As this Holiday season nears its apex I am often filled with the Christian generosity and good cheer the season is so often about. It’s a very tough feeling to hold onto for any length when confronted with stupidity. Well, it’s not even stupidity; it’s when people assume that I’m stupid instead of giving me the benefit of intelligence.
Case in point, the other day (as Chicagoans say, which can mean yesterday or sometime in the last two weeks) I came home from work on a very cold, windy day and saw one of my neighbors talking outside the apartment building with another person. I have seen this young lady neighbor several times in the building. She lives on the opposite side of the building and our windows face each other. We’ve even had a conversation or two while getting our mail in the lobby. So as I walked passed them to the front door of the apartment building I gave a friendly nod and unlocked the door. It occurred to me that it’s quite cold out and these two are standing outside, talking. I turned to them while holding the door open and said, “It’s pretty cold out. Wouldn’t you rather talk in the lobby?”
My young lady neighbor looked at me and said, “What?”
I repeated myself and continued to hold the door. She looked at me and said that she was fine and, “I live here”.
“No effing Sh*t you live here, I know you live here”, I thought to myself but I didn’t say it. I just nodded it off and walked into the building shaking my head. Clearly this girl knows me. She’s seen me before, but for some reason she assumed I was stupid. And it made me mad.
I usually try to give everyone the opportunity to be intelligent first; you have to show me you’re a moron by what you say or how you act. Most of the time, I’m going to assume people have the ability to act appropriately in the world without drooling on themselves like they’re whacked out on Thorazine. Unfortunately, people keep proving me wrong.
They walk too slowly on the sidewalks, blocking everyone’s path, as they try to get through their iPod of iPhone playlist so they have just the right bass line thudding in their ears when they walk through the doors at work. Or the geniuses that board the train first but then stand right in the doorway blocking the ingress of everyone behind them. Or the smartys that want to debate your political beliefs in the bar because all they know about politics is what they heard from someone else that day and don’t know anything about history or how the political machine actually works. Let me catch my breath here. I’m a little worked up.
So in this Christmas season and my last article until next week, please try to act like you’ve a brain in your head and try very hard to believe other people do to. (even if they don’t, it’s the season for miracles).
I hope everyone, smart or stupid, has a wonderful Holiday.
P.S. Santa is real and he’ll get you.