It has now been established that I am the parenting guru (well at least in my house) and am the expert on everything child related. However, my husband and I are a team and he really does pick up the slack where I fall apart (plus remember last post…I promised this one would be about my shortcomings). I may be awesome, but there are things I really can’t seem to get a grip on. Even though there are days when I would love to take on a sister wife to help me with my kids, at least I don’t have to worry about how to work our sprinklers because my hubby takes care of that. Here are the top 20 things that I literally have no idea about (and truly don’t even care if I ever learn). I am also sorry if I fall into typical female stereotypes here, but you know what? I can grow humans, so take that.
1) Cars. Aside from driving (which, let’s be honest, I’m not great at) I know nothing about vehicles. I once drove around for a year with the emergency light thing blinking (see I don’t even know what it’s called). What’s an alternator? I dunno. What would I do if I got a flat tire? Cry. What kind of oil do I want? You tell me car technician man, you tell me. I also prefer to drive when it is +20 degrees and sunny out. Living in Saskatchewan is obviously not ideal. Oh and just so you know, left hand turns with no turning arrow are the work of the devil and I will take a much longer route to get where I am going to avoid them completely.
2) Internet banking. Super embarrassed about this one. Up until recently, I was mailing in cheques to pay for my bills. I know some of you are reading this and thinking “what are cheques”? My husband always made fun of me asking if I was going to tie my cheque to the leg of a pigeon. I guess I am afraid the computer will eat my money or something. I also need my husband to do email money transfers since I have no idea how to access my account. Pathetic. Needless to say my husband is in charge of our finances.
3) Yard Maintenance/Gardening/Planting Flowers. I’m not really outdoorsy so I have no interest in doing any of these things. My husband, on the other hand, fancies himself as quite the greens keeper (I mean he did work on a golf course FOUR summers in a ROW) which obviously gives him professional gardening status. He feels like he is the envy of our neighborhood and needs to be out there tending to his flowers and lawn because EVERYONE is talking about how green and lush everything is. I mean how have we not been featured in a home and garden magazine already? The only time I ever attempted to do anything in our yard was when my husband was out of town and he asked me to water the plants. I killed them in one day. Death due to drowning.
4) Fixing Anything. I have trouble twisting off pickle jars, so I don’t think I’m really in the position to be learning how to do anything that requires tools. I’m not even 100% sure I could pick out a wrench in a tool line up.
5) General Knowledge. I don’t ever like to “get caught” not knowing something. I mean I am a teacher, so I should know everything about everything. Obviously. However, I don’t pay a lot of attention to things and I pick and choose what I care to know about due to laziness and my addiction to television, which occupies my time when I’m not sleeping. Naturally, there are lots of things I know nothing about, but I will try my hardest to fool you into thinking I do. Sometimes though, I say something that tips people off that I have no idea what I am talking
about. When the whole “gorilla thing” happened I made the comment, “What were they afraid the gorilla was going to eat him (the child)?”, to which an “acquaintance” retorted, “Don’t you know gorillas are vegetarians”? Well I’m not a gorilla expert, douche canoe, so I guess I don’t know that. I still don’t actually believe him though and have yet to fact check this. I mean I eat meat, surely they do too? See what I mean though? Why would I be expected to know this? Do you all know this? Sometimes I think I know a lot and then someone puts me in my place and then it appears the only thing I know about is what the Kardashians wore on their last red carpet appearance.
6) Computers. I should know more than I do here. I have floated through life at this point getting people to just do stuff for me on computers. I realize now though that I will have to learn if I want to keep up with my kids who will surpass me with their skills by the time they are 8. I wish I could do cool shit like make a web series or something, but good grief, no, no I can’t. My kids will feel about me the way I do about older people who put the entirety of an email in the subject line.
7) Baking. Now while I have made leaps and bounds in the cooking department since being married and definitely since having kids, I still cannot bake. Anytime I have to have any sort of baking I either buy something from the store and make it look like I made it myself or I make Rice Krispie cake. I never make cookies, I make birthday cupcakes from a mix, and I always volunteer an appetizer when it comes to potlucks (and let’s be real here, it’s either a ready to go salad or chips and store bought salsa). Hot tip: The Rice Krispie recipe is right on the box you guys.
