Which is more important: intelligence or common sense?
In my opinion, I think you can get in trouble if you go too far to the extreme in either direction. Here’s what I mean.
One day I was talking to a friend of mine who is very smart. During the conversation I mentioned to him that I consider myself to be kind of a “Renaissance Woman” in that I have a lot of different talents and interests. He replied that women didn’t actually do anything during the Renaissance. After gasping so hard that I nearly inhaled the contents of my entire office, I gently suggested that women might possibly have had more of a role in the shaping of our history than would be suggested by the traditional, “accepted” texts, and he went off on a rant against “revisionist” history, where clearly “revisionist” was a code word for “fascist, communist, anti-American, mother-hating, puppy-killing, Nazi brainwashing propaganda.”
So intelligence? Sure. But spouting remarks that will alienate half of the world’s population, especially when you are a single guy looking for a girlfriend? Not really that smart.
Of course, this can go the other way too.
One day my husband and I were having dinner at some friends’ house. These friends are both teachers, and the woman especially is a paragon of sensible, practical, down-to-earth thinking.
On this occasion she was telling us about her brother’s recent wedding. She began by describing how her brother called her on a Thursday to tell her that he was getting married that following Monday. So she and her mother decided to fly out and help with the preparations. After running around all weekend they finally made it to the day of the wedding, and she and her mom were with the bride-to-be as she was getting her hair done for the ceremony.
Our friend: “So, she finally found someone to do her hair. He was a little person. You know, that’s what you’re supposed to call midgets now.”
Us: “Huh. That’s different.”
Our friend: “Yeah, so as he was doing her hair and riding around on his scooter…”
Us: (interrupting with snorts of laughter)
Us: “What?! He was riding a scooter?!”
Our Friend: “Well, yeah, because he couldn’t walk. So, anyway, I had to be his assistant and hand him his tools because his partner had to go out.”
Us: (the snorts have become shouts now)
Us: “What?! He was a gay midget hairdresser?”
Our Friend: “Yeah. But his partner isn’t a midget. He’s a regular-sized person.”
At this point further conversation became impossible, because my husband was laughing so hard that he was crying, and I was laughing so hard that I fell off of their couch and onto their living room floor.
But believe it or not, that was not the funniest part of this story. The funniest part was the fact that our friend told us this story with absolutely no reaction whatsoever. She. Never. Laughed. Once. And she honestly did not understand why we were in hysterics. She told the story in a tone of voice that suggested that gay, scooter-riding, hair-dressing midgets are a time-honored, traditional part of everyone’s nuptial experience.
So I think that instead of it being an either/or situation, it’s better when it’s both/and.
Boy, you must live a pretty sheltered life if you’ve never run into a gay, scooter-riding, hair-dressing midget before.
That’s actually really funny. I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered anyone whose sense of the ironic/absurd was completely nonexistent. As for the first guy, he doesn’t sound like he has a whole lot of either kind of smarts.
Mary (mert) says
OMG, I think had it been me I would have spit on someone, I would have been laughing so hard!
I love the way you spin a yarn Jenny… this story was perfect :O)
I’ve realised that most of us agree both is better from reading the responses!!
I’ve got my response up now!
Paul Burke says
I think the young “smart” guy might not be so smart – and anyone who uses the word “revisionist” in his daily language has been listening to too much Rush Limbaugh. It’s a buzz word of the hard and fast, lock step right. With apologies to those who have arrived at their own opinions (right, left, center, and mosaic) on their own and aren’t a part of the great American Brainwashed landscape.
The hairdresser I’m not going to touch but who were they expecting on such “short” notice.