Monday, January 16, 2017

Love your inner idiot.

Here is a summer image of the Hooksett
Rest area, where inner idiots have
plenty of room to run loose.
As happens to everyone, from time to time my inner idiot gets loose and I do a thing I hope nobody saw me do, like falling up the stairs.

Inner idiots can live inside smart people.

It's one of the best things about maturity to realize that you can do a stupid thing without being stupid, and that it's better to be unthinking than thinking hard when your inner idiot gets away from you.

Loving your inner idiot is essential for two reasons. First, because we all have one, and second, because you risk becoming intellectually obnoxious  if every once in a while you don't repeatedly "push" the "pull" door at the tire store. Or, wonder why the nozzle at the pump won't fit your tank before you realize it's because you're trying to put diesel fuel in your car. Or, drive your vehicle with low clearance over a short snow bank because you feel your will alone will keep it from getting stuck midway which it won't.

Loving your inner idiot assures you'll have sympathy and not contempt for yourself when you have to have your car towed off the bigger-than-it-looked snow bank.

Inner idiots are usually specialized. Mine is a car specialist and almost every stupid thing I do involves my vehicle, despite how I adore it. Otherwise, my common sense is fully engaged and operates without problems. 

Last weekend, I left New Hampshire for a shop day in Boston with my daughter. We'd had snow the night before which left the roads wet, which means you should expect to use your washer fluid every five or six seconds.

Right before I hit the highway, I ran out of washer fluid, which I know is blue. No problem, I thought, I'll stop at the Hooksett Rest Area where they sell everything, or something that looks like it, in one of their many stores that take up the area of a small town, and are unsightly even if they are useful.

Inside the plaza was a pyramid of about 200 hundred jugs of washer fluid which I passed on my way to ask the information man at the desk if he knew where I could buy any. 

He frowned, "Well, there's some right there," he said, pointing.

Back inside the car, I began to look for the hood release which I'd never used in two years.  It was nowhere, not on the underside of the seat, not on the steering column, not hidden discreetly on the inside of the door. Furthermore, I'd taken the owner's manual out to make room for something else, never mind what.

I googled and found instructions. The first, very secretive step of two required I pull an unmarked, small flap until I heard the hood pop. If I traveled to the front of the car next, I would easily locate the latch to complete the raising of the hood. This part was true.

Under the hood lay a foreign land of cables and hoses and other things I don't know the name of but nothing that looked like a washer fluid reservoir. There was only one fluid receptacle at all, and the fluid in it was pink, not blue. In several spots on the container were tiny warnings and danger icons.

Back inside the car, I googled and found a picture of what the reservoir looked like. Here it is:



Back outside though, I found nothing under the hood that looked like a oddly shaped milk jug with a blue hat. 

It was eight degrees, the wind had picked up, I had no gloves on, and I'd parked where I wouldn't attract attention. But looking around now, I hoped I would. In front of the car I stood with my jug, looking ridiculous.

A car pulled over. The window came down and a man leaned forward.

"Excuse me," he said, "do you know where to put that?" 

And here is why it's good to love your inner idiot. You're not embarrassed to introduce it to others.

"I don't have any idea,"  I said to the man. "I can't find it."
He got out of the car, walked over and said, "Let's see, maybe it's tucked away somewhere. With a little brush of his glove, he located it under some snow.

"I'll tell you what," he said. "You hold my glasses – they're too expensive to drop again, and I'll take care of this." 

Possibly the man had an experience where he left his expensive glasses in a place he couldn't remember. Possibly they fell off his head when he was looking down into a canyon. Possibly his inner idiot specializes in losing things.

But all of us have one, and they're all really good at something. 

And just the same, we can be pretty good people. Just the same.


15 comments:

  1. You have captured me perfectly. And a lesson I'm trying to teach my 11-year-old right now. We all do stupid things. It does not make us a stupid person. Mine seem to always always always transpire around technology.

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    1. It's great when you can laugh at things that used to embarrass you. And some new ones, too.

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  2. Only yesterday! My husband and I were walking by part of the lodge where we are staying for the weekend. I looked up and said, "Now we should stay there next time - that's lovely." My partner in life looked up, thinking I was kidding. "Margaret, that's our room." Love this article and am sharing!

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    1. I like things like that, they make us a little like everyone. pretty much always answer questions incorrectly at the tire store now and I've embraced that.

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  3. I think mine are twins! What a great way to look at it! We all do stupid things and that doesn't mean we are stupid. Loved this!

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    1. Thank you Rena! I haven't even started on appliance repair.

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  4. I LOVE this! My inner idiot invariable surfaces when I'm juggling too many balls and I do things like write down a lunch date on the wrong day, or forget to write it down entirely. I'm glad to now know there's another entity I can blame it on.

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    1. We were all created with an inner idiot, but some people are in inner idiot denial, still. I hope this post will help them. As for you and me, we are just more approachable because we love our inner idiots.

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  5. It is great we can laugh with our inner idiots. We all know people who would never admit to theirs but quick to tell about someone else's. It really takes a certain amount of self confidence and maturity to partner with, and accept your inner idiot!

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    1. Haralee, I love this comment. Thank you!

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  6. I love when stories like this have a happy ending - what a lovely man to come to your assistance. But at the same time, I've fallen up stairs before today and not seen something right under my nose - it's the human condition isn't it - and stops us getting too proud!

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    1. I forgot about not seeing things and asking where they are. I actually just did that. I've gotten used to it, I think. And yes, it was really a nice thing that he did, I'll pay that one forward.

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  7. Sounds much like a story I could say everyday. I find my inner idiot often looks for lost things that are in PLAIN SIGHT! Like looking for my car keys, while they are in my hand, searching for my phone that I just plugged in the charger, even looking for the dog leash that is already on the dog. Been there,too. Loved the post.

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    1. I once tried to look up my dentist's number in the dictionary, and on a pretty regular basis, I look for my phone while I'm on it. We should get t-shirts for our little club.

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  8. My inner idiot mostly works in the area of online shopping. I'll order something, try it on, sort of like it, rip off (or even cut out) tags and then discover the next day that I don't really like that garment after all.
    Impulse control, it's hard.

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