calculus, driving at night in the rain, folding clothes, folding things, getting lids off jars, lifting heavy things, origami, peter sagal, repartee, singing, small talk, solving a rubik's cube, the incredible hulk, throwing clay pots
Several times this year I have attempted origami, the latest being last week, and every time I try, I realize I’m exceedingly bad at it. I posted about this on Facebook and a friend replied that I was good at so many things that it was good I was bad at something. This got me to thinking about the other things I’m bad at, things I don’t usually talk about because, geez, who wants to point out their own weaknesses?
Here’s a list of 10 things I’m bad at. It’s not an all-inclusive list, by any means, and thankfully they’re not life threatening.
1. Origami – While I can do some basic paper folding, when it comes to origami there’s always a point in the instructions that I can’t figure out. I puzzle and puzzle over whether I’m supposed to do a mountain or canyon fold (or whatever they call them) or whether to turn a fold inside up or right side down. Eventually, when I realize that I can’t figure it out, I give up. Blech. (Meanwhile, Daughter’s college roommate is an origami champion.)
2. Solving a Rubik’s cube – Rubik’s cubes were popular when I was in high school and kind of expensive, if I remember correctly. Dad got me one as a birthday or Christmas gift. I never could figure it out, even after buying an illustrated pamphlet on how to solve it. The best I could do was to get two sides solved, which doesn’t count for much.
3. Singing – While my speaking voice is fine, I’m not a singer. Darn!
4. Folding clothes – I’m a sloppy clothes folder. I know this because I’ve compared my clothes folding ability to those of Hubby and Daughter. They fold clothes with precision. I slap ’em together and put ’em on a shelf or in a drawer. This whole folding thing is apparently beyond me (note the origami above) because I’m also not terribly good at wrapping Christmas presents, which involves no small amount of folding.
5. Lifting heavy things – I’m tiny and fine-boned and don’t have six-pack abs. What can I say? I can’t lift heavy things. (This non-skill could be life threatening if I ever am called upon to lift a car off someone, like The Incredible Hulk. Wait. Didn’t Bruce Banner become The Hulk because he couldn’t lift a car off his wife? Let me check Wikipedia. … Yep. I’m remembering the TV version, not the comics or film. Someone get me some gamma radiation, pronto!)
6. Driving at night in the rain – Night driving is not my favorite thing, but if it’s clear I can manage it. When it’s raining, my night driving becomes a white-knuckled, rapid-breathing adventure because any light bounces off the water and creates sparkly stars in my vision. There’s a coating for glasses that helps with this and one of our vehicles has an auto-dimming rear-view mirror that cuts down on glare. Still, I’m not keen on night driving in the rain.
7. Getting tight lids off jars – Refer to #5 above. Also, I have small hands.
8. Calculus – I’ve never taken a calculus class, but advanced algebra darn near did me in during high school (only class I got a C in). Daughter, however, that girl knows her calculus. She obviously did not get the calculus gene from me. My dad was a math major in college, so the calculus gene must have skipped my generation and landed squarely on Daughter.
9. Throwing pots – I have a B.F.A. in visual arts. For my major, we had to sample a number of classes in addition to taking lots of classes in our major concentration. I took a pottery class and found that I was okay at pinch pots and coil pots (just okay, not great) and horrible at throwing pots on a wheel. I could not control the clay. I could never get the feel for it, like I had a feel for weaving, my concentration. Weaving was intuitive for me. Pottery, not
so much at all. Hubby, however, could throw a pot without any formal instruction as soon as he sat down at the wheel.
10. Small talk – I am an introvert so small talk is a challenge for me, as is repartee. (If you’ve heard the term “witty repartee,” that’s what I’m talking about, but in looking up the spelling of “repartee,” I discovered that “witty repartee” is actually a redundant term because repartee is defined as “a quick, witty reply.”) Part of being an introvert means that I like to think before I talk, but when it comes to small talk, there’s often very little thinking time involved. Also, I tend to need to be around a person several times in observation mode before I strike up a conversation. I envy peeps like Peter Sagal (host of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”) for their snappy discourse with strangers.
This list has meme written all over it, so why not make it one? It’s meme time for anyone who’d care to join in on their blogs or Facebook. What 10 things are you bad at?