I’m currently on a kick of acquiring basic life skills that escaped me because of either growing up in poverty, city living, or laziness. For example, not too long ago I properly learned how to ride a bike. The mild corniness of adult bike lessons notwithstanding, I picked it up quite quickly, and ended up spending a good chunk of this summer going on lengthy bike rides with the glee of someone who learned a skill that most people pick up at five.
The skills I’ve picked up in the last few years also include driving, whistling, and actual swimming (versus my prior activity of haphazardly paddling from point A to B). That said, there are a few other desired talents on my bucket list that I just haven’t managed to conquer:
1. Responding to emails in a timely manner
I have approximately 5,000 unread emails at my day job, and upwards of eight grand of those bad boys idling in my personal email. I’m beyond help. Every few months I just get overwhelmed and mark everything as read to start over, only to be right back where I started the next fiscal quarter. You have a better chance of getting in touch with me via carrier pigeon. Just last week, I responded to an email from Damon that was well over a month old. Serge’s agent could have emailed me his phone number and I won’t notice until well after someone liberates him from the abyss of Orlando.
2. Winged eyeliner
No matter how many make-up artist's videos I watch, rewatch, or play in slow motion with allegedly idiot-proof instructions and the assistance of friends and family, successfully executing winged eyeliner is as unattainable to me as a hit single is to Ciara. I’ve tried that little tape method. I’ve tried using a pencil liner instead of liquid — the latter of which I was only able to get the hang of after multiple instances of looking like the secret Black member of Fallout Boy — I’ve tried a stencil, but no amount of DIY paint-by-numbers steps have gotten me any closer to looking like Jackie Aina.
3. Video games
I am abjectly terrible at video games not named Mario Kart or Wii Tennis. The amount of times my younger brother has unrepentantly kicked my ass every which way from Sunday can only come from hundreds of hours of competing against racist 11 year olds on Xbox Live. I always tell people that video games give me headaches — which they do — but I’m really just a sore loser (the Odell Ayesha Curry Beckham of video games), and would rather spare the world my tantrum and focus on keeping my chicken levels high.
4. Spelling basic words
Words I have to triple check every time I write them include, but are not limited to: Exercise, Wednesday, Embarrass, Beautiful, Jewelry, Chameleon, Mississippi, Massapequa (and most towns in Long Island), Access, Philanthropy. Once, I misspelled conversation on a resume that I had sent out to upwards of a dozen places. I managed to get one or two calls back however - I guess they figured I didn’t have to know how to spell in order to talk.
5. Folding fitted sheets
Fitted sheets are an evil that can only be harness by packaging machines and my mother. Related demon: he art of washing clothes without losing any socks.
I won’t be getting endorsed on LinkedIn for any of these life skills any time in the immediate future. But sometimes, you’ve just got to know your range and accept it — words for everyone not named Alicia Keys to live by.