- Sasquatch tells you so.
- You stitch your loved-one’s name into your socks.
- Suddenly you start liking death metal.
- One afternoon you decide to make dioramas of the best scenes from Say Anything, but you replace the main characters with you and the person you love.
- You give up your religion, your family, and your community.
- Their goitre doesn’t bother you one bit.
- In conversation with your friends, you say “Their feet don’t smell that bad.”
- So their apartment’s infested. So what?
- You tell them you hate their sexual orientation.
- When you think about them you get nauseous. This could also be indicative of salmonella poisoning or existential angst.
A Specialized Editorial by Samuel Sharrington IV
If you’ve ever heard the expression “it’s not the dress that makes you look fat” then you understand the concept that it’s not the love that makes you stupid. You are being stupid, plain and simple. Just to reassure you, here are my Stupidity Credentials.
In high school I dated Lenore. An evangelical Christian at the time, she obsessed over the idea that we would never spend eternity together and gave this as a reason we couldn’t be together.
Not being together essentially involved being together when she felt like it and her feeling guilty afterwards. For months. Did I take the hint? Nope. I walked into it like the biggest slack-jawed yokel you ever did see. I might have unwittingly left out anything reflecting poorly on me, but we do have space limitations.
Later I fell for Penelope. We were together for some time and I never screwed up. Not once. Really. While at college she started spending time with Peter. Letters went unanswered and calls were less frequent. In each rare call Peter was mentioned more frequently. It’s easy to see that it came as a surprise when we broke up. Later Penelope and I dated intermittently.
I noticed several weeks into one Summer that while the season began with sex it was currently at a state of fully-clothed kissing. Like a puppy I was weaned, but unlike a puppy I didn’t know enough to raise a fuss about it until it was too late. Smart cookie, that one.
The next serious relationship was Scarlet. When she ended the relationship, I in no way behaved like a stalker and don’t suffer awkwardness with anyone involved to this day. Anyway, it took months to realize we were into each other. Things strolled along quite well for a while, but then something happened. That something was The Moon.
She stopped sleeping with me and rather than tell me it was over (or me realizing it was over) Scarlet blamed it on the phases of some four and a half billion year old rock in the sky. I don’t remember the breakup very well. Maybe it was based on chicken entrails or a Ouija board. Again, I did not behave in the worst, creepiest fashion of my life at the termination of this relationship. Really.
After some intermittent dating, I think I became smart as evidenced by my newfound desire to date a heroin addict. Melissa was rather active for a heroin addict and only occasionally (every third day or so) looked sickly, pallid and weak.
Her roommate Katrina was more fun. She liked to snort coke off of a framed picture of Captain Picard (which might have been autographed). I wanted her and she wanted me. She also wanted a few other people on the side. (I may have been the one on the side.) By gumption, I wasn’t falling for this again!
Right now I’m in a long-term relationship with the third roommate, Octavia. She rocks, and even so I’ve done plenty of stupid things. But we’ll have to leave those out for, again, lack of space.
So I’ve pretty well locked down my authority to say that the love’s not what makes you stupid. The stupid’s all on you. Remember: the next time you feel like telling someone that you have a rare tropical disease, rather than tell them you don’t want to be with them, just own up; and the next time you want to believe such a tale, don’t blame love for making you stupid.
Sharrington is the author of several books on national Middling-Seller Lists, including Nobody Understands Me, No Really Means No, Things Were Never That Good to Begin With: A Rebuttal to Things Will Never Be That Good Again, and Bleak Expanse: A Positivist Outlook on Relationships.
And What I Didn’t
There’s a somewhat popular poster than heralds “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Like all other mass-produced greeting-card-wisdom, that poster is full of enough bullshit to fertilize eight square miles of alfalfa fields.
You know what I learned in kindergarten? I learned fuck all. It was a complete waste of my time. For instance, in kindergarten I learned that there are twelve months in a year, I learned their names and I learned the seven days of the week. Neat, couldn’t have figured that out on my own, especially not with the free calendar I got at the supermarket. In kindergarten they also told me that grapes were purple, despite the fact that all the grapes I had ever seen were green, and they taught me that apples were red, despite the fact that my favorite apples were all green. I also learned that ‘a robot’ is not the appropriate response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
We also took the time to learn shapes. Now maybe this is important if you grow up to become an architect, but honestly, I could probably get through my whole life just fine if I had no idea what a circle or a triangle were called. Seriously, how often do triangles come up in your life? Really, even if it did become necessary at some point, you could look it up if you really had to know what to call a three sided figure.
In kindergarten I also learned to color. This is a really mindless activity. Some company has already produced a drawing and all I can do is add some color with my crayons. Not even oil pastels, crayons, just plain crayons. And what’s with this coloring nonsense anyway? It takes two or more people to be creative and make a picture? That’s not just bullshit, that’s called Communist indoctrination. “You’re not good enough!” these pictures screamed back at me “only collectively can we succeed.” Thank you Skyland Elementary of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or should I just go ahead and call you Comrade Stalin?
Of course there are many things that I’ve wished I could’ve learned in kindergarten, but apparently there wasn’t time, what with all that important information to get across in just one year, such as “B” is for ball. Here’s what I should have been taught in kindergarten.
You know when you wake up in a strange woman’s bed after a night of drunken debauchery and all you want to do is leave, but you can’t because she’s still asleep, and if you leave while she’s still asleep you’ll feel kind of weird?
You know that situation; where you’re in a stranger’s house, sober now, and naked, in front of someone you don’t actually know, because you can’t find your underwear. Couldn’t I have been taught the best way to deal with this situation? Couldn’t this have been included in the kindergarten curriculum?
It’s similar, but different. When your co-worker is cheating on her boyfriend with you, but then you issue an ultimatum telling her that she has to choose between her boyfriend and you and she chooses her boyfriend but then he dumps her a couple days later and she blames you for wrecking her relationship and work gets really weird and uncomfortable? What are you supposed to do in that situation? Couldn’t that have been brought up somewhere between naptime and the Hokey Pokey?
Or like the time when you see a guy get gunned down in the street and you have to sit and watch him die in the street while you wait for the police to get your statement and then you go to the police station and they have you take a seat while they wait to record your testimony and then they sit the murderer right across the table from you while they’re processing his booking. Isn’t that awkward? I still have no idea of how to behave in that situation, but I do know how to stack blocks. Isn’t that useful?
See, kindergarten has failed me, and it’s probably failed you too. It didn’t prepare us for life, hell it barely prepared us for first grade. We should all find our kindergarten teachers and collectively smack them around for half an hour. After all, they wasted a year of our lives. Sure, I can paste construction paper, but what am I supposed to do when I see my dad crying? Humph. Kindergarten, what a gyp.