by Kelli Collins
She’s the bane of an editor’s existence, mentioned on pet peeve lists from here to Hong Kong, the one person sure to make us question our allegiance to our own gender—the TSTL heroine.
Ah yes. The good ol’ Too Stupid To Live chicks who make our mothers-in-law sound like Rhodes scholars. We’ve seen them in movies, met them in books, and bitch though we do about the impossibility of such people actually existing in real life, they *still* keep showing up. Inexplicably multiplying. Like bunnies on Viagra.
Surely characters with such staying power deserve our attention? After all, a wise bumper sticker once said, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” So depending on your point of view, the following is either an ode in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy…or a plea to take pity on long-suffering editors and readers.
You Might Be TSTL If…
You have sex with a stranger.
You have sex with a stranger…*without* protection. (TSTL Double-Whammy)
You accept a marriage proposal from said stranger after a month. Or a week. Or a day.
You “refuse to be afraid!” Very brave. And stupid. Fear might actually keep you alive.
You assert your independence by putting yourself into outrageous predicaments and/or extreme danger. (“I don’t need your help! I’ll just do this incredibly stupid thing all by myself instead!”)
When chased by a villain, you run upstairs (or into the basement), thereby ensuring your capture and possible murder/rape/torture. (TSTL Classic I)
You call your ex for revenge sex after a spat with your current lover.
You swiftly jump to illogical conclusions faster than a preschooler playing Xtreme Hopscotch.
You routinely wear laughably inappropriate clothes/shoes for every occasion. Who hikes in five-inch stilettos?
You’re easily blackmailed. (“Have my baby or everyone you love dies!” Um, if the villain’s willing to kill, he’s damn sure willing to lie.)
You think you can thwart the villain better than your ex-SEAL/Ranger/spy/cop hero.
You enter dark alleys and/or abandoned, creepy-looking buildings alone. At night. Without a flashlight. (TSTL Classic II)
You can’t say no to anyone, for any reason, including friends, family, coworkers, the hero, the postman, your butcher, the chick who served your dinner last night…
You think having a baby will save your failing relationship and/or stay in a relationship solely “for the sake of the kids”.
You confuse strength and intelligence with bitchiness and bossiness. (TSTL Trend du Jour)
You can’t make up your own mind. Ever.
**The TSTL list wishes to thank the following contributors: Raelene Gorlinsky, Donna Hoard, Meghan Conrad, Sue-Ellen Gower and Ann Bruce.