Things I Do Not Perform Well

The original title for this post was going to be:  “Things at which I suck”… but then I remembered my mother always hated the word “suck” and there was something about seeing it in large font in the title bar that made it seem particularly distasteful and somewhat garish.

So now it is a list of things I do not perform well.

1.  Life.

I really don’t.  I’m amazed at how much of it I’ve squandered.

2.  Watch movies.

It takes me days.  Days.  And even then, I’m probably not paying close enough attention to the storyline.  And yet, I can frequently recite dialogue along with the characters.

3.  Audition.

I cried through my first audition for theatre school.  And it wasn’t part of the act.  Kudos to my mother for making me go through with it anyway.  She was good like that.  Conversely, I tend to perform really well.  Which makes no sense at all.  Unless it’s a confidence thing.  But why would I suddenly have confidence to perform for an audience when I lack the confidence to convince someone to give me the role in the first place even though I know I can rock it?  I put most of my drama class in college in tears with my performance during a mid-term scene assignment.  Including the professor.  And it wasn’t boredom.  They were moved.  Moved I tell you.  It was a proud moment for me.  Kind of like when my roommate and I used to stage fights in our dorm room with the windows open for the benefit of everyone queuing for the chow hall to open.  They sent airmen leaders to intervene and help us resolve our made-up conflict.

4.  Foreign Exchange.

Whose brilliant idea was it to send 16-year-old hormonal teenager ADHD me to live in a foreign country for a year with no one to keep me on track?  Oh yeah.  It was mine.  (See number one)  That started out rough.  Kudos to my mother for making me finish that one, too.

Because I don't have any pictures from that year on my computer... here's a t-shirt instead
Because I don’t have any pictures from that year on my computer… here’s a t-shirt instead

5.  Keep thoughts in my head.

I’m not talking about working memory… although I am a really substandard performer there, too.  I am talking about the need to verbally express every thought that crosses my mind.  Well, not every thought, I think it’s like an auto-purge my mind does when I need to make room for more thoughts, so whatever is in my head at that moment spills out.  It’s why I frequently begin sentences mid-thought as though we’ve been having a conversation for several minutes.  Even when I’m alone.

6.  Write a blog.

I’m here.  Then I’m gone.  Funny then dramatic.  On one topic, then disappearing for weeks on end like an addict post-rehab to destroy my sobriety.  I am addicted to not writing.  It is so easy, anybody could do it.  Even you.  I don’t just make it look simple.  It is simple.  You just don’t write.  Actually, a lot of you are really good at not writing comments already.  But I want to get sober.  I want to write.  Often.  Meaningfully.  Instead, I just keep my hitchhikers on a roller coaster of emotional guessing…. will she?  won’t she?  Who is she with and what is she doing that she’s not here?  Is tonight the night we’re going to get the late-night email message that TST is no more?

7.  Eat.

I love food.  I enjoy cooking when I don’t live in a single-wide trailer with gas appliances and a history of gas-fueled fireballs consuming neighbors as they ignite the pilot light. I can even work around my meds to ensure I can eat.  Except that mid-meal I inevitably forget that I am eating and by the time I remember the task at hand, my food is cold when it’s mean to be warm, and warm when it’s supposed to be cold.

NOTE:  During the writing of this post, I have already forgotten that I am supposed to finish dinner.  Twice.

8.  Photography.

I appreciate good photography.  I even recognize it when I see it.  I can look at a sky, or a tree, or a rock, or a person, or an insect, or a jelly bean, and see what a great image of it would look like.  But I can’t actually create that image.  Instead I wind up producing as my good friend kindly points out “saw dust and trash swept off of a garage floor.”

9.  Self-Portraiture

Not to be mixfused with photography.  This is an entirely different art form.  Some people are really good at it.  I am not one of those people.  I tried to take a picture of myself picking blueberries in a meadow by moonlight, and instead wound up with a picture that looked like I was standing in a bathroom having an allergic reaction to cat fur with one eye swelling and the other nearly swollen completely shut.  What?  You don’t believe me?  See for yourselves:

Picking Blueberries by Moonlight
Picking Blueberries by Moonlight


9.  Remember to take my ADHD meds.

It’s hard to remember to take your ADHD meds which are supposed to help you remember to take your ADHD meds.  Because by the time you realize you need to take them it’s probably because they are out of your system and your previously productive day has just gone to poop.  So you resolve to remedy the problem by taking them, and then someone sends you a message in g-chat and

10.  Counting.  See previous.  And then the one before that.

11.  Pessimism.

I am terrible at pessimism.  I hope for things that are hopeless.  I am an eternal optimist/idealist.  One of my Social Work professors in college (my first undeclared/unfinished major) said I had “entirely too ‘Pollyanna’ an outlook on life.”  Apparently it’s a flaw.  I wait in the empty theatre after the orchestra has gone home.  I’ve managed to collect a number of autographs that way.

12.  Remember people’s names.

Sometimes I don’t even recall faces.  Although typically it’s one or the other.  I might remember your face, but I couldn’t speak your name to save my life.  Or save your life if it came down to it for that matter.  Unless you are a childlike Empress living in Fantasia and you need me to give you a new name in order to save your world from destruction.  But I probably won’t remember that it’s supposed to be Moonchild, so you may still be doomed for total annihilation.  Wow.  That’s two posts now with references to the same movie.  I need some newer material.

13.  Hate.

I don’t hate well.  I don’t tolerate hate well.  I had an experience one day that really affected me.  I observed a girl I know talk impolitely about another individual I was less acquainted with.  As she spoke, I could physically see the hate she felt cause her features to change.  She went from being a cute girl to appearing extremely ugly.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what words she spoke as she told her story; I did not hear anything.  I merely observed her countenance.  The change was so significant that I could hardly recognize her anymore.  I don’t hate well, but sometimes I misjudge or jump to conclusions about people too quickly.  Since that moment I have tried harder to know people as they are, and to appreciate their life experience even if I cannot relate to it myself.

Large Marge
Remember “Large Marge”? This scene gave me nightmares as a child. This isn’t exactly what happened, but it’s pretty close. Image Credit Here

As I’m sure you can imagine, this list is far from comprehensive.  There are lots of other things at which I am not-so-awesome.  There might even be a list somewhere of things at which I excel.  But since number 14 on this list would probably be “Organization and follow-through” I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that post to materialize.

What about you, hitchhikers?  What skills do you lack?  Do any of you share some from my list?

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3 Responses to Things I Do Not Perform Well

  1. Walter says:

    I excel at not leaving comments. In fact, I haven’t left a comment since.. now?

  2. Summer says:

    Remembering names… Getting to work on time, and reading this blog often. You say you don’t watch movies very well… And yet we watched a three hour epic recently – straight through in one sitting. You might want to recount that one. Or at least caveat.

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