I am a little sensitive regarding my intelligence, or other people’s opinions of my intelligence. I’m quickest to gripe at my husband if he does anything that requires me to say, “You know I’m not an idiot, right?” I hate it when someone either A) Tells me something that everyone would be capable of figuring out themselves or B) Tells me something I didn’t know but uses a tone implying I should have known it. The first one I hate because I’m not an idiot and don’t like being treated like one. The second I hate because I don’t want to feel like an idiot because someone is talking down to me. Being talked down to – even though it’s often warranted – is the thing that will get my blood boiling the fastest. Because it’s the thing I’m probably the most insecure about.
I’m not naturally smart, by any means. I always had to work hard for my good grades, and was still one of those students that could study for days for a test, ace it, and then forget it all the next day. MrZ could glance over his notes once, ace it, and remember it forever. This pissed me off our entire college career together. I have two degrees but am not well-read when it comes to literature or nonfictions. I prefer my Young Adult Wizards and Vampires…thank you very much. I often read blog posts about book clubs and feel a little insecure because the only time I ever went to a book club and felt okay about it was because the person who was holding it loaned me the Vampire book I was currently reading. I felt a little better about that. But most of the time? Eh. So, while I’m defensive about my intelligence, I don’t really every put forth efforts to make myself actually be more intelligent.
However, my Dad took grades and school very seriously. While I still stand by my Dad being the most amazing Dad I could have ever asked for – he did have a temper. And that temper showed it’s ugly face the most often when Dad was frustrated with either (A) My grades or (B) Me doing something REALLY dumb. Like locking my keys in my car. For the 15th time. The few (and sometimes many…as I was often doing stupid crap as a kid) times he’d lose his temper and scream at me – seemed to always involve me either doing poorly on something in school (WHICH WAS RARE) or me doing something airheaded (WHICH WAS OFTEN) so the screams from him would sometimes involve insults to my intelligence.
Needless to say? This is probably what has made me so defensive about my intelligence.
So – of course – the process of closing his estate has made me feel like a complete moron. First of all: I’ve made a bunch of mistakes. Some of the mistakes I’ve made were because I misinterpreted things. Others because I just didn’t know. And others because I assumed other people (like my lawyer) were responsible for those things. However, it seems like most of my mistakes were made because everyone outside the process: Lawyers, Auctioneers, CPAs, Title Companies – they all assume I know things I don’t. And that’s the part that PISSES ME OFF. I mean – why do I feel like all along this process that things are intuitive when THEY ARE NOT. Either I really am an idiot or other people have learned these things along the way when I haven’t. But how would I have learned them? Is it because most people are older when they go through this stuff so they have experience? My Dad has been dead almost a year now and he had the easiest estate on the planet…yet still! We can’t close things out because I was under the impression that this one waiver required an inventory that couldn’t be done until the house was sold. So, I worked on it all last week. Now? I find out they can’t give the estate the money for that house UNTIL THEY HAVE THAT WAIVER. And they asked for the form like I should have known all a long that they needed it. I didn’t even know what that form WAS until 2 weeks ago. BAH! They asked for a second form too which – THANK GOD – I actually have. But I didn’t know I needed that either – so it’s lucky I have it. I have no idea how I was supposed to know I needed this stuff. I feel like I’m not reading stacks of paperwork thoroughly enough – or that I missed some class in high school that everyone else had where you learn things about Probate. The thing is? It’s different in every state. So even if I had taken some sort of class like that – it wouldn’t do me any good because this is all crap from the state of TENNESSEE.
(Can you hear my frustration through the monitor? If not – maybe I should use more capital letters. That seems to make me feel better.)
I just find it a very Full Circle kind of thing that the estate belonging to the person who is probably responsible for making me defensive about my intelligence – is making me feel like a GIANT dumbass.