Thursday, September 5, 2013

Does idiocy, like bad news, come in threes? If so, I got another one comin’!

Ever have one of those off days… weeks… months? Well, that’s where I’ve been. Summer is almost over and although fall is my favorite season, I still feel a symbolic death at the end of my flip-flop wearing days. For years, September meant a return to school and studying, aka stress. These days, all September signifies is the end to my A/C being on 24/7. I lament the back-to-school sales and the cute, trendy outfits the girls will be wearing on the first day of school. These students belong to a club I am no longer a member of. I’ve become an outcast. School always gave me a sense of purpose—a structure I could depend on. And as hard as I still work, some days that structure and purpose can be hard to find, especially since it’s self-imposed.

Perhaps my end of the season doldrums can account for my moronic behavior of late. More likely, it’s my weak attempt to deflect blame, and maybe I need to admit that age is slowly scrambling my brain. Whatever the cause, lately it seems as if stupidity flows through me like sands through an hourglass.

It all started when I ordered external hard drives from Amazon. I am admittedly an external hard drive geek. Ever since I fried my computer’s hard drive years ago and was forced to pay a whopping $550 to retrieve my data, I have been the “back up queen.” So I did my homework, researched the latest and greatest drives and finally settled on two drives (yes two) from Western Digital. My heart fluttered when I pressed “submit order”. I couldn’t wait to receive my drives and start organizing my data. (Clearly my thrill at backing up data indicates my need to get a personal life but I’ll save that for another blog entry.) A few days later, my drives arrived. But alas, when I plugged one of them in, nothing happened. I downloaded the user guide (something akin to admitting defeat) to no avail. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I picked up the box and stared at it, when it suddenly hit me. The name of the drive was missing the familiar “for Mac” at the end of it. I had bought the PC versions of the drives. Doh. One return shipping label and $12 in shipping costs later, the wrong drives were on their way to Amazon and the correct ones were now in transit.

Then for my second asinine move. I came up with the brilliant idea of doing my laundry before work. Sounds time efficient, right? I mean, what else do we do before work but eat breakfast and watch “Kelly and Michael”? Getting laundry out of the way on a workday allows my day off to truly be a day off. In theory, it’s genius. In practice, however, it presupposes that I’m going to remember to pick up my laundry when it’s dry! Later that night when I went to make my bed, I discovered I had no clue where my sheets were… or my work shirts… or any of my whites for that matter.

So the same night as my hard drive debacle, I walked to the laundromat to find my clothes sitting in a cart. The manager looked over at me and said, “I was wondering who those belonged to.” Oops. While I was gathering my clothes, a customer commented on how he had once left his clothes behind for two weeks. Apparently I’m not the only idiot in Astoria. Whoopee.

And now I’m simply waiting for the other shoe to drop. What stupid move will I make next? Move my car and forget where I parked it? Get ready for work only to remember I have the day off? I know those seem pretty innocuous, but in the heat of the moment, you feel like a first class imbecile. Is this all a sign of some undiagnosed psychosis? Seasonal Affective Disorder, perchance? Essentially it’s a mood disorder where people with normally good mental health experience mood swings in the winter or summer. That would certainly explain my summer blues, but not my turning into an ignoramus. I think my malady is in a class all by itself, and I am hereby declaring it: Dumb-Ass Dina Disorder.

Where is the cure, however, for my particular ailment? The approaching autumn may ultimately prove to be my savior. John Keats’ “To Autumn” speaks of the transition from summer to fall so beautifully:
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run

Oh Mr. Keats… how I adore your eloquence. It speaks to me of summer’s passing, yet partnership with the coming fall to create a bountiful harvest. Here’s to hoping my life mirrors these sentiments. Let this fog consuming my brain be lifted by the crisp, cool air on the horizon, and allow me to move forward to a prolific and creative mindset. But until that chilly breeze hits me, you can find me sitting in the corner… wearing my dunce cap.

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