Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Inner Workings of a Functional Dumbass

-->After a jarring flight through a thunderstorm and the non-stop screaming of a 2-year-old reincarnation of Satan (let’s face it, there’s a big difference between just being a baby and being a gigantic, insufferable brat), I hauled my typically overstuffed suitcase up the cheese grater staircase of our complex. After retrieving the loose key from under the mat – an old school solution in case my flight was delayed and we needed a quick dog check in from a friend – I was greeted by two out of their mind excited pups, a clean apartment and an extremely noticeable lack of the future husband’s signature bear hug. Of course I started to feel the absence long before – as I got off the plane, throughout my ride from the airport, then as I struggled up the stairs with that ridiculous bag. See, I usually not only have help, but a particular welcoming presence that calms my high-strung mind, as well. After my extraordinary journey through dipshitville, I am the last person to take that for granted. It makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up in warm fuzzy gratitude. A recent pick up in work travel made our trips overlap with a week in between. Now, standing in the doorway with a Jack Russell leaping up to my chest and a Lab head butting my knees, I felt it heaviest of all mixed with the exhaustion from the bachelorette weekend in Nashville behind me. I missed my person something fierce.

Dragging my suitcase through the mob of dogs, I flung the key on the table, gathered myself a bit, then asked the question I always know the answer to… “Do you want to go outside?” Little doggie minds exploded as I leashed them up, slipped the key into the pocket of my sweatshirt and headed back outside.

These dogs are my children and I love them, but they drive me insane. Twelve-hour cabin fever along with the chill of a spring storm full of snow and tornados on its way still didn’t make them pick a spot to pee any faster. Finally drained, we headed back home. I slipped the key into the lock and wiggled it back and forth. It wouldn’t turn. The doorknob can be rather pissy, so I tried it again before my stomach lurched up into my throat in realization…I had grabbed the wrong key. The loose key from the house we just bought (a topic for a whole other post) had also been sitting on the table dulled with age compared to the shiny, less-than-a-year-old apartment key. You’d think I would have noticed a difference before I closed the door, but depression, a weekend of partying and my uncanny ability to do the stupidest shit will do that to a girl.

“Shit…fuck! Oh my gaaaaawwd…FUUUUCK!” I yelled out loud once the reality of the situation had caught up with me. I was locked out of my apartment at 10 o’clock on a chilly Sunday night, with both dogs and no phone with the future husband in Texas. Goddammit. Just as my eyes welled up with tears and I was about to drop to my knees in an overly dramatic, adult hissy fit – my typical reaction the split second after a dumbass moment has occurred - I snapped out of it, as I usually do, and said, no, I’m just going to see if one of the neighbors can help.

Scanning windows for signs of light and skipping the units with children who were surely already snoozing – the last thing I needed was to come face-to-face with a pissed off mother after waking up her baby with my dumbassery – I knocked on the door of a young couple with a dog downstairs. The woman was up late studying and very nicely handed over her phone, invited me and the obnoxious furry duo in after kenneling her dog, then helped me look up a locksmith.

I was so grateful that somebody was not only up, but answered the door, then was actually kind to me. As a Midwestern girl, being nice is a given. I hold doors for people, always say please and thank you, say hello to complete strangers and help others out when I can. It’s the right thing to do and I do it automatically without thinking. I only began noticing it when I would travel to other places. Expecting that kindness in return is a different story. Living in Denver, full of transplants from all over the world, you never know what you’re going to get. Generally, people are nice enough, but I just happened to knock on the door of a fellow Midwesterner that night, so I got really lucky.

After a few minutes, the dogs grew so agitated and annoying, with Maggie whining loudly and even barking once acting almost as badly as the demon toddler from the plane, that I decided to run them around the park for bit. Just as I was walking out the door, the phone rang. Within 15 minutes, a bald Hispanic guy named Alfredo armed with a headlamp and a toolbox showed up and got to work. When the traditional picking of the lock wouldn’t budge it, he basically broke into the apartment by popping open the door with a crowbar looking thing. I, of course, cheered and thanked him profusely. Then, when he wanted the last of my cash, which consisted of a $20 bill instead of the previous charge of $75 that I would have to pay by check, I thanked him profusely again and sent him on his way.

My phone was already flashing a missed call and text when I picked it up out of my purse. I called Pat back and said, “Guess what I did immediately after coming home?” Funny, he didn’t seem too surprised.

I’m what I like to call a functional dumbass:  A well-educated person with a common sense approach to life that can take care of herself in all areas, hold a great, meaningful conversation and would not be classified as an airhead, but is ultimately cursed with a clumsy demeanor and the ability to fall into the most idiotic of situations. I could get 40 master’s degrees and still do the dumbest, most absent-minded shit, whether its falling down in front of a crowd of people, hurting myself while performing the most mundane tasks or locking myself out of my apartment at 10 p.m. I used to be a ballerina and without the stage and the spandex, you’d never be able to tell. However, another element of that “functional” part is that I’m always able to dig my way out of those situations and in this case, I did it all for the low, low price of $20 cash. That is one functional dumbass if I do say so myself.

Add that to Urban Dictionary...wait, it's already there.

 

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