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[personal profile] theferrett

When you have no common sense, your consolation prize is having amazing stories to tell.

Oh, sure, it’s fun to read about how I begged for change on the street because I was hoping to have sex with a homeless woman, or how I hid in a bathroom closet in a futile attempt to blackmail a bookstore customer

…but this is the way my family turns rampant stupidity into something useful.  Have a self-fuelled tragedy?  Is there some way you can spin this into an amusing yarn?  Then it’s not a total loss.

But at heart, each of my hilarious tales is a tragedy if you were actually there.  I have a lot of hilarious stories, because I am not a wise man.  A wiser man would have known to clean the apartment for his girlfriend, and not let it get to hoarders-style levels.

Each of those stories is either wisdom, or it’s not.

Let’s be honest: I’ve done a staggering amount of stupid things in my life: broken hearts, wild actings out in public, broadcasting unflattering details to the world.  And if I’d had one scrap of good judgment, then I wouldn’t have done any of that.  I’d have had the sense to go, “Maybe this fight I just had with my girlfriend is trivial, and perhaps I should stay at home instead of getting riotously drunk and rampaging.”

I have zero common sense.

What I now have is tons of experience.

Some call that wisdom.  And on one level, I guess it is, because one definition of wisdom is “The sum of learning through the ages.” Which I have.  Twenty years of fucking things up has given me a pretty good sense of how I might fuck things up this time.  I have so many excruciating failures in my history that almost every major decision I made has the tang of, “…Do you really want to do this again?”

On the other hand, if wisdom is “Common sense” – the other dictionary definition – then I am lacking.  Given a truly new situation, chances are I’ll make the wrong decision.  Then come back years later and write an essay about what I learned.

This is why I have second thoughts about writing about what I’ve learned.  I consider wisdom to be innate good judgment, which I do not have.  Through that lens, I shouldn’t be writing at all.  But if one considers wisdom to be the accumulated knowledge that comes from years of constant heartache, then I’m a fuckin’ repository.

So I write.  Some days I think this is not particularly wise.  But then I think, “There’s some poor schmuck out there about to make the same mistake I did, and what if nobody warns him?”  So I write.  Not that he’ll listen, of course – I wouldn’t – but maybe after he tears everything down, he’ll remember what I said and that’ll help him to pick up the pieces a little faster.

So I’m out here.  Telling wild stories.  Occasionally getting it wrong.  Like ya do.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

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