I'm not sure about the former."
- Albert Einstein
"Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."
- Abraham Lincoln
I call my moments of complete idiocy "brain freeze" or "mom brain." Like the time I pushed and pushed the entrance to a restaurant until my eye-rolling daughter said "Mom, you PULL." Fortunately, I'm not a public figure, where some cell phone camera is recording my every dumb move. Or twittering it to the world.
What happens in our brains that makes normally thoughtful people do stupid stuff? Are we just so darned busy all the time that, every now and then, common sense takes a holiday?
Like my friend's son telling the traffic cop that it makes no sense to do the speed limit when the road is empty of other cars.
Like the headline writer who recently wrote this gem: Cost Of Being Poor Rising.
Like the resume that included this skill: "I have a keen eye for derail."
Like the warning label on a drain opener I opened this week:
IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR CANNOT READ ALL DIRECTIONS AND WARNINGS, DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT.
Like the survey line for the stream buffer behind my house that suddenly moved farther away from an office building. Bet the judge will find that one really funny.
Like the mom who called the Nature Center four times this week to find out if her six year old child is too old for a preschool class (3 and 4 year olds). (If you don't like the answer the first time, try, try again!)
Like our top-heavy school administration that includes well paying positions like GRADUATION COACH or ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL (I made up that latter one, but it isn't far off the reality!)
Like the support desk person who begins the scripted help protocol with "did you reboot the computer, ma'am?" after I said "I've rebooted the computer."
Like the hospital technician who flips on the overhead light at 3 in the morning, asks brightly, "how are you sleeping?" and proceeds to take those well timed vitals.
There's a little Forrest Gump in all of us. As a child of the South and operating at a significant cognitive disadvantage, Forrest has a refreshing acceptance of his imperfections as he tries to do the right thing. "Are you stupid, son?" "Stupid is as stupid does, sir!"
Perhaps innate kindness and some humility prevent us from saying, "that's stupid!" But we Southerners have a perfect response that means exactly the same thing:
"Bless your heart."