You know how you might have a super intelligent friend who is book smart, but a little dim when it comes to stuff like life?
For instance, one of my dear friends, an attorney, is very smart and savvy. He wins every case. I would turn to him any day for legal advice.
But he’s a big dope.
After work, I’m pretty sure his brain falls out.
His sense of direction is deplorable, and his boundaries are wobbly. In 1997, one week after my mom passed away, he introduced me as, “This is Deb! Her mom just died!”
But I love the guy, I really do. He and I get pretend married a lot, but then our respective spouses remind us that if we were to marry, we’d end up dead in a gutter. Because we drove into it thinking it was the garage.
Which is to say, I am also a big dope.
I mean, I’m no molecular bioengineer, but I know my way around things that aren’t stupid. Until it comes to saying no. Then my mind slushifies and I’m no good to anyone who might want people to be smart.
This is what’s been happening:
For some reason, this month many solicitors have knocked on my door (word of my idiocy might have spread). I am patently unable to turn them away because I feel bad for these salespeople and their little babies they all seem to have just had. Not only do I open the front door, I allow the solicitor to talk and talk and talk, about their newborns and their hard luck, and how everyone in their family will die of beans for dinner unless I buy a magazine subscription.
If The Rock is home, he will yell at me silently from the corner and threaten me with gutter death if I don’t shut the door pronto, but usually The Rock is not home at the time of these solicitations.
So most recently, I invited a young chap inside to tell me about AT&T U-Verse. A crappy service we had about five years ago that blew ass. However, this time I was assured that all the kinks were worked out, and the customer service had improved, and everything in my life would be better — my Internet service and television viewing choices especially. The salesguy spent about 20 minutes convincing me that I needed AT&T (and about five minutes showing me pictures of his new baby), and when he left, I had his card pressed into my sweaty, stupid palm, and my pitch all ready for The Rock. It was time to change cable service. Maxwell the salesguy said so. Plus! His wife just had a baby!
I worked on my husband for two weeks, I’m not even kidding. I told him about the faster Internet service, the sheer volume of cable channels ripe for the plucking, and how we really needed to give Maxwell his commission because: baby. The Rock hemmed and hawed. Said no. Said HELL NO. Said remember the crappy service and blowing of ass from five years ago?
Unfortunately, I wore him down. Eventually, we switched over to AT&T and it was worse than ever. Nothing we were told would happen, happened. The Internet remained slow, the TV froze often, and the ass blew. Even worse, we spent 89 collective hours on the phone with customer service to resolve the issues which weren’t issues until I changed perfectly fine cable service over to something horrible simply because I can’t say no.
So I was warned. The Rock was not happy. He told me to never open the front door to people I don’t know, ever again. Or the next door I opened would be to a divorce attorney.
In the interest of staying married, I tried to follow through with this new plan of cowering in my home when the doorbell rings because I’m a big pussy. I did pretty good for awhile, too. The guy selling meat? See ya later. The fellow hawking magazine subscriptions? Bye bye. The Jehovah’s Witness? That one was tough, but I turned a blind eye to my salvation.
Then my defenses came down. There’s only so much a dopey, gullible person can take. So this week, when the doorbell rang, I opened it to find a young woman with drug addict hair, dirty nails, and a Bebe half-shirt holding a muddy bottle of blue cleaner and a skanky rag. This cleaner would change everything, she said! You’re the youngest person I’ve seen on this street, she said! You’re house is so clean, she said! She would know because I let her inside to clean an oven burner. Like a dumbass. I mean, I knew I had no intention of buying this cleaner for 80 DOLLARS a gallon, but I didn’t have the heart to say no. Her baby needed crack.
It ended up that I found my resolve at last and told her no, but man, was she pissed. Now I’m locking my door at all hours because I’ve recently been informed that there’s a team of crazy crack addicts roaming the neighborhood pretending to clean your oven burners but are really just casing your house.
I learned my lesson. Until later when a young man came to the door raising money for the Smithsonian and blah blah blah, he lived down the street, and blah blar, and his parents know us, and bleer dee bleer bleer. Does it occur to me to ask who his parents are? No. Do I think to ask where on the street he lives? No. Have I ever seen him before despite living here for almost three years? No. Did he have a newborn? Thankfully, no. Did I say no? No.
I gave him 20 dollars to go away.
Don’t tell The Rock.