Saturday, April 9, 2016

Things I Cannot Do

Lori asked if there is anything I cannot do, in response to my mention in my post yesterday that I was going to bake bread this weekend.  Comments like this crack me up because, for most of my life, I felt like an epic failure at doing stuff. I do well at the handful of things I enjoy -- horseback riding, gardening, cooking, making bread.  Hard stop.

Did you notice that all these things are solitary activities?  Brett and I live a quiet life, far from busy suburbia, and we are very happy.  But, I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, in a town where social games were prevalent and I never felt like I fit in there.  

The things I suck at -- starting with my life as a child:

1. Tennis.  Tennis was big in my family; both my parents played and my sister was very, very good.  I liked it well enough, but I never could get the backhand down very well.  Coordination is not my strong point.

2.  Dating.  I hated dating.  I hated listening to guys go on and on about how wonderful they were.  I hated spending time with a guy just so I had a date.  This drove my mother nuts.  My sister was dating this guy or that guy, going to parties, looking cute... And I preferred to be home with a book.

3.  Dancing.  My friends tried to teach me, they really did.  But, they gave up.  Disco was the thing when I was in high school and college and I just  Still can't.  It makes dressage a bit of a challenge too.

4.  Sewing.  My mother was an accomplished seamstress and she taught my sister and I how to sew at a young age.  I could not, and still cannot, sew a straight line to save my life.  I tried quilting because I love, love, love quilts.  I can do the handstitching and appliqué alright, but I cannot piece it all together... Because that requires a straight line.

5.  Parties.  Save me!  This is the phrase playing in my head the entire time I am at a social gathering of more than four people.  It doesn't matter if it is friends, or family, or work; I do not do well in large social functions.  If I have to go to one, you will find me in a corner somewhere talking to one person, maybe two.  Fortunately, Brett hates parties as much as I do.  And dancing, too.

6.  Color, design, dressing.  I can copy an outfit off of a mannequin, and over the years I've settled into a professional wardrobe that suits me.  I wear a lot of black and grey to work, with an accent scarf.  It's hard to screw that up.  Camille tries to help me.  She's got a strong artistic streak and I rely on her advice when decorating.  I've gotten better over the years, but it is mostly smoke and mirrors.

7.  Plumping Pillows.  If you are sick, don't come to me for sympathy.  I'm likely to give you a barf bucket and tell you to come back when you feel better; and please stay in your room so you don't give me your germs.  Just ask Brett and my kids -- I am not the most sympathetic person on the planet.  Of course, if you are seriously ill or injured that is a different ballgame.  I will do what needs to be done, and keep a pretty level head in a crisis.  I got this gene from my mom.  She wasn't all warm and fuzzy either.

8. Shopping.  I hate malls, department stores, Home Depot and CostCo.  I buy everything I can online.  The only exceptions are tack stores (sometimes) and nurseries (always).

Growing up, I felt very odd, very misunderstood, very much an outsider.  Brett is the only person who has ever made me feel completely understood.  (Except my kids, of course).  We're both introverts who thrive on our quiet life; on time spent kayaking on secluded lakes in the summer and watching the snow fall in the winter; on caring for our animals and living amongst fragrant pines and towering, twisting, oaks on our ranch.  I fit right in up here in the mountains.


  1. No hard stop. You do a lot more things really, really well. Swimming, hiking, kayaking. Reading, writing poetry, contract negotiations. Starting fires in the wood stove, planning great vacations and wonderful places to eat. The list goes on forever; however, I'd better stop before I get in trouble.

  2. Ha Ha! I think Brett is right!

  3. we appear to be soul-sisters mon amie :)

  4. Love the post and Brett's comments!

  5. I can totally relate...except for the sewing. I love to sew. Love your hubby's comments.


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