Thursday, February 10, 2011

When smart people say stupid stuff

No, that is not the working title of my upcoming autobiography. However, it does describe an incident on Tuesday. Those who know me are familiar with my ability to say the wrong thing at exactly the right time. Tuesday was just a reminder that those types of incidents happen way too often for me.

I was standing in the lobby talking to a regular customer. I can't remember the exact question or statement that preceded my incredibly stupid response, but my answer was "I'm just waiting for the perfect 20 year old girl." As the last syllable left my lips, I realized that I had uttered another Gilbertism. A Gilbertism being one of those statements that bypasses the filter between my brain and mouth and comes straight out.

In less than a nanosecond came her response, "What would you even talk about to a twenty year old?" I tried to change the subject since I had no answer for that question. Mercifully, about that time the person she was waiting for arrived.

"What would I talk to a twenty year old about?" There's a verbal shot between the eyes. Let's be honest. I can't communicate with twenty year olds at work about work. Any other attempts at communication would be doomed to failure. Times like this remind me of how old I am. Twenty somethings think that George W. Bush may have been our second or third President. They don't realize that the World Wide Web did not come with the Creation. And yes, we had radio and television when I was a child.

Do you want to know how the dinosaurs felt? Work with a group of young people. Last Saturday, we lost our newest manager at the restaurant. About fifteen minutes before her scheduled shift, she sent a text message to the day shift manager. She told him that she would not be coming in to work that day. He called me to tell me this, and since we were out of managers, I had to abandon my projects for the day and go in to work. When I arrived at work, I sent our now former manager a text message terminating her. When word got out to the staff that she had been terminated, what do you think their response was? "You sent a text message??" Apparently, firing a manager is not news. Gilbert knowing how to send a text message is news!

I even have trouble communicating with my sons. They are 21 and 24. The other day Walter and his friend Daniel were at our store still trying to clean and organize. I said something to Dan and he responded with several statements, none of which I understood. I asked Dan what the #@#@# he was talking about. About that time, Walter saved the day by telling Dan, "Dad doesn't understand movie references." The next day Walter stopped at the restaurant to talk to me. At some point he said something that I couldn't grasp. I asked him what he was talking about. He replied, "That's from Blazing Saddles. I thought that it was old enough for you to know." I still don't do movie references.

When other guys tell me about how beautiful some woman is that they are dating, I always tell them the same thing. I tell them that sooner or later, you are going to have to sit at the table and talk to each other. Good conversation is critical. You have to be able to converse, there's an expiration date on the wild sex!

So another old guy's fantasy is down the tubes. It didn't really matter. I wasn't interested in twenty year old girls when I was twenty. I guess it took that verbal shot between the eyes to reinforce reality. Thanks.


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