A guy knocked on our door a few days ago. “I was working in your neighbor’s yard, and I noticed your oak tree,” he said. “It looks bad. Needs to come down. I’ll do it for [insert reasonable price]. Also noticed you don’t have a chimney; I’ll haul the wood away, too.”

“Just a minute,” I told him. I called my husband.

“Honey,” he said, “the tree is fine. That guy just wants the wood so he can sell it.”

There you go. That’s my life. I’m cursed with gullibility; I believe what people tell me and don’t look for hidden messages, hidden agendas, hidden emotions. It causes me no end of trouble. I once complained to a psychologist that one of my co-workers had deceived me; I hadn’t expected it at all. “Are you stupid?” she asked.

Maybe I am. Or maybe I’m honest and expect others to be so, too. If you say you’re my friend, I believe you. And it will take many metaphorical strikes over the head with a giant mallet to change that status. I guess, in the end, I want to believe people. I want them to be honest. I want them to be better than perhaps they really are.

That doesn’t seem so stupid…does it?