I’ve been thinking a lot lately about common sense.
Like, some people have this in spades, and some people – well, they just don’t. And I guess sometimes, depending on the person, that’s cute. You know, like some people, you’re all, “Aw! That’s so Raven,” or whatever. And sometimes you want to kick them in the head and tell them to smarten up, because survival of the fittest, bucko, go for a long walk in the woods and don’t bring a compass and I hear there are bears because you’re really too dumb to live.
I think I kind of fall in the middle. About most things, I am eminently practical. I inherited a very common-sensical gene from both parents. They don’t see a lot of magic, my parents, in things. They see things as they are. If there is a problem: how can they solve it, or, if it can’t be solved, that is too bad about that problem. I got a lot of that from them.
Then somehow I got, also, this weird insane throwback hippie gene where some people would see a tree and I’d see a magic portal into another universe, and who knows where that came from. I can’t explain that one. No one on either side of my family is really all that prone to flights of fantasy. I blame too many books as a child. Well, not “blame.” It’s not a blame-thing. Can you even imagine how boring life would be if you DIDN’T look at a cat and imagine it wearing a little suit of clothing and a mustache every once and a while? SO boring, is the answer.
Now, I am not qualified to get all Heinakroon on you, because he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I am, and I think if I tried to get all sciency, I’d sound like I was speaking gibberish, but apparently, those of us (own horn, toot toot, sorry) with high IQ’s are predisposed to override our common sense when making decisions. There are those of us who are able to do both, but apparently we’re a “rare breed of genius.” I can only do both SOME of the time. I’m an OCCASIONAL rare breed of genius, I guess.
Now, that’s nice, and, in my life, having known a lot of very intelligent people (like calls to like, I think, and I really enjoy the company of intelligent people, because what the hell do I have to talk about with people who are dummies? Nothing, is what) I have to agree with this, for the most part – we do some really, really boneheaded things, from time to time. The statement “For such a smart person, that was a really dumb move” comes up a lot in reference to both myself and my friends. You know, like a “headdesk” moment, if you’re internet-savvy? It’s a total headdesk moment. I’m not saying we have them ALL THE TIME. Just more than you’d think a person should. It’s not that we’re dumb, I don’t think. It’s that we have a LOT ON OUR MINDS. And that we’re really busy using up those brain cells for other things, so we do things like fall down staircases, or drive into signposts, or file an entire cart of files incorrectly, or something along those lines. Not that any of those things have happened to me. Those were PURELY HYPOTHETICAL THINGS.
But not everyone is this absent-minded professor type. I mean, MOST people aren’t this absent-minded professor type, right? I mean, I looked this up, and the average person has an IQ of about 100, and that’s like, middle-of-the-road IQ. That’s like the normal-person IQ. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, people with this IQ! That’s perfectly acceptable! It is JUST A NUMBER! Anyway, so that’s the average person, and they’re not all brilliant and shit. So what the hell’s wrong with them and why don’t they have any common sense?
Things that have confused me lately that seem to be total common sense:
- People not looking, like, at ALL, when they drive, so there are a lot of people getting hit and killed in crosswalks, and then they interview the driver and the driver’s all “I didn’t even SEE her!” and they interview a bystander and the bystander’s all “Um, the pedestrian was wearing hot pink and waving a huge flag, I don’t know how the driver missed her.” Common sense thing: LOOKING BEFORE YOU DRIVE THROUGH A CLEARLY MARKED CROSSWALK, you’re driving a CAR, for the love of Pete
- People being confused when their identity is stolen, but they say things like “but that person seemed totally trustworthy that I MET ONLINE so I gave them my Social Security number.” Common sense thing: Realizing that the internet is where liars live, and not trusting anyone there with anything too important, like your social security number, your home address, your date of birth, or the location of where you’ve buried your gold bricks.
- Calling your doctor’s office/garage/HVAC technician’s office at 5:30 pm on a Saturday and being both confused AND upset they’re not open. Common sense thing: Have you heard the term “business hours?” Yep. So have BUSINESSES.
