In kindergarten, I got in trouble for “doodling” on my dittos (who else calls them that these days?) when the teacher was reading the instructions to the class. Except I wasn’t doodling. I was starting the exercise because I had read and understood the instructions on my own. The teacher realized this after a bit and recommended me for the gifted program. Except they didn’t have a class for kindergarteners, so I was placed in the class with the first graders. I felt smart.
Ever since, I have HATED feeling dumb. But sometimes, you can’t help feeling dumb. Sometimes even the smartest people do things that are DUMB. I have definitely had my moments. Let’s go over a few, shall we?
- In either 5th or 6th grade, I misspelled the word “ugh” in the spelling bee. I was so confident. I stood up, and said, “Ugh. U-G. Ugh.” And I smiled. And then I heard, “I’m sorry, that’s incorrect, please take your seat at your desk.” I was mortified. I missed a three letter word. I felt DUMB.
- In junior high, we had a geography bee. My first question was, “What state is surrounded by water on three sides?” Again, with the confidence. I smugly answered “Hawaii” and then immediately was struck by my own stupidity and put my face in my hands. FLORIDA, you idiot, FLORIDA. You know, the state I lived in! My geography teacher even felt sorry for me, but I was still out of the competition. Again, I felt DUMB.
- I was hanging out with a small group of people in high school and I thought it would be funny to pretend to push the most popular guy into the pool. Only thing is, I didn’t just pretend to push him in, I did it. Oops. And he was wearing expensive shoes and had his very expensive pager on him. I thought I was being funny, but I ended up looking DUMB. And I also stopped hanging out with that group shortly thereafter. I just couldn’t handle the DUMB feeling.
Those are just three examples that come to mind right now, but I’ve felt DUMB many times before. And I can’t stand it. To me, feeling dumb is worse than showing up to a public event in just my underwear. Seriously. I’m not even exaggerating. SuperDad likes to say that I always have to be right, but he acknowledges that I usually AM right, because I don’t speak on a subject unless I’m very certain what I’m saying is correct. I don’t like to be wrong because it makes me feel DUMB.
It’s not that I think I’m incredibly intelligent. I just like knowing the facts. I like knowing the truth. And the truth is, sometimes I am just dumb. And that’s a tough pill to swallow. So, what had made YOU feel dumb?