I'm at a place in my life where I feel incredibly insecure all the time. I grew up being "the smart girl" who excelled at school, but here I sit with several years between myself and a college degree and with a growing number of universities who don't even want to look at my transcripts. As a perfectionist, this is extremely difficult to swallow.
I try explaining to people that I really just didn't go to class at all, and they smile and nod politely. But I can tell from the sad little flicker in their eyes that they think I'm the world's biggest failure.
Hello, humility. I don't think we've met.
That said, I was extremely uncomfortable at my friend's wedding reception being surrounded by four of the smartest individuals I have ever met. The gentleman who was to my right speaks at least four languages, and his wife is fluent in several, as well. He's a college professor. They've lived in Italy. Their combined IQ would probably be around three million. Not possible, you say? Well, shut up. It's true.
Throughout the course of the evening, I did a lot of listening and a lot of learning. I have since forgotten the phrases I learned in German, French, Italian, and Spanish, but I did remember one key lesson:
If you want to really impress people, memorize the pledge of allegiance in another language.
The smart wife of the smart man to my right had committed to memory the French pledge of allegiance, but she let it slide from her tongue so elegantly that I thought she was simply making conversation. She then repeated it to me in an angrier tone, showing how she could recycle the same material with different inflections and still manage to impress people. (Only now does it occur to me that perhaps it was the American pledge of allegiance in French. Either way, it was amazing.)
Of course, anyone who is fluent in French probably wouldn't be fooled by the ruse, but it is certainly a great party trick to have on hand here in America. And by golly, that Hey, look how many rejection letters I have! trick just isn't working for me anymore, so I'm happy to replace it. What cool tricks do you have up your sleeves?
P.S. No, I do not want to know that my title actually means "there's a monkey in my pants." Ignorance is bliss.