Some people have an evil twin. I have a stupid twin.

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(Even I am frightened by that second picture, but I must be more lazy than proud because I don’t want to delete it and upload another one.  The shame serves me right.)

I didn’t know I had a stupid twin until I became a mother.  Then my brains fell out.  This phenomenon began with my very first pregnancy, like the time I decided to go on a walk around the neighborhood and realized as I sat on the step outside my door lacing up my shoes that I forgot my pants.  And that’s not even the worst of DIPS (Dumbness Induced by Pregnancy Syndrome), but I’ll save those great stories for a day when I don’t have any good blog fodder.  Lucky for you, I’ve been stupid enough lately that I’m in no shortage of current fodder.  Anyway, my brains fell out almost 7 years ago.  After 3 births, the remaining brain residue functions as well as it can but is subject to shriveling, exploding, turning to mush and other unfortunate and value-diminishing episodes— also ongoing symptoms of  motherhood.

So my stupid twin does dumb stuff.  I mean really dumb stuff.  And I just shake my head at her and wonder how we could possibly be related.  This past weekend my family went camping.  We love to camp, but it is so much work (unless your name is not “Mom” because then it’s mostly just about playing and getting fed).  Well, despite my hours of planning and stressing about the upcoming “vacation,” I managed to forget pillows, my children’s pajamas, a can opener, a jacket for myself (even though the trip included a tour of a cave that averages 48 degrees), and –sweet mercy– DVDs for the trip down and back.  By the way, I am not pregnant; just wanted to clear that up.  Simply dumb with no pregnancy to blame.  We managed to muddle through all my oversights and things were fine.  We even had lots of fun.  We collected all our dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and anything else the raccoons didn’t drag off and headed for home.

The “natural man” in me wants to dump off everything in my entry way and then not look at it again for a few weeks, but I was all industrious and put things right away, and started the dishwasher and started the laundry and even made a hot dinner.  I was too tired to even shower, but after three days, does it really even matter any more?  So I slept like a log (yes, a dirty log), then got up this morning and began the real-life routine.  This brought me face-to-face again with my stupid twin.

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The tab/sticker on my license plate says my registration expires in June 2009.  Well, I never got any renewal stuff in the mail, so I emailed the DMV about it, and they kindly explained to me that I never paid my registration last year so would I please tell them what tabs I stuck on my license plate.  After several moments of dumbfounded confusion, things became clear and I realized that after we sold our other car last year, the renewal stuff must have come in the mail and I didn’t pay attention, so I just stuck it on my van.  But it wasn’t for my van.  So I registered a car I no longer owned and failed to register the one I did own.  In their polite email way, they told me I need to go to the DMV and take care of my little problem.

So this morning, I got ready to go to the DMV and loaded all the kids in the car.  Then I realized I’d probably need my drivers license and spent a few minutes looking for it.  By a few, I mean about twenty.  My kids were sweating in the car and begging for snacks and water.  I looked in my camping luggage and in all the other places it might be.  I made my regular daily call to Matt asking if he knows where I left something.  No luck.  I started thinking maybe it was stolen from our car or trailer on the trip because I’m pretty sure I took it.  I got online to check my account and make sure that there were not suspicious purchases.  When I saw that the last purchase was made at Wendy’s on Friday afternoon, a lightbulb went off.  Actually it was more like a loud annoying alarm with a painful mallet.  In about 20 seconds, the following “vision” went through my mind:

  • Stopped at Wendy’s on way to State Park.
  • Trailer too big for drive-thru.  I went inside while Matt waited with kids in van.
  • Carried my wallet.
  • Made large purchase for five people and received my to-go order in a large bag, a small bag and a drink tray.
  • Needed both hands to carry bags; put wallet in large Wendy’s bag.
  • Returned to car.  Bombarded by hungry, needy people and played waitress for 25 minutes.
  • Went on carelessly with my life.
  • Arrived at State Park.  Matt removed trash from car and left it in the dumpster at the Ranger Station.

