but I remember Jennifer Love Hewitt was in it and wore lots of tank tops. As you would, if you're Jennifer Love Hewitt. And like in "The Princess Bride", the hitchhiker is only mostly dead. Major badness ensues. I thought I was having a similar experience. I start to talk to myself and think, Okay, there's an injured something stuck under my car! It's thumping!! What am I gonna do? Ewwww!

All this transpired over about 45 seconds. About this time, I stopped at a red light. The road was deserted, except for one other car who pulled up beside me. The driver, an older man, rolled his window down. I rolled my passenger window down. "Do you know that your car is smoking?", he said. Well, I do now. Why didn't I look at the temperature gauge and realize what was happening? Instead, I assume that there is an evil, wounded hitchhiker and/or a wailing animal stuck under my car, plotting my demise. Dumb. Really dumb.

My dumbness has already made this a long post, but I will tell you that the nice, older man stopped on the side of the road late at night in the freezing cold and put water back into the radiator. (Or whatever it is you put water in. See? Dumb.) And then, when I got back on the road, the car overheated again. I had to ditch the car at midnight, call Jason, and he called my friend Holly to come pick me up.

By that time, I decided I would not tell anyone that I thought I was about to be killed by a crazed wombat or psychopath under my car. Cause, wouldn't you agree, that's kind of embarrassing?


  1. Oh dear! to think that I put you through that last night, so sorry!
    I was actually wondering how you figured your car was overheating (coz honestly who looks at those temp gauges unless you drive an old bomb like we used to until last year:)) So...don't feel dumb about that or the other stuff coz you're not, you just have a lot going on!

  2. I always wave at people I think I know, and leave them looking very confused and wondering if they really know me! And the answer is no, you don't really know me! And then I totally ignore people I actually am supposed to know but I'm not sure who they are, and I look like I'm quite the snob, which I'm really not. Honestly!

  3. Oh my, what a night. No, I do not think you are dumb. Do you know how many people would not even have a clue about the social nuances of which you are aware?
    I would have driven off with dust in my path if a man pulled up next to me and said my car had a problem. (Anyone seen the movie "Zodiac"????) And then I would have stalled and then died of a nervous breakdown. I think you did wayyyy alright.

  4. Amy, Now I will refute your various claims of Dumbness:
    1. You are giving Grace tactile experiences as any baby needs.(Just watch those corneas as she swings things in your face!)
    2. You're a friendly, open person seeking connections with others.That lady you came across would LIKE to know you. Her loss.
    3. Cars are big mysterious things. Who on earth can fathom their inner lives? I would also have assumed I had hit and was dragging a large hairy zombie or such. That would scare me to break down in the middle of the night all by myself. You handled the situation well.
    How nice there was a person to help you and another one to come pick you up.

  5. The other night I had a long conversation with a boy at the drive-through of McDonalds thinking he was the boyfriend of my bud's daughter. HE WAS NOT. Now he thinks I am a batty old lady hitting on him. Wow, I am a winner.

  6. I was thinking of pointing out your well documented high IQ, but then I read on about the imagined mostly dead hitchhiker being dragged under the car and...

  7. Okay, you're totally in the clear with all of these because that sound under the car was totally going to be a zombified wombat. Or a wombified zombat. Not good.

    And were you wearing your glasses in scenario 2?

  8. Thanks guys, but I'm still not convinced. As as for my IQ,Dad--that was a long time ago. I'm pretty sure I've sloughed off some brain cells since then.

    Ginny--hi! I do the same thing. Including the not saying hello when I actually DO know the person.

    Michele--I know, normally I would've been too freaked out to stop, but the car WAS in fact smoking, and the dude had a fatherly vibe. Maybe the Zodiac guy did too, though. :)

    Maggie--That made me laugh! I could totally see myself doing that. I'm sure he just thought you were chatty. ;)

    Beck--I did have my glasses on actually, which makes it all the more embarrassing. And--ZOMBATS! Love it.

  9. Here, this will make you feel better: I was headed out of Pittsburgh yesterday on a lovely Sunday morning, stopped in traffic for a red light and there are 2 white-haired ladies selling flowers on the sidewalk. I see an elderly gentleman buying a bouquet of roses and I think, *Aw, How sweet, he's still buying roses for his wife* (and who knows why he was buying them) and the scene was just so pleasant, I kid you not, I gave him a thumbs up.
    Thumbs up to someone I *knew* I didn't know.
    He just looked at me, probably way confused. And I felt like a boob.

    My grandmother and I just discussed how we are both likely to profusely (but sincerely) compliment strangers in the grocery checkout, too.

    And I think, living in Australia, that wailing sound could've been *anything.*

  10. I don't know what this says about me, but I don't think that any of these things are dumb. Well, maybe letting the kid whack you in the face with a lipstick...