Stupid Is As Stupid Does?


The Tale of… Back To The Future
2 measures Gin
1 measure Slivovitz
1 measure lemon juice

Somewhere between feeling stupid as a girl, and trying to be smart as a woman, I decided that when it comes to making a decision, there seems to be room for only two females in this world. She can be a fool, or an unforgiving bitch. I started to believe that this in itself was a decision, and I had to choose which mask to wear. This stemmed somewhere from the fact that when it comes to making a decision in dating, we think about the other person. Does it make their life too easy? Does it give them what they want? Does it make them think they can walk all over me? So you have to choose to be a fool, or a bitch.

Well Emma Watson *GODDESS* would slap me with her insane speech-writing pencil just for having the thought. It cannot be possible that these are the only two choices for a woman, why does there seem to be no room for a woman to simply do whatever she wants to do without worrying if it means she’s being taken for a fool or being a heartless bitch who will end up dying alone surrounded by cats (but preferably dogs)? Now don’t get me wrong compulsive forgivers, the right thing for you isn’t necessarily what feels nicest. He may be at your door with flowers, but if his words are as empty as his trousers the right thing for you is probably the thing that will temporarily put you in Bella without Edward mode circa New Moon.

My Dad always tells me to take everything a day at a time. Just get through today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. And I follow that mantra every day, and for the most part it works. But if I make my decision based on right now, only on this moment and not take into account three weeks down the line when I’m lying with my head in a toilet with half a dozen double vodkas drifting through my veins, will I live to regret that?

“Your twenties are for making the mistakes.”

Half the people in this world believe we don’t control what happens to us, whether that is down to destiny, karma, soul mates or something else. And the other half believe it is based on choices. Our lives are mapped by our own decisions. So, do we choose to fall in love? Is it a conscious effort to be vulnerable and foolish? Or is it an emotion entirely out of our control? My guess is something of the latter (and largely based on hormones as my scientific explanation attempts to prove).

Perhaps more accurately, love is something men made up to get laid back when getting dressed in the morning involved a three-piece suit and a hat.

“Romance isn’t that important. It’s one of those things that people do because they’ve seen it in a film.”

And when we get our hearts broken, do we choose when to heal? Is it our own actions that ultimately fixes our broken hearts, or is it all a matter of time and the time it takes to heal? We all know pain is temporary, but is there a way of speeding up the process? You can choose to forgive, but if you can’t forgive, if it hurts just too damn much, does that mean you’re choosing not to heal yourself by carrying the weight around with you?

In case you’re not sure where I’m going with this, I’ll just warn you I have no idea. This tale doesn’t end in a neatly tied bow with all question marks finely full-stopped. But let me tell you about Sarah anyway.

Sarah has a broken heart. She cries sometimes, she doesn’t smile much, and she has an evil sense of humour in recent months. She broke up with Mr Is a while ago. They were in love, and then they didn’t think they were, and then she was, and then he wasn’t and then he was and now she’s not sure. Oh and somewhere in the middle, he slept with someone else. She asked me how to be happy again, and whatever the answer was, she’d do it. She didn’t care whether it meant being back with him or being alone, she just wanted to know which was the right decision to ultimately be happy.

And I thought about it. I thought about it a lot. How can you choose to be happy? Is it as simple as whether she should or shouldn’t be with him based on this one thing he did? Or does the context and the history also play a part?

Then I had an idea. Okay, lies, Lisa Kudrow had an idea, in Bad Neighbours to be exact. We should live our love lives through headlines. She explains “FRATERNITY KEEPS COUPLE AWAKE” to not be a bad headline, and so their actions not deserving of punishment. After considering the Daily Mail‘s view on “BOY DUMPS GIRL FOR BEST FRIEND” as a headline, I decided national news worthy is a little ambitious when it comes to our pathetic dating mishaps. But let’s be creative for a second and imagine a newspaper dedicated to relationship stories, The CockTale Times, if you will. In this context, what headlines would be worthy of the front page? Of course any budding journalist knows, it’s the worst one. So, “BOY SLEEPS WITH SOMEONE ELSE AFTER BREAK-UP”. When put in black and white, there doesn’t seem to be just cause for complete slander, but it might make it into the back of the paper with the hooker adverts. But we all know, a headline can only allow for so much information and if it could print “POST BREAK UP: BOY WANTS HER BACK, THEN HE DOESN’T, SHE TELLS HIM SHE WANTS TO BE WITH HIM, HE SLEEPS WITH SOMEONE ELSE, THEN DECIDES HE WANTS HER BACK” it would break a few editorial rules I’m sure.

I don’t know what to tell Sarah, my headline idea is clearly not the greatest philosophy but when you see your best friend being taken for a mug by her guy, you see the bottom line- he’s being a jerk and all you want is for her to see it that way too. So let’s just use a scenario we’re all equally familiar with… It’s called Ross and Rachel, and it’s known as The One where Ross and Rachel take a break. I could ask 100 people, should Rachel have taken him back? and I would place good money on receiving fairly mixed responses. Half the people would say “He slept with someone an hour after they ‘sort of’ broke up-he’s a dick”, the others might say “he was upset, he did something stupid, he still loves Rachel.” And lest we forget, Ross is a character, created to represent a real-life personality, there could well be a Ross walking around out there and if you were to describe him I don’t think anyone would say he’s a jackass. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t break someone’s heart. So I ask you again, is the context important?

Here’s the thing about philosophies, some of the greatest we know didn’t come from philosophers. Some of them came from regular people… and most of them from Karl Pilkington. But some of them from writers, writers who gave us Bridget Jones, Jay Gatsby, Sherlock Holmes and of course, Forrest Gump.

It seems to me that whilst all being living Pinochios- yes I’m calling you a liar– we’re also all living Forrest Gumps. Looking for someone, our own Mumma Gumps, to find the words to put things in a way we can all understand.

So Mumma Gump if you’re out there, do we choose to heal? When your love life goes arse over tit, is it simply black and white, like a headline?

Life is just a box of chocolates, you can choose which one to try, but you don’t know which is the one you love, or hate, until you bite into it.

As humans the thing we neglect more than most in our lives is taking chances, which taints every decision we make. I know what you’re thinking, some guys aren’t worth the risk. But taking chances doesn’t necessarily mean a chance on him, because if you think hard enough, the very thing you might be afraid of is taking your chances alone, without him.

And so, if your 20s are the years to make your mistakes, I intend to make as many as possible.

And that’s all I have to say about that.



Featured Image: Friends, Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions Warner Bros. Television