It turns out that even I can learn a lesson if it's driven home about 40 times.
When I was a junior in high school, I was in an accelerated math and physics program. I was not particularly good at either one of these subjects, but I really wanted to be good at them. I had a deep seeded desire to be a real nerd who was smart, and not just a socially awkward, pimply freak with no friends. At least if I was smart, I would have an excuse to be a complete dweeb.
I was sitting in my trigonometry and math analysis class one day, not paying much attention to what was happening in the room. I was desperate to seem like I didn't need to study or try at all in this class even if it meant I would have to stay up until 2 in the morning learning from the book. Instead of paying attention, I was trying to figure out how to play a video game on my TI-84 calculator. An actually smart kid in front of me had installed it on his calculator, and then showed me how to transfer the program from his calculator to mine. I was too nerd-cool to tell him that I had never played Minesweeper before and I didn't know the rules.
I was clicking randomly on the easiest level, hoping to have some kind of epiphany and become a Minesweeper expert, when I overheard a conversation the teacher was having with a student in the front row. They had obviously gotten off topic.
I didn't like the girl in the front row. She was not only able to style her hair so that it looked good all day, but she was skinny, had no pimples, was a straight A student, in student government, a cheerleader, had a boyfriend, and had already gotten a scholarship to some nice expensive school out east somewhere. She also had a brand new car because her parents were rich.
Basically I hated her. Looking back, I don't think she had actually hit puberty yet.
Rich Smart Girl was talking, "I don't know what's wrong with it."
Teacher (in his thick Austrian accent): "So you were late this morning because your car wouldn't start?" So you ver late dees mornik because your car voodent start?
Rich Smart Girl: "No, it started, but the blinkers didn't work, and I thought maybe it was low on blinker fluid or something."
The entire class burst out laughing.
Teacher (laughing): "Oh yeah? Did you try to fill it?"
Rich Smart Girl (blushing and defensive): "My dad told me there's no such thing. How was I supposed to know?"
It was one of my happier moments in that class.
On Saturday, Boyfriend and I went for a little hike before heading to his stepsister's house for a housewarming party. We were a little early, so we thought we would do some shopping for our trip next week before we arrived.
Earlier in the day, my turn signal went out.
Left, no blink. Right, no blink. They just stayed on solid. The hazards worked, but that didn't do me any good.
I am totally a "signal every time I change lanes" kind of person, so I was manually blinking by moving the lever up and down as regularly as I could while not crashing my car every time I changed lanes or turned.
While funny at first, click click click click, trying my hardest to not signal SOS in Morse Code every time I changed lanes, it was getting a little old. I thought about just not signaling, but I just couldn't find it in myself to do so. It was a RULE, and I have a really really hard time breaking rules.
I kept saying things like, "AHHH! I need to take this in and get it fixed."
"Ugh, maybe it's just a fuse."
"Ha ha ha, blink blink blink!" I may have started to sound a little manic here.
Getting more and more strained by manual blinks, I blurted out, "IT PROBABLY JUST NEEDS BLINKER FLUID."
Boyfriend burst out laughing.
I laughed, too. "You're awesome, Boyfriend. You didn't assume I was serious!" Or, rather, that's what I meant to say. What I actually said was, "You're awesome, Boyfriend, you didn't assume I was YYEOOOOOOOWWWW!"
I swerved back and forth across the road, tires squeeling.
Boyfriend braced for impact, "WHAT'S WRONG!"
"I bit my TONGUE!" I bid by TONG.
I got the car back under control without killing us. The pain was fading a little by then, although my bubblegum was starting to taste oddly like blood.
This seems to happen to me a lot.
"Apparently, I can't talk and chew gum at the same time," I said to Boyfriend.
He started laughing again. I'm not sure if it was from relief that we didn't die, or because he thought my joke was funny.
And now I have a new rule: DO NOT talk, walk, run, think, sing, drive, or do pretty much anything while chewing gum. If I want gum, I need to sit very very still in a closed, undistracting environment because this shit takes concentration.