Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why yes, I did ask another parent if she were an escort...

In case it is not ragingly clear, I have this embarrassing tendency to say exactly what I think in situations, even when it would be more prudent to hold my tongue.

I will give you a few examples. I toyed with the idea of being a Montessori teacher for quite some time and ultimately decided against it. The other day, I ran into one of my kids' former teachers and she asked me if I was still considering teaching. Me: "No, I decided I wouldn't be the best at it because I only really like smart kids."

Another time, my kids and I were at a Saturday afternoon Halloween party where the grown-ups were all milling about upstairs while a magician entertained our kids in the basement. One of the new parents in Jojo's class was dressed in a very fancy outfit and I asked her about it (since the rest of us looked like we were getting ready for dinner at Applebee's). She said she was about to go to work. Me: "Are you an escort?" I swear, it sounded funny in my head. It turned out that she is a violinist for the Lyric Opera.

Happily, I am the first to admit this flaw in myself (and in case you are concerned, the "escort" is now one of my closest friends). I am also the first to recognize that I am frequently wrong about things. I say this not because I feel that I am wrong about anything, but in the future, when I happen to be wrong about something, you can remember this about me.

I used to ask this question in college (which now has been spun out and derivated into an FB phenomena that bears no resemblance to my original question but trust me, it came from my brain): If you were any character in the Hundred Acre Wood, who would you be?

Now most people would say Pooh or Piglet or Kanga or CR. Some of my type A friends might admit to being Rabbit. And my ADD friends mostly answered Tigger. My stage crew theatre friends always said Eeyore. You get the idea.

But me, I was Owl. I have always been Owl. Since I was really little, people would come to me for answers and I would be able to provide them.

You are saying to yourselves that it figures I would choose the smart character. But this is where you are forgetting the nature of Owl. Owl is definitely NOT the smartest character in the 100 Acre Woods. Pooh is. Owl THINKS he is the smartest character in the woods and in his utter confidence, he convinces everyone that he is the smartest. He can't even spell his name right if you recall but that does not stop everyone from going to him as the reading authority.

My friend Ally once caught me spouting misinformation on something and asked me why I was discussing something of which I had no idea. My answer, "Uh, because he asked me about it." Obv.

Apparently, it was not obv to Ally because she then asked why I didn't just say I didn't know. I had to further explain myself, "You see Ally, people are asking because they want an answer. They don't want to hear, 'I don't know.' 'I don't know' is a non-answer and it sucks. I am a provider of answers. Sometimes I am right and sometimes I am wrong but I always have an answer. If nothing else, you can count on me for that."

Ally still likes me (I hope) but she also is the first one to point out that I have no idea what I am talking about. And I love Ally for this.

So now, please consider yourselves officially warned. If you are drinking this Koolaid, you know that it is spiked with a lot of Awesome and an occasional shot of Suck.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

What you need is a subscription to Modern Jackass (Matt has one). They publish *all* the answers!
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/293/a-little-bit-of-knowledge

Paige said...

I thought that our need to always answer a question was a product of our father. As for me, as I never considered myself Owl, but rather a product of being able to 'talk out your rear', I now say "I'm a librarian, I don't know all the answers, I just know where to find them!" :-)

Matt Kuzma said...

Cindy is correct. Modern Jackass is an amazing source for evidence that supports all of the ridiculous explanations I make up and vaguely remember reading somewhere.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh man, I often forget to filter my thoughts from spewing out of my mouth, and more often forget that my sense of humor might be offensive to those more....um, delicate and/or classy/civilized than myself. My heart is in the right place.

Anyway, you're safe with me. I cannot be offended and find humor and goodness in nearly every situation.

Fun blog you have here.
Hugs,
Lola