- Getting really pissed at “the man” for things that are your fault: speeding tickets, parking tickets, tickets for not moving over for emergency vehicles, etc. Common sense thing: You know the damn law, and if you don’t, you shouldn’t be driving, really. You agreed to follow the law when you got behind the wheel. Who likes tickets? No one. But you played, so now you pay, Jackass Jones. That isn’t the cop’s fault, as much as they annoy me sometimes, too. They have a job to do, same as you do, whatever your job is, being entitled, or whatever. Your best revenge? Don’t give them a REASON to ticket you. Then they leave EMPTY-HANDED. Muah-hah-hah.
- Getting to the register at a store after waiting in a long line and taking an hour to get out your money, your credit card, your store rewards card, your coupons, whatever. Common sense thing: YOU HAD SO MUCH TIME WHILE YOU WERE WAITING. Why didn’t you use your time productively? Listen, at any given time? I’m doing like SEVENTEEN THINGS. I don’t think I haven’t been multitasking once for the past YEAR. I’m usually even doing something while I SLEEP. You can’t be bothered to pull out your money while you wait in line? You know what that says to me? “You, people behind me, and you, person behind the register, your TIME, it means NOTHING to me. I am Oz! The Great and Terrible! And all you are is dust in the wind!” Eff you, babe.
- And don’t even get me started about relationships. They’re tougher, because common sense totally goes out the window when sex gets thrown in the mix (see Heinakroon’s post about sexy monkeys if you want more information on this, because, as stated, he’s sciency and I’m just rambly) and I get it, it’s tough when your penis or vagina are doing the thinking for you. I get it. I do. They are LOUD TALKERS and use ANIMATED HAND GESTURES and it’s VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE THEM. I am not exempt, my little tomatillos. But sometimes don’t you just want to shake someone – or, hell, YOURSELF, when it’s a relationshippy thing and it’s stupid and it’s common-effing-SENSE that it’s bad news or the same shit over and over and yet you or the person who’s come to you for advice or whoever the person in question is just keeps dorby-dorbing forward, ignoring the “caution!” and the “dropoff ahead” and the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON” signage? Common sense thing: Shit, I don’t know. Don’t get into relationships would seem to be the answer, but that’s just sad. Avoid assholes? How about avoid assholes. There. That’ll be easy, right? RIGHT. Sigh.
There are millions more. MILLIONS more. Like, more than I even care to THINK about, more. I mean, that’s what the Darwin Awards are about every year, right? Like, common sense things? And people dying because they don’t have any? Common sense, I mean?
So what’s going on, exactly? Is it that we all have a million things on our minds, and we’re all so distracty that common sense goes right out the window? Is it that we’re so all self-entitled that we just don’t give a shit about anyone else’s comfort, or time, or, in some extreme cases, people’s LIVES, so it’s not so much that we’re not using our common-sense-bones, it really has nothing to do with common sense at all, it’s just rudeness, pure and simple, we just don’t give a shit because it’s ALL ABOUT US ALL THE TIME? I’m completely serious. @heinakroon! You need to be sciency about this, because I don’t have that kind of brain. I’m not saying I was BAD in science, I was actually very GOOD in science, but this is already too long and it’s making my head hurt. You’re good at making things organize-y. ORGANIZE THIS FOR ME @HEINAKROON.
As for me, I’m going to be 85% practical and 15% seeing sparkly things in the clouds, which seems like a decent mix, overall? Because we all need a little magic. But also, I think we need some hard-headed practicality, because it’s the practical people who are getting shit done while the sparkly rainbow magic people are riding invisible unicorns, you know?
And I’m going to look out for signposts and try not to drive into them this year, because those things come out of NOWHERE sometimes. Damn, yo.
(Title from a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. I’m on a poet kick! No, I do NOT recommend you kick a poet. STOP KICKING POETS.)