Monday, July 1, 2013

How do people know so many things? Am I Dumb?

I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person, but there are a lot of simple concepts that I have absolutely no excuse for not understanding.

Some examples: Time, dates, and places - someone send me back to grade school Billy Madison style ASAP.

TIME: I could not read an analog clock until...I pretty much still can't actually.  To be fair, I can, but in the way where I have to stare at it for a long time and mentally think out which hand means what and the meaning of where they fall in between the given numbers.  I can read analog clocks the way a 6 year old can add 5+7, but they have to literally count out all the numbers, probably out loud and on their hands, and maybe get it wrong once before arriving at the correct answer.  Whereas a regularly functioning adult human can just automatically conclude "the answer is 12", or "it's 6:45am" - I cannot. 
So smart people can relate - this is what it feels like when I try to read an analog clock.

"It is...43 and 1/2 O'clock."
Here is a shameful example of something I did recently; I work with children at one of my jobs (another controversial fact of my life), and one of them asked me what time the clock said in front of a large group of children and adults.  The sheer pressure of answering this question in combination with my anxiety about analog clocks, left me frozen, so I just decided to give her this look like "C'mon, you know what time the clock says."  Which was probably really cruel in retrospect, and in fact she got offended by my perceived condescending look.  She was all, "That's not funny, I really don't know how to read it."  I wanted to scream, me either, thank God I found another one like me - and then grab her in a comforting embrace!  Thankfully, while my brain scrambled to figure out what to do, one of the other children easily recited the time, which added a new level of embarrassment mixed with relief.

"Let me see...if Jesus came back to life after the 3rd day...and last year was a leap year...that means Flag Day will fall on the second Tuesday in April and I am not allowed to wear white pants anymore."
DATES: I also have no idea when well-known holidays, or birthdays of my family members are; just straight up no idea.   I just figured out last year that Christmas is December 25th, prior to that I was only reasonably confident that Christmas A) happened in winter and B) more specifically around the end of December. This still left a range of at least 10-11 possible days in which Christmas could be.  First of all, can we just admit that there are way too many holidays, and then on top of that some of them fall on the 3rd Sunday of something and change every year depending on leap years or something...that is just impossible to keep track of - pick a date and stick with, that's what I say. 

As far as not knowing my friends and family member's birthdays; the only excuse I have is total, wholesale ego-mania.  I definitely know MY birthday, other then that I have to collect a ton of context clues to decipher when other people's fall; example of how I do this in my head "I remember my dad's birthday is before September 11th (strangely morbid, but a memorable date) and after mine, so it must be in the beginning of September".  The only two holidays I know without reference are Fourth of July (can't screw that one up) and New Years Eve; no joke.

"According to my calculations, we're fucked."
DIRECTIONS:  How the fuck do people know which direction they're going.  I still don't get this.  If you place a map in front of me with a little compass on it and I can tell you North, East, South, and West until I'm blue in the face, but other then that I am at a complete loss. 

My boyfriend for example, can be in the hallway of a building, in a town he has never been to before, and be like "We're southwest of Lake Tahoe right now", how the fuck do you know this?  Or maybe we're lost in the woods and he'll just look into the sky and say "Just keep heading East and we'll be out of here in no time."  Really?? Will we??  Are you some type of direction wizard or something?  Reveal to me your magic or I will kill you out of fear! 

Even more embarrassing; I pretty much only know the street I live on, that's it.  I have more or less driven the same highways and roads my entire life.  It could be my 400th trip going to my parents house and my dad will call to see where I am and I cannot tell him whether I am on 495, 95, or 93 and forget about adding 495N or 93S into the mix, that is a complete loss.  Instead I'll say something like, "Remember where that Friendly's Restaurant was when I was five, but then they closed it?  That's where I am."  That is how my brain works.

Hopefully, I will just never get stranded on the side of a road in the winter, have a child I am responsible for disseminating practical knowledge to, or be in charge of leading the new world in some post-apocalyptic scenario.

In summation; I'm dumb, signs rule, lets nix some of the holidays because it is seriously getting out of hand, and digital clocks for life!!!!

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