Every day we do dumb things. And we hope the dumb things don’t outnumber the smart things so that a trend develops. Once dumbness begins to trend, bad things are on the way.

Yesterday, I did a dumb thing. I left my phone at home, before driving an hour and a half away (to Bloomington, IN). Now, this turned out to work in my favor, because I wasn’t looking at my phone a lot, I was more present, and I didn’t worry as much.

But dumb things were a theme yesterday, because we had lunch with our middle son, and he talked about dumb things that happened in his teenage years. And he admitted they were dumb. And more shockingly, he admitted we weren’t so dumb as he insisted we were at the time.

All of us have two extended periods of dumbness that affect our lives. Both revolve around the period from early teens to early twenties. During this time, you’re dumb because you’re a teenager and you do dumb things. You also think your parents are dumb. They dress dumb. They look dumb. They talk dumb, etc. You say dumb hurtful things like, “You don’t know how hard it is and you don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager, and oh my gawd!”

All the while, you’re engaged in a decade-long period of dumbness that will pay you back one day. And when that payback comes, you realize your parents weren’t so dumb. And you probably shouldn’t have given them a hard time. And then just as everything is about to become a Hallmark movie moment of forgiveness and redemption with your own parents, your own teenagers arrive. And now you’re dumb again. And they’re doing all the dumb things you did, plus new ones made possible by Instagram, Snapchat, smartphones, and apps you don’t even know about.

And for another decade, you’re dumb (according to them) and they’re dumb (because they’re teenagers) and the cycle of dumbness continues. I’m personally grateful for the cycle of dumbness (my own and others’). It gives me lots to write about.

PS: Thanks to all of you who picked up a copy of Tales From a Roundabout Vol 1 last week! Because of you, it spent several days in Amazon’s Top 100 in the Satire category. I really appreciate your support!!

Carry on, Citizens!