The vision ended with a blur of my credit cards, insurance cards, season passes, library cards and much much more swirling in a vortex of dumpster filth and an image of raccoons currently on a spending spree at PetSmart or Trader Joes.

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So I spent most of this morning making phone calls and hearing helpful customer service agents say things like “I’ve heard a lot of good stories, but never this one before.”  As if people don’t throw away their wallets in State Park dumpsters in fast food bags all the time.  Yeah, right.  Then I loaded the kids up in the van again, this time without snacks and water, and went to the DMV.  I knew this would be my stupid twin’s moment of glory:  back-paying my missed registration while explaining that I also threw away my drivers license.  I took a number, sat down with my children, and entertained them with pamphlets about fishing and getting a motorcycle license.  Finally my number was called.  I proudly marched up to the counter and started my conversation:

“First of all, I am an idiot….”

I wish I had an evil twin.  I would totally make her beat the living daylights out of my stupid twin.


26 thoughts on “Some people have an evil twin. I have a stupid twin.

  1. Uh, oh. I do stupid stuff all the time, and I’ve never been pregnant! What is the explanation?!?!

    We went camping a couple of years ago, and forgot super basic stuff, and had to drive down to the local Walmart, an hour away, one night.

  2. This is the best story ever. And totally something I would do. Really…ask my husband.

    At least it’s all over now and we got a good laugh out of it, right?

  3. It sure felt good to laugh! I have to admit, I have done nearly the same thing, but with my keys. I was in college, my friend and I went on a road trip and she was driving. I had a garbage grocery sack and a goodies grocery sack. Guess which sack held my keys? Guess which sack got thrown away somewhere in the middle of UT at a gas station? Yup. I think that was the birth of my stupid twin. And today I almost left the house to go to a family function without my pants. I am so glad I am not the only one who does things like that!

  4. Oh. My. So sorry!

    Here’s my stupid twin story: License was going to expire and I needed to renew. Totally spaced. Err….one year later and I just realized about three days ago that I’ve been driving illegally for the past YEAR. I’m seriously scared to go in and admit to this. What if they arrest me?!

    Maybe I’ll wait till my pregnant belly is a bit bigger so they’ll take pity on me…

  5. Oh, this was so funny and SO well written, Stephanie!! That last line is FABULOUS!

    And you know how I feel about the DMV. I still get PTSD just thinking about it.

  6. I thought I had thrown out my camera with the McDonald’s bag, but it turns out it was still in the stroller. At least you gave all the credit card companies a good laugh!

  7. Thanks for the for the good story and laugh. No, but really, I am sorry that happened. I guess my thought of going back and have your kids dig it out of the dumpster is out of the question?!?!?!?!?

    The best thing about it. . . .at least you have someone else to blame it on.

  8. What!!!!! Your forgot your pants???!!!!!!! Now that’s funny.
    I have triplets. One is stupid and one is angry. But none of us have ever forgotten our pants….;0) Thr drivers license thing has happend to me about 4 times.

  9. Due to jet lag I was up early this morning and decided to blog surf. I came across yours and read it. I am so glad I did. Sorry about your troubles, but. . . it sure made me laugh!!

  10. With my last pregnancy, I left my purse at many places…my hubby started to get pretty used to it (and annoyed!) Luckily, I was able to find it every time! Gotta love pregnancy brain, and you gotta especially love that it doesn’t go away!

  11. So, how did the DMV take your story!? Did they make you wait an extra two hours before helping you? 😉

    I’m prego now and find that I’m doing stupider things every day! I’m almost half way done, but the brains never do come back.

