Friday, 18 October 2013

My Pogo/life as 'the dumb one'.

N. AMER.informal
silly or scatterbrained.
"don't tell me my ditzy secretary didn't send you an invitation!"

A while ago, my housemates and I all sat around and talked about our 'pogos'. 'Pogo' here being a clever concept coined by my beloved Winston Bishop, and yet another thing in my life that is brought in from a TV programme. The characters in 'New Girl' all have these irritating physical or personality traits that their friends discuss behind their back; Schmidt has ridiculously long toenails, Jess is a know-it-all, Nick needs to be mothered every now and again... The kind of things only very close friends or flatmates would know about one another.
The obvious pogos were mentioned, e.g. someone enforces the cleaning rota, someone has trouble sugar-coating things, someone is difficult about doing washing up... Obvious, and harmless. I tentatively asked what mine was, hoping it would be something small and easily fixable, such as my noisy typing or playing music before I fall asleep. Alas, mine was something I cannot change, and somehow was what I did not expect, and yet most feared: I'm ditzy. 

Within my group of friends - well, within the many groups I have been in, or on the very edge of, throughout my life - I've always been in serious danger of being labelled 'the dumb one'. Everyone else gets to be the hero or the leading lady, or the sarky and hilarious best-friend characters at the very least.
Then there's me. Karen Smith from Mean Girls, asking people why they're white, feeling her own breasts and sticking diamante gems in a backwards K shape across her chest before a night out. Even when I was brunette, I was the blonde. 

I really don't understand why; I'm intelligent, coherent, and perceptive to the point of freakishness. I get well above average grades, I read hefty classic novels, I have a fantastic concept of time, I'm positively brimming with common sense (although I am somewhat selective about when I use it)... My memory is outstanding. I can form articulate arguments on the spot. My quick wit and improvisational skills have saved my hide plenty of times. I know things long before I'm told them.
So why am I made to feel this way? By my best friends, too? 

At last year's annual Fly Hard awards, I was given the prestigious honour of 'Hottest Player'. Which, don't get me wrong, is lovely, but... I would have preferred something more substantial, such as 'Most Improved Female' or 'Most Enthusiastic Player', rather than just an award that said 'well done, you look good while playing.' It somehow reinforced my 'just a pretty face' complex. And I don't even think I'm that pretty. So how does that work?

I'll admit, I do have a few unfortunate moments now and again. I often walk into door frames because I misjudge my distance or their width, I remember to grab something from my bedroom as everyone's walking out the front door, I trail off mid-sentence because something distracts me...
Also, I may make some pretty stupid decisions now and again, but that doesn't make me a stupid person. A one night stand with the boy who broke my heart, making grilled cheese sandwiches at 11:30pm, smoking while having a chest infection, wearing a clean white bedsheet as a dress on a night out - these are just some of my greatest hits. However, stupid though they may be, there is always a valid reason - whether it be fantastic easy orgasms, delicious late-night calories, an excuse to use my classy cigarette holder, participating enthusiastically in an 'anything but clothes' themed pre-drinks... Hey, the heart wants what it wants. I shouldn't be classed as 'dumb', because I follow my heart.

Last week, my drama group all took the Myers Briggs personality quizzes. We answered four questions to gauge what category we all fell into. I found most questions fairly easy - are you introverted or extroverted? Do you judge, or perceive? Do you experience, or learn? - except one. The question was "do you make decisions based on a long thought process, or just how you feel?" The significance just about smacked me in the face. Because I will always think everything through as best I can, evaluate as much as possible, be practical and scientific - but I will always make my final decision based on how I feel, and how it will affect others. Heart beats head every time. Maybe that's what makes me 'the dumb one'. Maybe not.
Whatever the reason, I want to shake this label. I can deal with being 'the shit one' in a drama group, I can make do with being stuck as a second team Ultimate player, I'll settle for being the fourth prettiest housemate. But I'd rather not be the ditzy one any more. 

1 comment

  1. I totally get you on this.
    I study history of art and archeology and before that spent a year studying athropologu with classes such as law and history of economics, i really enjoy ready scientific magazines from time to time, i can have deep conversations about the meaning of life and the world we live in...but since i love make up and clothes, well saddly it's my appearence that counts. Even for my friends sometimes. I get more texts saying "hey i saw this great hair tutorial" than "you'd love that exhibition about precolombian art".



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