"Where are you from?"
"Where do you live now?"
"What's the dumbest thing you've ever done?"
I'm routinely fascinated by other peoples' answers to this question. Generally speaking, we're all relatively "with it." And yet we've all done some really, really dumb things.
I was 17. There was a girl - let's call her PJ - who I desperately wanted to impress. After brainstorming a list of ways I could win over PJ's heart, I decided to take her on a fancy date to The City (i.e., downtown). See PJ wasn't like most of the girls in my suburban high school. She was chic. And clearly she would appreciate a Night of Culture (i.e., dinner at Olive Garden and then a play, which sounds so much more sophisticated than dinner-and-a-movie, right?). To get ready for The Big Date, I did an impressive amount of prep-work. I got my car washed. I burned a mix CD with 16 hand-picked tracks. (BTW, for you youngins out there, burning a CD was A BIG DEAL in 1996.) I even drove to the theater the night before, because, let's face it, it's hard to look smoove when you're lost.
So the night started out delightful. Dinner at the OG was exquisite. The tunes were clearly working their magic; PJ couldn't help but rock side-to-side in her seat when No Diggity and How Do You Want It? came on. I found a premo parking spot in a lot directly across from the theater. We went to the show. It was OK, but PJ acted like it was the best thing she'd ever seen. (I think it was her way of indirectly thanking me for taking her to something other than a movie.)
As we were walking out to my car, I began searching for my keys. "Hmm...this is not cool," I remember thinking to myself. I wanted to have my keys ready by the time we got to PJ's side of the car. I did NOT want to be fumbling for them when my fair lady was ready to enter the Jackmobile. When we got about 20 feet away from my car, however, I abruptly stopped searching for my keys. That's because I could clearly hear No Diggity blaring from my parked ride. Once we got about 5 feet away, I picked up another sound: the purring of my '87 Honda Accord's engine.
That's when I realized I had done one of the dumbest things ever. I had left my car running for 2+ hours - unattended and UNLOCKED - in Downtown Minneapolis on a Friday night. Apparently I was so excited to hop out of my car to open up PJ's door that I forgot to turn my car off. Or turn the music off. Or take out the keys. Or lock the doors.
But of course I wasn't about to let PJ know that this was a mistake. Rather, I played it off. "Look, babe, the car's all warmed up for us." She gave me a look that was equal parts confused and concerned, and no parts impressed.
So, what's the dumbest thing you've ever done?
Jill's Two Cents: Jack, you can add one more thing to the list of dumb things you've done---you told me this story. From now on I will be expecting you to open my car door each and every time we go anywhere, and I will also want a warm car waiting for me at the end of each date we have in the winter. The bar has officially been raised!