  12. Does it help to know that I love you so much right now because you have a stupid twin? I have one too. I also make daily phone calls to my husband to see if he knows what I did with this thing, or that thing. I’ve lost my wallet countless times. My check card is almost always in the back pocket of some pair of pants, even though I promise myself every day that I will not put my card in my pants, but will put it back in my wallet where it belongs. I got pulled over once and told the officer I was confused because I couldn’t find my most recent registration. Then he said, “Mam, this IS your most recent registration. It was ten months expired. What IS it with that pesky registration?! And I forget toothbrushes. EVERY single time we go anywhere. I forget to pack toothbrushes for the kids. My husband says it’s because I never make them brush their teeth at home, so why do it on vacation? And he has a point with that one!

    Thanks for being so real. It helps to know we aren’t alone. 🙂

  13. I would have had a panic attack when I realized what I had done with my wallet! What a crazy story.

    I routinely find scissors in the fridge and the milk in the cereal cupboard. I wish I could blame it on the kids, but I can’t. My husband has some psychological term for it (in my case in particular; not necessarily yours) called “being present.” I always have 15 things on my mind, so nothing is ever actually being focused on.

    I wish you the best in getting the contents of your wallet back!

  14. Once I found the perfect gift for Stephanie at Radio Shak. It was a set of small electronic devices that could attach to a key chain or slide into a wallet. A handheld remote would sound off an alarm so you could find the keys or wallet or whatever. I saw it on the shelf and I knew I had found the perfect gift. To this day I still can’t figure out why it is still sitting in junk drawer, unopened….

    BTW, when Stephanie starts on the DIPS stories you are in for a real treat.

  15. You are hilarious.

    And the good news is that at least you can rest assured the raccoons who . . . ahem . . . “stole” your wallet are less likely than your average thief to go on an shopping spree. Opposable thumbs and all that.

    I went to MommyJ’s house last week (she’s my sister) and forgot shoes for my kids. Shoes! They went to the pool barefoot.

    We won’t even discuss how many times I’ve had to run out and buy life jackets for my kids when we go to the lake . . . again. Let me tell you, there’s no chance of drowning if they simultaneously wear all of the flotation devices purchased for them over the past several summers. It’s embarrassing, and, seriously, expensive.

    I have, however, never forgotten my pants. But, please, don’t feel bad — I’m laughing with you, I swear — not at you!

  16. I have forgotten to put on a bra to go to work before. Of course, now that I stay home, that happens a lot more often.

    This was hilarioius and painfully familiar.

  17. I am laughing so hard that tears are flowing out of my eyes and my stomach hurts from laughing!
    Thank you for sharing!!!
    Just to know that I have a stupid twin as well. (that is genius what you came up with. Im totally incooprating that into my vocabulary because I know Im not stupid!!!!)
    A little story for you: I was walking around work one day thinking that its a bit breezy and wiggly on my upper half of my body. After being at work for 4 hours, It occured to me that I wasn’t wearing a bra! Nice!!!

  18. Fantastic story! Laughed so hard and realizing where your wallet was made the pit of my stomach drop. So not cool when those things happen. At least you can laugh about it… well.. that part may take a while:)

  19. Oh, Steph….we are peas in a pod for sure! Everytime my husband gets frustrated at me for losing something or forgetting something, I remind him that with each pregnanacy, you lose brain matter exactly equivalent to the mass of your newborn’s brain. This is a little known fact that I made up to make me feel better about my incompetence. Then I congratuate my hubby that after 4 children he is not married to a bumbling idiot. That means at one point I was pretty smart!

    Good luck with getting all of your credit cards back, etc. What a pain! Just how you want to be spending your summer, right?

  20. Oh, man, I am so sorry. I think the part that killed me (with laughter) was the image of the raccoons and your musing that they’re out with your credit cards somewhere.

    Really, though, I am sorry–it’s a pain to have to re-order/cancel everything in your wallet. I hope it goes somewhat smoothly, though.

  21. I left my wedding license at home on my wedding day and threw away my husband’s paycheck as junkmail when we were first married. There is a reason it is always assumed in my house that if something is misplaced I have probably done it. I never misplace chocolate, though.

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