Friday, March 25, 2011

On the Merits of Being Stupid

So I took time last night from my recent self-imposed exile from society to have dinner with my friend, Katie, and her lovely, talented daughter Tara. I was reading them my post from yesterday on Tara’s cell phone when Alexa said, “geez Laurie, how long is this?” I know blogs posts are supposed to be short and to the point, and honest I’m trying but really, I have a problem with rambling. And getting sidetracked. And in general, with keeping my mouth shut. That’s right, I talk a fucking lot.
In any case, how I got the concept for today’s post was when Tara was asking me about boys and how she should or shouldn’t act. I so hope she doesn’t mind me saying this on this blog. I sincerely doubt any of her potential suitors, or for that matter, than anyone is currently reading this blog, but on the off chance that someone in cyberspace does find this locale, and on the even more off chance that that someone is one of Tara’s gentleman callers, all I can say is her questions were totally hypothetical in nature and merely the function of human curiosity, and were not in any way, asked with regard to any specific situation or person. Now that that is cleared up, breathe, I will move on to my advice.
Tara is a teenager, but I believe this advice is pertinent to men and women of all ages. It is like most of my advice, counter to popular opinion, but today’s lesson for fighting anxiety, depression and general malaise, is to act stupid. This advice applies to all sorts of situations. In fact last night at dinner, I had the golden opportunity to test this advice to see if it really would work. When the server brought our dinner, a rogue spoon flew at me and grazed my hand. Don’t worry, I did not sustain any mentionable injuries. Quickly the waiter apologized, and without thinking, I said exactly what was on my mind.
“No problem, I rather enjoy having silverware thrown at me.” This made me laugh hysterically, and when Katie reported that the waiter gave off a smile when I said it, I laughed even harder because I was pleased with myself for entertaining the poor guy stuck in a career of food service, an industry in which I dabbled briefly, with very limited success, primarily because at the time I was incapable of multitasking. That was when I was seventeen and two long years before I had children. My oldest daughter asserts that still today, I would not make a good waitress because I am far too spacy. She is likely right, but I digress...
In any case, my “advice” to Tara, and to any one else, myself included who is in the process of getting themselves all in knots and contorted and other wise literally bent out of shape wondering “how to be” is, be stupid. That’s right, you heard it hear first on the “I can’t be serious blog”. I bet they didn’t teach you that in school. Or in the “real” world or on your first job.
Now you may say Laurie, as Tara did, “you are crazy”, and honestly, you may be right. But here’s the thing, I’d rather be “crazy” than be a panic attack waiting to happen because I’m not “being” the right way. Society, and t.v., and all that other crap and bullshit with which will fill our minds says we have to be a certain way. 
We have to be thin, two weeks after we give birth. We can not serve our children anymore than a medicine dropper full of juice during the week. We have to speak politely, we have to dress appropriately, we have to have our grass cut regularly, we have to drive expensive cars, we have to read every book that Oprah prescribes, we have to stop at Target on the way home and buy toilet paper and taco mix because they have the best prices in town. Then we have to clean our houses so they look like rooms in Better Homes and Gardens.
  Charge the batteries for the kid’s play so every.single.second of their childhood can be preserved for later enjoyment, I mean certainly you wouldn’t want to risk actually enjoying the event and not holding a video camera steady during the entire performance, God forbid. Shave your nether region into a shape befitting a US Airway’s jet liner’s home, perform every suggestion known to man from this months Cosmo in hopes that maybe you’ll strike sexual gold and your husband, or boyfriend (or wife or girlfriend, I’m not a sexist, men have it tough too, although let’s be honest, not nearly as tough as women) and he won’t cheat on you. Plant a garden. Join a pool. Keep your credit score in the seven hundreds while you simultaneously live well above your means, and at the end of the year, take a Christmas picture with you and yours in matching outfits, smiling graciously, so that you can tell the world you have managed to preserve perfection in your home and all is well. Do all of this and I assure you, you will be headed towards a nervous breakdown, or the most miserable, and meaningless life you can find in no time flat.
     Or Just fuck it. Now I don’t mean all the time. Yes, yes I know. Dishes have to be done, people need toilet paper, although I can tell you, my family has managed for weeks with just tissues and everyone’s ass is doing fine. Sometimes a play needs to be videotaped, though I would argue not every play needs to be videotaped. But if you want to keep doing all of these things when hard times come, and trust me, if you haven’t seen any yet, they are on their way(sorry to be the messenger of doom but that is life), you have to learn the coping skill of being stupid. Even when you aren’t in hard times, you can keep your stress level down, and yourself off anti-depressants designed to make you function like superwoman on crack, simply by living life as it should be lived from time to time, for sheer pleasure. I think if more people acted stupid there would be less anxiety and fewer addictions. There would be fewer obese people and fewer bad relationships. When people take themselves and their shit soo seriously, that’s when problems arise, because let’s face it, life is fucking hard. No need to complicate by acting all uptight and overzealous.
   So if you are on a diet, go eat a cream donut. Not every day mind you, but say once a week.  Or drink a shamrock shake for breakfast with booze( unless you are an alcoholic, then probably don’t do that; and don’t do this everyday, or you might become an alcoholic). Everyday you can say something ridiculous and unexpected. Text somebody when you are not supposed to because some asinine dating manual says that is a no no. Skip through the mall, instead of walking. Ask someone in a store, a customer mind you, not an associate, for their opinion on something, and watch their face light up. Everybody loves to feel important and like an expert. Need someone. Love someone, whether they love you back or not. Forget about being angry... or slam your car door as hard as you can while exclaiming your favorite expletive. Go to the movie theater and just buy popcorn and take it home to eat.  Have your nails painted some ridiculous color because you like it, instead of getting the safe french manicure or petal pink. You get the point. Do the contrary instead of the ordinary. It may not change the world, but little by little , it might change your life, or at least for the time being, make it a bit more tolerable. Until tomorrow, blogosphere. P.S. If any one is out there reading, I would so love to hear from you.  


  1. since having a child, i struggle with perfection on a daily basis. everything is so much more hightened now. i didn't get my christmas cards out this year, and i actually felt like a bit of a failure. i find myself screeming at my husband if one or our "spring seasoned" couch pillows is not centered, or heaven forbid he puts a "ball" in the "train" basket. Seriously, who have i become. im obsessed with perfection, and i think its killing me a little bit each day. i love todays message. i need to read it as a reminder everyday.

  2. Good idea, but I find that acting really, really smart works just as well, since the average person is too stupid to know the difference.