December 15, 2005


TOO STUPID TO LIVE: A common complaint about poorly written romance novels in which the heroine cannot seem to brush her teeth without beginning to choke to death on a crystallized lump of old Crest which air-hardened into a threat because she did not screw the cap properly, even though in the last chapter the hero TOLD her this could happen, and she, in a misguided attempt at feistiness, rebelliously decided to NOT screw the cap and therefore he has to rush in and administer the Heimlich maneuver at which point she is saved and decides she will, in the next chapter, screw, if not the cap, at least maybe the hero. These are the heroines who are biologically incapable of LOOKING before they cross a street, so that they are constantly imperiled by trucks. They can't go on a nature walk without choosing the path with the signs that say WARNING: DEADLY PUMA, and if they can douse themselves a spray bottle full of gravid puma urine that they have mistaken for a perfume atomizer before they go, so much the better. They blunder off cliffs, fall off ships, willfully shriek 'til the avalanche starts, hurl themselves in front of bullets and arrows and stampedes, are equal parts beautiful and flammable, and if you say to one of them, "Just don't touch that big red knob, see it? The one with the sign on it that says NO NO! DO NOT TOUCH! ENDS ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ANY KNOB BUT THIS!" , their immediate and response is to say, "What, this knob here?" while reaching out to give it a good, experimental yoinking. And I, ladies and gentlemen? I am horrified to report that I am one of 'em. Too. Stupid. To. Live.

Every year, one of the things that makes Christmas feel like Christmas to me is being involved in a Secret Friend program. Yes. I know. It's dorky. But when I have claimed to be an Undork? Hint: Never. So.
And it makes me happy, which means, Sheryl Crow assures me, that it can't be that bad. And I am Too Stupid Too Live, so I think I get to take that literally.

So I signed up again this year and was having a high old time, signing my letters to her Sherlock and sending her Snow Globe kits and scented soaps and whatnot, it's all good fun 'til someone loses an eye, right? Anyway. I wrote her this very long letter about children's books, and in the middle of writing it, apparently something SHINY ran by and I forgot who I was writing to or what the purpose of the whole thing was or just suffered a random brain fart... no clue.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I SIGNED it. I SIGNED the letter. With my STUPID NAME.

I feel all let down and sad. Blew it. No one to blame but myself. And YES OKAY I KNOW, it's a stupid thing to be unhappy over, but it was important to me. I'm all weepish and ruint over it. Like I've grinched myself. I can't even WRITE to her now, I am SO embarrassed. I think instead I'll go run with this stick in my mouth. Because, really, what's the worst thing that could happen?

Posted by joshilyn at December 15, 2005 8:07 AM

Awww....Joss. I sympathize. I hate when I do TSTL stuff. Maybe she'll think someone else wrote it and signed your name to throw her off.

(Um...unless she reads your blog, that is. And in that case, maybe she'll just be so excited to have YOU as her not-quite-so-scret but still-super-fun friend that she won't care that you signed it.)

Posted by: DebR at December 15, 2005 8:56 AM

Dear merciful lord in heaven. I thought that at a dead minimum you had folded pulverized Christmas tree ornaments into the cookie dough. A moment while I slosh coffee on myself and recover from the fantods.

Very well, lambness. Whaddaya wanna bet that she doesn't read the note that far? She's running in twelve directions, too, glances at the first few lines, thinks "Oh, that's nice -- I'll read that just as soon as I get these last cookies in the oven. And pick up Entwhistle from drum and bugle tots. And whoops, there goes the dryer, bursting into flames again..." And if she doesn't lose the damned note altogether, at the very least today's mail lands on it and it's Valentines day before she sees it again.

Or at least. Um. That's what would happen in this house.

Go eat some chocolate.

Posted by: rams at December 15, 2005 9:19 AM

Ah, I can really empathize because lately I've been doing a lot of unbelievably dunderheaded things. Yesterday I ran outside to warm up my ice-encrusted car (very necessary in Wisconsin) then went inside to get a few things together and then spent ten minutes LOOKING FOR MY CAR KEYS before I realized they were in the ignition in the still-running car on the driveway.

