I think that I am a fairly intelligent person. In fact, empirical evidence suggests that I have above-average intelligence. High IQ. Excellent standardized test scores. My parents say I’m smart. So why do I do stupid things? Repeatedly? Without seeming to learn from my mistakes?
Case in point: Vitamins. We all know it’s good for you to take vitamins. They help keep you healthy, keep the immune system strong, supplement a healthy and well-balanced diet. So I buy them, regularly and with good intentions. But here’s what happens:
Day 1: Ooooh, I’ve bought super-healthy vitamins with 10,000 percent of all my necessary recommended vitamins and minerals. I’m going to take these every day and be incredibly healthy and have a fantastic immune system to boot. And also probably lose 10 pounds and be younger.
Day 2: Take vitamin. Yay, healthy! (15 minutes later) Oh crap, shouldn’t have taken that on an empty stomach. I feel sick. Have to go find something to eat, quickly. Feeling so nauseous now that I really can’t stomach anything that would amount to a nutritious breakfast. Could probably stomach oatmeal but my steel-cut oatmeal takes 30 minutes to cook. Can’t wait. Must eat bread.
So now instead of having either the steel-cut oatmeal mixed with fruit or the egg beater-and-vegetable omelet that would have normally comprised my breakfast, I’ve had a hot-dog bun. And a vitamin.
Day 3: See vitamin but Super-Intelligent Brain Cells remind me that I can’t take it on an empty stomach because I am Smart, and have learned from the mistakes of yesterday. In an attempt to keep the vitamin top-of-mind, I put it in a pocket and carry it with me so I can take it once I’ve eaten something.
Day 7: Find vitamin in lint trap when pulling clothes out of dryer.
Day 38: Ooooh, I forgot I bought these vitamins! (Repeat Day 2 here).
I have done this at least 30 times over the last 5 years or so. It’s not a case of expecting different results, it’s not like I think I’ll not get sick this time. I just don’t remember that it’s going to make me sick. It’s sort of astounding in its absolute idiocy.
Fortunately, since I’m so smart, I have a really good vocabulary so I have a lot of different words for “dumbass.”