By now most of my acquaintances have learned that what seems like a good idea at the time can change in the blink of an eye… but those are the fast learners. Others among us will never learn. For one thing, it’s hard to resist the flash of a Eureka! light-bulb the minute it clicks on. For another thing, some of us including me don’t come equipped to stop leaping before looking, and I mean that both figuratively and literally. In my youth, I literally leaped head irst into what was clearly marked three feet of water and broke my nose. But did that teach me to pre-think and approach with caution? No, it did not.
I wasn’t much older when I ruined an expensive and beloved pair of hand-beaded moccasins on a muddy country road in a rain storm that I knew had been predicted but planned to outrun; and I was verging on adulthood the time I twisted a green bandana into a bathing suit halter that had a mind of its own once it got wet. All of those impetuous acts (among others) had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Don’t tell me that you too can’t, in all honesty, claim at least a handful of those leaps-before-looking experiences that should have taught you better next time but didn’t. Could it be that some of us are terminally unteachable, chief among whom would be me? Is it possible our penchant for leaping before looking is in our DNA? Eureka, that’s it! How else am I to account for my recent rash of spontaneously purchased but promptly returned merchandise that had seemed like a good idea at the time… or for the vast quantity of experimental cooking and baking catastrophes clogging my garbage disposal… or, for that matter, my unruly tongue’s insistence upon springing into action before my brain is engaged?
But enough about me. I harbor no bitter grapes if you’re an acquaintance whose nature it is to whip up a successful dinner party on the spur of the moment just because it seemed like a good idea at the time ... one who volunteers a spontaneous suggestion that’s accepted by acclamation amidst wild applause by your committee members… one who wakes up one morning with a pair of scissors in your hand, cuts your hair adorably and has no reason by bedtime to wish you had cut your throat instead… one who, on a whim, turns off the main thoroughfare onto an unfamiliar road and discovers a field of wild flowers in bloom.
Some have mastered spontaneity and some haven’t, so go ahead on if that’s you. I’ll be here in the kitchen unclogging the garbage disposal for yet another catastrophe that seemed like a good idea at the time.
MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.