D: The Dummy and the Department of Defense

Over the past few months I’ve spent most weekends at my parents’ house, which is where I grew up.  Each week, I read their Sunday newspaper.  It’s a small town.  There is usually a story or two that interests me.  A few weeks ago while sitting with my dad and sister in the living room…

Me:  Hey; there’s an article in here about two girls that I graduated with from high school.

Them:  Oh yeah, who?

Me:  You wouldn’t know them.  We weren’t friends.

Them:  Well, then why should we care?

Me:  Because the article makes me feel like a dumb idiot, that’s why.

Them:  You are a dumb idiot, Tracy.  Just joking – har har.   What’s it say?

Me:  I’m not sure, exactly.  It uses words that I’ve never seen before.

Them:  Then stop talking about it.

Me:  I can’t.  I need to know what these words mean.

Them:  What words?

Me.  I can’t even pronounce them.  Dad, you were in the Navy.  What’s the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command?  And, what, exactly, are  counter…  ahh, counter-in-surgency tactics?

Silence.

Me:  Dad, where is the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan…exactly?

Dad:  I don’t know.  I thought you were reading about your girlfriends.  I mean, not your friends…the girls from your school who weren’t your friends.

Me:  They were twins, Dad.  And, according to “Business News,” they went to school in Moscow…and Scotland…and wrote important papers that are culminating in things I can’t pronounce.  And, they are working on projects that involve nuclear proliferation.  It says they both work for the Department of Defense. Oh, and one of the them is married to a Doctor.  It doesn’t say what kind, but there’s a Dr. in front of his name.

Sister:  At my job I get yelled at for forgetting to put catsup on the salad bar.  Dad, doesn’t that make you feel so proud?   Maybe you should call the paper and report that to Business News. 

Me:  Dad?  Dad?  Dad!  Are you listening to us?

Dad:  Yes girls.  Ahh…no, not really.  You are both smart.  Now turn up the TV, the news is coming on….

I’ve written before about comparisons.  Sometimes comparisons are healthy, and sometimes they aren’t.  There is always going to be someone out there who appears to be smarter than you, more attractive, thinner, faster, stronger, or better at something.  I’ve got news for you – there are supposed to be.  We are all unique, and talented, and gifted in our own ways. 

I don’t speak any language but English.  I don’t know much about global security.  I’ve never assessed Russian counterintelligence operations.  But, that doesn’t make me a dummy.  I’m smart.  I could learn those things if I wanted to…cause they’ve got books for that, ya know.

Time to brag.  What talent or trait do you have, or accomplishment have you made, or blog post that you’ve written, that you’re most proud of?  Brag away using the comments link above.

Remember to check back tomorrow for another A-Z Challenge post, inspired by the letter E.

If you liked this post, you may also like There’s No Comparison.

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by susan on April 5, 2011 at 7:58 am

    OMG – that catsup comment is just toooo funny.
    I’m most proud of my kids – most moms think their kids are the best kids on earth…not based on comparisons, just based on parental love.

    Reply

    • So true about moms, and probably dads too. It’s important for kids to know that their parent’s are proud of them…even adult kids.

      Reply

  2. Hi Tracy .. I sometimes look at job titles and think what’s that – or a whole industry I have zero knowledge about .. it can get depressing .. but then I think I’m an ordinary girl .. good at some things, not so brilliant at others .. but I ain’t no dummy! That was fun .. because quite honestly we never know where we’re going .. life is ours to do what we wish with .. and for living .. enjoy today .. Hilary

    Reply

  3. “Sister: At my job I get yelled at for forgetting to put catsup on the salad bar. Dad, doesn’t that make you feel so proud? Maybe you should call the paper and report that to Business News.”

    Bwhahahahahaahahaha! Please tell your sister that I HOWLED at that! She’s hysterical!

    I’m not too terribly smart when it comes to book/school knowledge, however I am smart when it comes to common sense (which I refer to as being ‘street smart’).

    I think one of the traits I most like about myself is that I’m a good listener. If someone wants to left off steam or just talk about something that’s bothering them, I can sit and listen without flapping my lips.

    Have a terrific Tuesday, Tracy!

