June 24th: Arsisme.
I’ve spent a lot of introspection trying to figure out just how to prevent my mouth from driving my reputation off of the road, and as I’ve learned many lessons in life collectively these cannot prevent me from making more mistakes.
I said to the young woman, “ Are you expecting again?”. Now every person I know will acknowledge that this is stupid under any circumstance, even if the woman’s water just broke, you don’t venture there at all. In my case, just last evening, I was talking to a recent mother whose first child came into the world only scant months ago and just yesterday afternoon I was cooing this beautiful child with it’s big round eyes looking back. SO, you would think that I could put it all together right? However something that was said led me to think she might be expecting again; so soon…! But why didn’t I put the brakes on and think for a moment? I’m not sure! I don’t know! This is the thing which puzzles me, normally I wouldn’t say a thing and I remember many times when in much better control and in much more obvious cases I’d dare not ask, but there we were, in the company of many friendly faces and I asked!
Only after the water flowed down into the basement did I realize the toilet just overflowed.
She was embarrassed and I was humiliated, doubly so when all the women who were near looked at me as the most obnoxious person for the evening. There’s no taking it back either. One way or another anything I said after that worked the splinter in the wound, irritating even more. My first reaction was to try and explain why I might have thought so, that became selfish protection of myself. The next thing I tried was to try and convince the woman that it was not the tummy size that alerted me, or the way she was cradling it, no, but of course these only emphasized reference to weight. I was lost further down the abyss. It would have been preferable at this point to pass out on the floor from a head trauma that I was never aware of, then they could have said that while conscious just before the remark I was losing my mind. No, there is no salvation. I was damned.
Similar things have happened to me over the years, I remember sitting in a hair cut shop and looking at the pictures on the mirror and asking the young woman clipping my hair if the pictures were of her grand children. I don’t know why! I just asked it as a mindless comment, just as one might say, it’s raining, or the floor is dirty… no not that, that’s just as stupid…. but you get the point. I had been in the shop many times previously and we’d discussed her kids, the pictures were obviously those same youngsters… so where the frig did that come from! Now she’s looking at herself in that mirror she works in front of every day and wondering if indeed she looks that old. She doesn’t! I’ve not gone back.
I’ve got a lot of such stories to tell, personal failings that keep me awake at night in fits of humiliation. This is why I think there is a stupid demon in the world. The force of evil has been much explored as in Diablo, the Devil, monsters and the like. Also the source of all benevolence and good is explained through the many manifestations of God, but Stupidity – where is the god of Stupidity?
Ancient Greeks understood a lot more about the vagaries of the gods. They also explained a lot of peoples traits and quirks through influences from the nine muses, offspring of Zeus and Mnemosyne. These were Calliope who is the inspiration for epic poetry, Clio for history, Euterpe for flute playing and lyric poetry, Terpsichore for choral dancing and song, Erato for lyre playing and lyric poetry, Melpomene for tragedy, Thalia for comedy and light verse, Polyhymnia for hymns and mime and Urania for astronomy, which was an art form in the time. Well you may select your muse but neither fits for me, I’d argue that Greeks overlooked a child the pair had out of wedlock, the bastard – Arsisme, the muse for stundarsidness. That’s mine.