Thursday, December 01, 2011

December 2: Matt Damon Doesn't Think You're Stupid

December 2 Reverb Broads Prompt: "What is the stupidest thing you did this year? What about in your whole life? You can take stupid to mean: embarrassing, dangerous, funny, lame, whatever you consider "stupid." via me, actually
Joe and I quote a line from the Matt Damon movie The Rainmaker at each other quite often, really anytime we do something goofy or accidental or absentminded.  The movie was good but not particularly quotable except for this one scene. It's about a court case against an insurance company that refuses to pay for a cancer treatment for a woman's son and the insurance company sends her a letter that begins, "You must be stupid, stupid, stupid." It's a horrible thing to say to a mother struggling to save her son. But having just dropped a full glass bottle of vanilla, leaving it to shatter on the tile kitchen floor, it sounds really funny coming from your husband in his fake Southern accent while you try to clean it up.

I did lots of dumb little things this year: tripping on nothing at all, opening my big mouth when I probably shouldn't, yelling at people in traffic when my windows are down and they can hear me call them "motherf*&$r" quite loudly, being sarcastic when it's not necessary because it's easy, making a joke to smooth over awkward situations when sometimes awkward is ok, lots of things. I can't think of one major stupid thing I did this year, but more many little lame, embarrassing things. Or those small disappointing things, like looking up and realizing it's already December and some of the goals I set for myself for the year aren't going to be accomplished. I guess that's stupid. It's stupid that I let myself down. It's stupid that the same struggles I've dealt with since high school, weight loss etc, are still some things I struggle with daily. But for me it's not the stupid action or inaction or mistake itself that matters. It's the way you handle it. It's brushing yourself off when you trip on the top step of the busiest building on campus and know that 40 people just watched you bite it, smiling, waving to the crowd and walking away. It's figuring out what went wrong and why and refocusing with new ideas and a new approach. It's laughing in the face of your own ridiculousness. It's apologizing when your stupidity has hurt someone else, as stupid things often do. But we all make bad decisions, foul up, screw ourselves, trip over our tongues or our feet, it's just being human. I like thinking about this. It makes me feel like I'm in some kind of klutzy, loveable, gangly club of misfits. And I like that.
 Ok, here is the stupidest, most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. It still haunts my dreams:
I'm twelve years old and my parents take my little brother and me on a little weekend getaway to the Ozarks. One of our last family trips before my parents got divorced. Silver Dollar City, the Passion Play, several cheesy carnival rides and games, and the one I was most looking forward to, BUMPER BOATS!! Like bumper cars on water, driving my own boat, permission to violently run into other people, yes!! I enjoyed my 10 minutes of bumper boat action, tooling along in the small pond of water crowded with many other preteens trying to crash and knock each other around. My time was up, I steered my way to the side, the last kid to get out since I wanted my maximum time on the water. I pulled up to the ladder where I needed to dock the boat, reached up for the hand of the teenage attendant who was positioned to assist me as I de-boarded my boat and exactly at that moment, the teenage attendant looked away, turned to talk to someone behind him, missed my reaching hand, and I plunged into the water, waist deep and soaked. So this is a bit of a problem. Not only am I wet and humiliated, standing waist deep in a pond of dyed blue theme park water, the cute boy attendant is vaguely apologetic, while laughing hysterically, but worse than that we were about two hours away from our hotel and a change of clothes. We had tickets to a show that started in about two hours. So no time to get back to the hotel, no dry clothes in sight, no chance to avoid more humiliation in my wet pleated acid washed jean shorts. What solution did my parents come up with? Let's go to the laundromat and dry your clothes. Ok, that's a reasonable solution, but I ended up sitting in the back seat of our station wagon for 45 minutes wrapped in an itchy blanket scavenged from our trunk, wearing nothing below the waist. I'm twelve years old and couldn't be more embarrassed if I were sitting completely naked in the backseat. I could have sworn that everyone walking past our car knew that I was naked below the waist, because the world revolves around every 12 year old girl.
Today's prompt is for our brand new Reverb Broads blogging group for December. In case you missed it, our group of witty, lovely, intelligent bloggers will be writing on a variety of clever, interesting, silly prompts for all 31 days of the month. Go here or here to learn more and join us in the writing madness! 


Kristendom said...

I am now totally going to feel the need to say that quote to myself every time I do something dumb. Awesome.
And great 12-year-old story - completely mortifying. I feel your pain.

DanaCK said...

OMG this is AWESOME. I think I might be more creeped out by the blue water than by sitting pantsless in the back of the car, though. ;)

lanie@ plumb tuckered said...

Oh, dear god. No.

Emily said...

Dear 12-year-old Kassie (see how I'm incorporating yesterday's theme? I'm so meta)

Some day, the idea of being out in public with no pants will seem like the most wonderful thing in the world. I know you can't imagine it now, but some day, you will dream of being pantsless whenever you want.

Much love,
Your mid-30's self's mid-30's friend

Madge said...

Fish and I use that quote all the time!! I love it.

I can only imagine how slow time must have passed sitting wrapped in that blanket.

Anonymous said...

matt know how to pick films! WBAZ was a good choice. looking forward to seeing it.

Katrina said...

For a 12 year old- that would be horrifying!