pyjamasandtea

April 8, 2011

Things I Can’t Do

Filed under: Daily life,Lists — pyjamasandtea @ 9:44 am
Tags: , , , ,

There are lots and lots of extraordinary things I can’t do.  I can’t perform brain surgery (for example), or speak a dozen languages, or do math.  But these things are truly exceptional and I don’t particularly fault myself for those inabilities.  There are however, a whole bunch of very ordinary things that I can’t do, and I think it high time to embark on a little self-improvement or continuing education project to improve this sorry state.

For instance, you ask?

1.  Laundry.  I really don’t think I do laundry very well at all.  My usual routine is to throw towels and sheets in and put it on “hot” and do everything else on “cold” and then throw everything in the dryer.  I hang some things, like delicate sweaters or things I imagine might shrink in unattractive or revealing ways, but I have no real understanding of my washer/dryer combo.  The washing machine has a setting called “permapress”.  What is that?  Is that a type of fabric or a way of washing or does the machine really iron while its working?  It has settings called “quick” and another labeled “touch up”.  What is the difference?  What is a “touch up” wash?  And how about the “stain removal” setting?  I just pour on the ‘Shout’ in a futile attempt to get at the butter stains that ruin my clothes… but can my machine really seek and destroy a stain through a setting?

2.  French braid hair.  My ex’s new love recently put my daughter’s hair into french braids.  I LOVED it.  I tried to replicate it a few days later but was a complete failure.  My soon-to-be-five-year-old said in quite the dejected tone:  “I guess you are good at ponytails.  Or sort of anyway.”  An arrow to my heart. I think the fact that I never went to overnight summer camp permanently impacted my french-braiding skills.

3. Make-up.  I don’t usually wear make-up, but once in a while I like to gussy it up and so I pull out my ten year old eyeshadow and mascara.  I really have no idea though, whether I am improving my appearance when I bother.  Does make up actually work?  And if so, how do I know where the light goes, the dark goes, the concealer and blush and highlights.  I really have no sense of whether I’m making any difference at all, and I always feel a little self-conscious when I try.

4.  Royal icing on cookies.  I bake all the time, and I bake cookies all the time.  This deficiency really burns me, for I am the type of person who should EXCEL at royal icing.  If there is an “icing type” it should be me.  Yet every time I try royal icing I make a right royal mess of it.  It is never the right consistency and always hardens in the wrong places and remains soft in others.  I am angry at royal icing.  It is defiant.

5.  Organizing my digital photographs.  I take hundreds of photos, and I use a Mac as my main computer system.  Macs are MADE for photos– Mac exists (so they say) to enable me to manage my media and share it with others.  Yet my photo library is a morass of unorganized images.  I have scanned in old photos, and they are now mixed with the new.  A search for the year 2010 pulls out photos of when I was a baby.  I can’t seem to create albums and my system stubbornly refuses to allow me to “share” photos.  I had it all down on my PC and it just irks me that I have worsened my state of photo organization and not bettered it through Mac.

This is but a mere hint of the many ordinary things I cannot do.  I think I should start with french braids though, because I can’t let the ex’s new love occupy that space.  Anyone (with long hair) want to come sleep over and let me practice all night?

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1 Comment »

  1. OF COURSE I can’t resist commenting on this one!
    1. Perma-press is fabric– basically, any shit that is not natural fibres. Poly, nylon, other scary crap like that. You probably don’t wear it, so don’t worry about it. Also, NEVER wash rayon– dry clean only. 🙂 Also, I love doing laundry. It is a bit weird how much I love it, actually. Probably fall-out from years living in apartments in houses raging with “character”– I always chose “character” over “laundry faciliities”…
    2. I can teach you to French braid hair. Not hard. C will be madly impressed. Or, since we don’t live in the same city, try youtube– I bet doughnuts to dollars someone(s) on youtube has how-to-French-braid tutorials by the dozens.
    3. SERIOUSLY???? ‘Cause I have spent many happy hours in your company, getting ready to go out, during which time you were DEFINITELY applying make-up… Check the “From the Vault” section of our blog– one day I may just post photo evidence of your skill with make-up…. You were always very good with eye-liner, as I remember.
    4. Me, neither and me, too: I WANT (badly!) to be good at royal icing. I, too, am the kind of person who should, by all rights, rock the royal icing. I study Martha Stewart and Oprah’s guests who are experts in the field– I try to put their wisdom into practice. And yet, my royally iced cookies always look like a 3-fingered kindergarten kid iced them… Sigh.
    5. I hear ya, sister.

    Comment by YYZ — April 8, 2011 @ 10:03 pm | Reply


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