8) Crafts. I hated art when I was a kid. Hands down my least favourite class. I once cried for an entire day in grade six because I couldn’t draw a heart when doing a Valentine’s Day craft (still can’t, still cry about it). So you can imagine my horror when a) I once had to teach art as an actual class and b) I ran the playpark summer program where you had to do a morning craft EVERY SINGLE DAY. We made so many egg carton caterpillars it isn’t even funny. When I could get away with it I would often declare it “game board day” or “scavenger hunt for sand and rocks day” instead of having to do the craft. Now my son wants to “be crafty” all the time and I wonder what I have done to deserve this.
9) Watching Sports. I hate watching any sort of sporting activity either live or on TV. I will go to an actual sporting event, but that is really for the drinking. I usually never even watch the game. I also hate watching any type of sport on TV, well except for figure skating (or fancy skating as my grandma used to call it); I like the costumes. I am certain that in my version of hell I would be forced to eat hot dogs covered in mushrooms with warm milk while watching football (or worse yet baseball) on TV. I am well aware that this sounds like heaven for many of you. For those of you who agree with me you are my true soul mates.
10) Playing Sports. I am basically the opposite of athletic. When I was forced to play sports as a child I was always afraid of the ball. Even though the classic line from A League of their Own “There is no crying in baseball”, in my world there was nothing but crying in baseball. I cried if I couldn’t hit the ball, if the ball was coming too fast, if I was put in right field (I knew that was the loser spot) and all the rest in between. Don’t get me started on the excuse rolodex I had to get out of gym class in high school.
11) Ordering Coffee from Starbucks. Until their baristas can spell people’s names correctly (my name is Carmen, not Herman) I won’t feel bad that I have no idea how to use their pretentious coffee lingo. I’ll tell you what I want and you figure out how to put that in your cult coffee code.
12) Painting. Despite the fact that I have done my fair share of painting, I still have not improved. I was forced to paint as part of child labour during the summers (the dreaded staining of the deck), I had to paint the inside of a house as a form of payment during an internship (trust me, she was better off accepting cash), and I had a summer job that involved painting pools and playpark equipment (let’s just say I had so much paint all over myself that everyone called me Braveheart all summer). We learned a very valuable lesson that summer: do not use outdoor paint inside a room with no windows or ventilation. The crew also left me alone painting playpark equipment with literally a brush and a can of paint. Do you know how hard it is to paint a jungle gym by hand? Or a swing set that is 10 feet high with no ladder? Of course I did a shitty job.
13) How to Pack for a Weekend. By weekend I mean like 2-3 days. I always pack as if I will never return home. I pack day and evening outfits for me and the kids, winter and summer clothes regardless of what time of year it is (hey you never know when a heat wave can strike), clothes for any sort of inclement weather (what if there is a flood and I don’t have rubber boots?), multiple pairs of shoes and coats, bedding (no joke I bring my kids’ blankets), you name it, I have it. My husband always says, “You know we are just going for 2 days right”? The worst part is I know that I will probably just spend all weekend in the same pair of sweats.
14) Getting More Twitter Followers. I try but the only followers I seem to get are from the adult film star or weirdo variety. I suppose it just takes one funny tweet to go viral, but I’ve got some golden tweets and yet…nothing. My brother doesn’t even like my tweets anymore. Perhaps I need a new Twitter handle…feel free to make suggestions. My deep need for validation from complete strangers will never be actualized until I have at least 500 followers. I am currently at 92, not that I am counting or anything.
15) How to Light a Pilot Light. I have a phobia of fire and things blowing up on me rendering me so disfigured that my own family won’t recognize me, so naturally this is something I will never do. Nope not willing to learn. Before I had a husband who could do such things I actually called Sask Energy to come and light it for me. Seemed too easy really, but I found out why this guy was so willing to come. Two young girls who couldn’t have a hot shower, yup this guy showed up in record time. This guy turned out to be a horrible person and basically told us he was willing to cheat on his wife and would help us in the shower if we needed (hmmm guy sounds like a winner doesn’t he??). But I would rather have this buffoon be completely inappropriate and disgusting than have to light that pilot light myself.