    Reply

    • Ron – I’ll tell her that you howled like a werewolf – she likes werewolves. And what big ears you have Ron…all the better to listen with, my dear… Simply by seeing the responses to comments on your blog, you are DEFINITELY a good listener.

      In life, street smarts is sometimes more important than book smarts. If someone’s coming at you on the street, it’s hard to fend them off with mathematics.

      Reply

  4. Haha! This was funny. I like he banter in your family–cute. This would make terrific dialogue in a book.

    Brag–hmmmm… I’m pretty awesome– way involved in life– do a lot of things–have a freaking cool husband. (= Haha! That felt sillier than most things.

    Reply

  5. Hey – Cool to see that you’re doing this A-Z challenge, too. (I’m doing it on my OTHER blog, http://www.writinginflow.blogspot.com – even I’m not masochistic enough to try to be doing it on TWO.)

    I have to admit, I’m a bit jealous of the wonderful banter and comfort you’re relating about your family. Even though you just lost your mom, and that sucks, I know, you’re truly blessed in the wonderful, loving family you still have.

    Reply

    • No need for envy – my family is just as strange as they are wonderful – me included. I’m heading over to your other site to check it out.

      Reply

  6. Great conversation with your parents. I don’t think your dad was very impressed with your non-friends’ achievements. He saw them probably in the same frame that you articulated at the end. Perhaps your commendable value system is in some way a reflection of his.

    My accomplishments. Duh. Ahem. I’m thinking. I hope God has some record. I’ve never been good at saving information. Nothing stays in my brain matter long enough to make a deep groove. It’s there but not accessible on demand.

    I enjoyed your post. Blessings to you, Tracy.

    Reply

  7. My favorite post is “Letters to Erato” Things of which I am proud. Proud is not the right word. Maybe “cherish” I was and always am there for my kids despite the very worst of things in which they have been involved. I am the sole caretaker of my 88 year old parents.

    Reply

    • Role reversal with parents is very commendable – you should definitely be proud of that. Link “Letters to Erato” here. I went to your site but am not smart enough to find it. 😦

      Reply

  8. I’m a proud mom and grandmother. Knowing my kids are all good people means more to me than anything else they could accomplish in their lives. And naturally, I’m also proud of my publishing accomplishments, but hey, the kids come first. 🙂

    Reply

    • My own mother said the same thing. On the last (American) Thanksgiving that she could communicate, were were all going around the table stating what we were thankful for. She had a hard time getting the words out, but said “My Kids Are Good.” Those words meant so much. Never stop telling your kids how much they mean to you – it means so much. Thanks for your comment Laura!

      Reply

  9. Posted by Stacey on April 6, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I had a proud moment last night. Although I kind of celebrated it alone. I am coaching my daughter’s 8U softball team and am considered a minority as I am a female coach in a heavily dominated male coaching arena. Even all of MY assistant coaches are male. I don’t claim to be an expert at being a coach or at softball, because I am not even close. I coach for my daughter; to show her that women are capable of being coaches and leading people to a goal. Tonight, we played against a nice team (at least 4 male coaches) and I noticed that they weren’t having their girls advance to the next base on overthrows(when someone in the fields throws the ball to another player and they miss it). My understanding of this rule, at our level, was that the girls could advance one base on each overthrow. I thought I would be nice and ask him why he wasn’t running his girls. He says in a very matter-of-fact way, “It’s not allowed”. I go into my thoughtful look because I have attended all the coaches clinics offered, asked too many questions, and am reading and listening to “the experts” as much as possible. I weakly argued but since I wasn’t 100% sure I dropped it. In my own mind I was 90% sure. We let it go, I did not have my girls stop advancing, and the game went on. On my way home from the game, I called our commisssioner and asked. Guess what? I WAS RIGHT! I was so happy that I had gotten that rule right and that I had led my girls in the right direction. It would be a small victory for most but it felt BIG to me. My husband didn’t really get why I was so happy but it doesn’t matter, I am still happy about it!

    Reply

    • I know that toughtful look of yours…and you’re usually right. Yeah! We’re allowed to be proud of ourselves – even if other’s don’t seen to get it – even husbands.

      Reply

  10. LOL thank you for the laugh.

    I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

    Reply

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