If you want you can do as I do and blame it on the season. It certainly couldn't be you.

Posted by: Karen at December 15, 2005 9:20 AM

I have an idea... how about if you send her another note with someone ELSE's name on it next, then another with someone else's and another....?

Trust me, as someone who has proven herself Too Stupid To Live more times than she has proven why she is worthy of life, distraction, while it may not always work, is appreciated by people, sometimes enough to pretend to you that it DID work. Run on, run on, run on (sentence).

In my own, regularly used, TSTL: Name signing edition, I am a nurse who signs her name all day with RN at the end. Unfortunately, when work ends, the people I am writing checks to, credit card slips I sign and birthday card recipients DON'T CARE that I am a nurse. Nor to I expect them too. It does seem like I expect them to care though when I inform them with my signature what my occupation is. It isn't until they comment on it that I will understand what I did but by then it looks like I have been fishing for them to ask about my job.

So, don't worry, if everyone who was Too Stupid To Live died, I don't think there would be many people left.

Posted by: Em at December 15, 2005 9:33 AM

Oh Tulip. Whoever it is is probably just thrilled to have YOU as her Secret Pal and probably does not mind at all finding out a little bit early. Poor baby...This is not too stupid to live. This is just too stupid to play Secret Pal, and that is small potatoes indeed. If it makes you feel any better, the last time I played Secret Pal I completely forgot about the "Reveal Yourself" party and did not go and NEVER revealed myself. Now THAT's stupid.

Posted by: Amy-GO at December 15, 2005 9:50 AM

Joss my dear snowflakes happen and we get to live and laugh another day. I say this is a perfect time to go out and buy a cute pair of really pretty shoes. But I get to buy two pairs because I never do secret pals (well not since beauty college 20 years ago) nobody here does that - oh wait, maybe that is because I don't have any girls friends. I think I've stumbled on the truth - I get to buy three pairs of pretty shoes now.

I have to say I liked Em's and Rams ideas to ease the situation. For every note you write to your secret pal and sign with someone else's name eat chocolate. They are very very smart. And so are Amy and Deb who said (and quite rightely so) your secret pal will be so delighted it is you - just like we are. And despite her car running in the drive, well Karen is smart too because she lives in one of the few places in this country where you can still leave your keys in a running car and know it will still be there when you remember where your keys are. Mine are usually dangling from my teeth through out my search.

Posted by: Cele at December 15, 2005 11:46 AM

PLEASE, oh goddess of the T.S.T.L.-isms, MORE, MORE! My poor co-workers must have thought I was having a seizure. *ROFL*

On a more practical level, I can only say that many of the corrective actions already posted seem quite sensible, particularly the ones involving the consumption of chocolate. Tis the season for both the affliction and its treatment. Bon apetit.

Posted by: David at December 15, 2005 1:30 PM

Oh, my sweetie, I join Cele in saying that these are all excellent suggestions, and David in saying ROFL, plus if it makes you feel any better, I confess that Urine de Gravid Puma #5 is my signature fragrance.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at December 15, 2005 6:14 PM

Ah, Sherlock, there you are! At last, we cross paths once more.

Posted by: Dr. Watson at December 17, 2005 1:59 AM

I'm sure that Sheryl Crow's being ironic.

I wondered why you stopped sending me things.

Posted by: waylon at December 17, 2005 11:47 AM

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Posted by: provillus vs procerin at December 17, 2005 2:06 PM

You're the best sekrut friend ever and I should know because I've had the experience. I'm thinking of going to CafePress and getting a tee shirt made, then emblazoning it with MAC red lipstick and sending it to you.

I like the suggestion above. I think you should start adding new sig lines to your SF address as in Martha, Shirley, Brette, Linda, Natalie...heck you could sign HER name if you wanted to be really mysterious!

You could sign random authors - Rebecca Wells, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty - and she may just think you're on a southern writer kick.

I really think you should sign her name on the next one. :-)

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays, SF!

Posted by: Last Year's Sekrut Friend at December 18, 2005 1:06 PM