16) How to Unplug a Toilet. Another disgusting job I will not do. Once again this was actually a job requirement for my summer job as a janitor and I totally just pretended it didn’t need to be done. One evening someone called for the janitor over the loudspeaker to the men’s washroom and I just hid in the break room until I felt it was safe to emerge. I would often just blindly spray disinfectant into the stalls as seriously there is nothing grosser than cleaning up a stranger’s shit. Whenever I am having a bad day I often ask myself, “Self, would you rather clean the men’s bathroom after a rodeo cabaret when you yourself are hungover, or explain the same algebra question 20 times?” I instantly feel better. That is why shitty jobs exist (pun totally intended) so that when you are working in your soul crushing career you know it can always be worse.
17) My Garage. Aside from occasionally parking in there (with a tennis ball hanging from the roof to guide me) I seriously don’t know what half of that stuff is in there or how to operate it. I did use a weed eater once (again as part of a summer job), but I weed eated a snake skin and that was the end of that. I threw the thing down and ran in the truck. Perhaps that is why I was sent to clean toilets. I have never used a lawn mower, but I know we have one. Using a ladder is pointless as I still wouldn’t be tall enough to do anything once I’m on it. I do know that there is a mini fridge in there full of beer and the garage is where we store our empty whiskey bottles. I suppose that is all I really need to know.
18) How to Say No to Salespeople. Over the past few years I have cost our household hundreds of dollars. The main reason is because I can’t say no when someone comes to my house selling something or when I get accosted outside of a store. I wish it was just Girl Guide cookies I am buying, but sadly those sweet cookie girls don’t come around often enough. In the past seven years I have signed up for/bought 2 different alarm systems, a Home Depot credit card, a Sobeys MasterCard, a subscription to the Leader Post (which I receive at work already), an aerated lawn on several occasions, weed control on several occasions, numerous raffle tickets for things I don’t even want or need (like raffle tickets for fishing packages… I have never once been fishing) and probably more things than I care to admit. I have tried saying no, but these sales people are ruthless and don’t take no for an answer. I get so uncomfortable I’ll do just about anything to make them go away. Don’t worry my husband makes me call and cancel everything almost immediately and I even think I may have gotten the Sobeys MasterCard guy fired when I called to cancel the card and told them he pressured me so hard to sign up that I felt trapped. I really laid into how badly this guy made me feel and made a formal complaint. I also told Sobeys that they were dead to me and I’d never shop there again. I do that when I get angry and then boycott places for life. I suppose some people might describe me as “spiteful”. But if you pressure me to buy or sign up for something I probably will in the moment, but then I will get you back like an hour later when I call the company and complain about your aggressive sales tactics. Oh and if you come to my door and both my children are trying to escape out of the front door with nothing but underwear on because you showed up at bath time, trust me when I tell you that THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME. Best time to come back? A quarter after never.
19) Gangster Rap. I like to think that I am a bit of a connoisseur of music and have exceptional taste. I mean Pearl Jam is my favourite band…need I say more? But there is one genre of music, that although I have had to listen to my fair share of, I still know nothing about. Gangster rap. Although I did learn a considerable amount from watching “Straight Outta Compton” a dozen times, I kept thinking Ice Cube was Ice Tea the entire time. Clearly I know very little. However, I have students who love to listen to this type of music and make it their mission to try and convert me (will NEVER happen). They were telling me about the types of songs that they like. There is a song out there in the rap world called “Billy Crystal”. So naturally I asked the question, “I wonder if the real Billy Crystal is mad they named this song about him.” The room was silent. In fact, nobody in the room, other than me, even knew who Billy Crystal was. Then I actually listened to the song. It is about a guy named Billy who likes crystal meth, not the comedian Billy Crystal. Case closed on why I know nothing about rap as I also know nothing about illicit drug use.
20) Putting Together Furniture. There is nothing worse than getting the instructions out of the box with an assortment of screws, 87 steps, and one shitty little Allan wrench. Watching my husband put together our baby’s crib (which took several days and a case of beer) solidified all the reasons I will either have my husband put together all furniture for life or pay to have some do it. Money does buy happiness when it allows me to never have to learn these skills.