Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ten Things

Mama’s Losin’ It

3.) 10 things you don't know how to do.

There are probably books dedicated to all the things that people don't know how to do.  Everyone wants to learn new activities; entire schools are dedicated to that concept.  Not everyone is able to do everything, however, which is a hard lesson for an overachieving nerd like myself. I was taught that if I put my mind to something and worked hard, I could do it. I believed that.  If I worked hard, I would eventually "get it".   The reality is much more likely to make a person drink themselves into a blind stupor.  Here is a small list of things that I am unable to do, for various reasons. 

1.  Cut hair  It looks really easy to cut hair, doesn't it?  When that stylist is snipping away, they make it look like a snap.  Hold up this piece and cut straight across, right?  No problem!  Except that it is a problem.  It's not nearly that easy.  I've tried cutting my bangs on two occasions.  Two, because the first fiasco involved alcohol, which I felt might have interfered with my coordination.  Both times resulted in a rather embarrassing trip to the salon for repairs.  And if twice wasn't bad enough, I thought I could use trimmers and cut my husband's hair once.  He has gorgeous curls, but he was going through chemo and he wanted his hair cut short.  Larry still tells the story of how I placed the trimmers on the back of his head for a microsecond.  That was followed by an "Oops," because, well, "Oops."  Then we got in the car and drove to a salon, where they fixed the "Oops". 

2.  Drive a standard  Again, it looks so easy.  Press left foot on the clutch, put the car in the gear, and gently accelerate.  Nothing to it, everyone said.  Not difficult at all, they said.  So when someone loaned me their Honda Civic and told me it was a standard, I didn't even blink.  I knew I could figure everything out.  Eventually.  I was a smart college girl, after all, and this was a college town.  What nobody EVER talked about, when they were telling me how easy it was to drive a standard, was the part about stopping on a hill.  The ten or fifteen embarrassing minutes I spent trying to get going again after I had to stop for a red light in the town square on a busy Saturday was only compounded by the ridiculously loud sound of squealing tires as I finally did get going.  The only thing that kept me from immediately leaving town was the fact that it was not my car, so my secret identity was safe.  Except for that transmission I left on the road. 

3.  Broil stuff    My cooking skills are horrible, but that doesn't mean that I don't keep trying! When we can't grill outside,  we use the broiler.  It looks easy enough:  Turn the knob to broil and set the timer.  Somehow, the juicy, mouthwatering steak that I put in the broiler, comes out looking like an old shoe, or worse, a burnt old shoe.  I've tried shortening the time.  I've tried vigilantly peeping in the oven to see I can catch my meal before it is incinerated.  Nothing seems to matter.  I either end up with raw or burnt.  It's at those times that I feel that my mother's lifetime ban from using her kitchen might have been a good idea. 

4.  Knit  I can crochet all the livelong day.  You hold the hook with this hand and loop the yarn with the other hand.  Simple, for the most part.  I can do a basic stitch in the dark, it is so easy.  But throw in another needle?  I'm all thumbs.  And what is this "purl"?  Is that a knot?  Because I can do knots with a crochet hook, what do I need two more pointy sticks for?  It's that little extra needed coordination that throws me, and every time I've tried to knit the finished product has looked more like toxic waste than a blanket.

5.  Clean a fish    I like to fish.  I can even put a worm on a hook.  I don't like it, because--duh--poor worm.  But I'll do it.  I'll take the fish off of the hook.  What I will not do is clean the fish.  I will not scale it.  I will not gut it. I most certainly will not cut off its head while it stares at me in rebuke.  It just yucks me out, the idea that I am doing all of this while the fish is still alive, in order to maintain the freshness.  I would rather throw that fish back in than have to do any of that. 

6.  Track a deer   When people say that they are going hunting around here in South Texas, what they mean is that they are going to throw out some deer corn, sit in a blind, and shoot whatever shows up.  That is not hunting, in my book.  That is fishing.  Hunting, real hunting, involves tracking the animal.  You find their footprint and then you follow that animal's tracks until you find them.  I've tried to do this, but one blob of footprints looks like another to me.  I could start out following a bear and end up with a mountain lion.  I'm that horrid.

7.  Solve for X  Once I hit that high school, the only math teachers available were coaches. For my Geometry class, I started off the year with the basketball coach and ended the year with the baseball coach. My entire year of Trigonometry was taught by the soccer coach. They were nice enough, but when I had questions, they didn't seem to be able to explain anything to me clearly. Consequently, math is a fuzzy concept to me. I even still use my fingers to count on occasion. Thus won't be a big deal until it is time for Zane to take those classes. Then we will hire a tutor. 

8.  Rope a calf   Remember how I said driving a stick looked easy? This does not. You have to ride a horse, first off. That's not simple under the best of circumstances, and in this instance you can't hold onto the horn for dear life. No, you have to control a running horse and then you have to swing a rope in such a way as to loop it over the head of a moving calf. Calves do not like to be roped. They don't help. So, in order to successfully rope a calf, you have to stay on the running horse, one hand holding the reins so you can tell the horse where to run, and the other hand has to throw a skinny rope over the head of a recalcitrant tiny cow.  If you should actually get the rope over the head of the calf, then you have to remember to pull back on the rope, so the loop tightens.  Then you have to pick the calf up, lay it on its side, and tie three of its legs together.  I would rather just walk to the nearest burger joint. 

9.  Birth babies    I did not have to learn any of this when I had my son. I never took any classes, or read any books about giving birth. Most of what I knew came from movies, which are always very, very accurate.  No, I had a C-section.  I never had labor pains, or had to do any of that awkward "pushing" or weird breathing, because I had pre eclampsia.  I went to sleep, and when I woke up, there was a 3lb baby boy waiting for me in the NICU. 

10.  Fake smile   I am one of those people who cannot hide my feelings.  No matter how hard I try for a poker face, it ain't happening.  If I'm sad or happy or angry, everyone knows it, just by the look on my face.  This kind of sucks.  I'm a relatively quiet sort of person who does not feel compelled to share every moment of my emotional existence with random people.  Because those random people?  Sometimes they feel the need to "help" by asking me what is wrong, not once, but forty or more times, until I tell them what is wrong.   Then they have to try and "fix" my problem, which is another long, dramatic event.   It just wears me out.

How about you?  Anything that you can't do?  Or are you one of those rare people who do everything right the very first time? 


  1. I am also made of glass. People can see everything going on inside of me.

  2. I kind of feel like I can't learn to do anything new anymore. I know how to do what I know how to do.....and that's it. The only thing it looks like I can do that you can't is solve for x.

  3. That's funny. I address fake smiles in my post today too. I can't solve for X either... But I can drive a stick. Woot woot :)

  4. I can do 2,4,9, and I fake smile some of the time because I have a frowny face and I have to paint a smile on it or folks ask me what's wrong? Nothing......


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