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Questionable Musings

Middle-aged Musings Monday is just about what I’m up to today.

Oh, I don’t feel too bad. I’m actually reasonably content with my lot in life today. For one thing, if I can just get through the week, I have a three day weekend. And Monday off makes next week only a four day week. Talk about a win/win!

But to get on with the musings, lately I’ve been alternately musing on and beating myself up over the fact that at this late date I still don’t have my act together. I’ve written posts about this before. It should surprise no one that writing these posts has been no help in the getting together of said act.

I marvel at my continued capacity to Just Not Do Things. For example, daily stretches to minimize my recurring back pain. Every couple of days I think, “Oh yeah, I was going to start doing those stretches every day. That would be a good idea.” Do I sit right down and start stretching? Do I even set a time to plan to do them in the near future? You can guess the answers to these questions.

Oh, but that reminds me of something else I’ve been musing about lately that I find more interesting than my ongoing tribulations: I HATE it when people don’t answer a question but instead make a remark calculated to convince you that you are an utter idiot for asking.

I used to have a rather nasty college professor whose favorite response was to look at you as if nothing could exceed her pity for such stupidity and say, “I think you can answer that question for yourself.”

I can just hear people with higher self-esteem than mine piping up with remarks such as, “As your professor, it was her job to challenge you,” and, “Didn’t you learn more by finding the answer yourself than by her just feeding it to you?” and, of course, “Well, you probably could answer the question for yourself.”

My response to these arguments is to realize that the world is just chock full of people who delight in trying to make me feel even more stupid. Well, you needn’t feel so pleased with yourselves; it isn’t that hard to do.

A favorite answer of army sergeants to questions they don’t feel like answering is, “Well, that’s where common sense comes in.” I always wanted to say, “In other words, you don’t know either,” but you want to watch how snarky you get with people who outrank you.

It is really no wonder that I got into the habit of prefacing questions with, “This is probably a stupid question.” The pat response to that, of course, is, “There are no stupid questions,” or “The only stupid question is the one not asked.” If this is truly the case (and I like to think it is), why do so many people not just answer the damn question?

I had one platoon sergeant who would say, “There are no stupid questions, only stupid people with questions.” This did not offend me, because at that time in my life especially (as, I confess, at many other times), I spent a good portion of every day feeling stupid. Also in his defense, he would usually answer the question.

I wonder if my low self-esteem and perception of myself as stupid have anything to do with my inability to get my act together. This is surely a point to ponder. I will not phrase it in the form of a question, however, because I have a pretty good idea of what some people would say.