by LAURIE J. FROST
I don’t know why we’re so paranoid about being stupid.
I firmly believe being stupid is a natural function for us as humans. Everybody is stupid sometimes. How many times have you biffed it walking up a set of stairs? How many times have you told a joke that fell flat? (My friends and I instituted a defense against the disastrous punch line – you dance out of it. If your joke fails, just start dancing and you can pretend it never happened.)
It’s a tough pill to swallow – impending stupidity in our never-ending quest for coolness. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter how awesome you are or how much your outfit cost. You’re going to trip up someday.
Speaking of tripping, I took a pretty good little fall myself going up the Tanner stairs the other day. I caught a toe on the step – they’re always shorter than I think they are – and nearly ate it right there in front of all the little future Bill Gateses. I grabbed the handrail at the last second, swinging crazily to one side as my knees slammed into the glass.
It was such a dramatic biff that one of the business majors even looked over the top of his laptop screen at me. (This is a major feat, since nothing short of an earthquake could shake a business major from a laptop-induced coma.)
Did this stumble faze me? Not one bit. I strode up those stairs confidently with my chin held high.
Okay, I’m lying to you. I felt like an idiot (further solidifying my personal theory that when the Good Lord handed out balance, I was tying my shoe or something and missed it). But if I hadn’t fallen, he might never have looked up from that screen all day. That should warrant a “good turn daily” point instead of induction points into the Hall of Shame, right?
My “cool” side would say no. My cool side says I need to shrivel up and die of shame. Under no circumstance can I laugh at myself when I do something stupid, which happens just about every day. (My cool side also tells me I need to go blonde and straighten my hair and go tanning, but I just tell it I don’t think the Oompa Loompa look is for me.)
I think a good dose of laughing at ourselves can cure most embarrassments. But for some reason, we really hate people who just don’t care what we think about them.
Take this last week, for instance. The campaign race to be the figurehead of BYUSA is one of the most intense shows of stupidity our campus ever sees, short of football season. It’s crazy to see people running around in brightly colored sandwich signs, accosting people to research their candidate.
“Vote for what’s-his-name!” they squeal, shoving fliers in the faces of innocent bystanders. “If you vote for what’s-his-name, all your wildest dreams will come true!”
“What’s-his-name will stop global warming!”
“What’s-his-name promises free Jamba Juice to all who ask nicely for it!”
“What’s-his-name has a killer sense of style! Vote for him!”
But what’s crazier than this flurry of campaigning is that we’ve treated these people like they’re sub-human or something. I think we should applaud them instead for sticking their necks out and daring to be stupid in front of thousands of people. That’s something we only have the guts to do in our nightmares, like the nightmare where we’re doing a presentation in class and realize halfway through we’re standing in our underwear.
All I’m saying is this: take a look around. You see that guy in your class, the one with the carefully tousled hair and the Ipod? Yeah, his favorite movie is Mary Poppins. The girl over there with the expensive, spangled shoulder bag and the fake tan? She still sleeps with a Raggedy Ann doll, and she biffed it going up Maeser Hill because the heel snapped off her stilettos. The funny guy in your Bio 100 class once puked in front of his third grade class and he’s still embarrassed about it.
You see? We’re all idiots. We might as well enjoy it.