Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things I can't do

I was catching up with a friend on the phone the other day, we were trading our current goings-on and I told her of my latest projects, school mum what-nots, my diabolical plan for home made energy bars. That is when she jokingly asked me, "Is there anything you can't do?" I've been asked this before and it makes me feel awkward. I'm never quite sure how the question is intended. Are you asking me this sincerely, is it a compliment of sorts, or is it an obtusely veiled snarky comment? How does one answer such a question, is an answer needed, it is rhetorical yes? One thing I do know, it is blatantly clear that I over think things. I also know my friend was just chatting along as we do, with no ill thought whatsoever, still...

It got me to thinking...

Well, of course there are lots of things I can not do.
I also imagine, there are lots of things that I can do.
Let's make a little game of it, let's name a few of the things I can't do. Also, let's name some of the things I can - do.

For example:

I can't - fly a 747 airplane. Although, I don't know if that is strictly true as I have never tried. It is entirely possible that I can fly a plane if only given the chance.

I can - can. I have been making my own jams, preserves, canned veg and fruit etc. for years. I have taught the engineer to can, we are teaching Pony girl to can, so we all can - can.

Well, you get the idea.

Things I can do but would rather not:
I can change a flat tire on my car, on a blind curve, in the pouring rain, in a party dress and heels.

I can make meatloaf. And it's really good, if you like meatloaf, which I do not.

I can hem your trousers.

Things I can't do but feel no pressing need to do:
I can not do advanced calculus.

I can not climb Mt. Everest. ok, this one is a bit tricky because I do have that "You can do anything you set your mind to" belief but the truth is, I have set my mind to no such thing besides, in my current physical condition, it would mean certain shame if not certain death.

I can not name all the US presidents in chronological order.

Things I can do that are quirky and that I am strangely proud of:
I can make a decent meal out of a practically nothing. Why just last night I turned an old potato, and a bit of stale cheese into a fine dinner. It's a gift.

I can talk to anyone. I can commiserate with old timers, I can curse with sailors, I can make friends with farmers, I can pontificate with philosophy majors, I can harmonize with hippies, I can space out with UFO abductees, I can discourse with delinquents, I can gossip with gilded Lilies, I can converse with cowboys and criminals. Yup! And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Whilst I am strangely proud of this quirky can-do, it can feel like a curse, as I am far less talented at extricating myself from these conversations.

I can fish. In fact, I am a rather decent fisher-woman.

Things I can not do but wish that I could:
I can't Speak a second language. While I do have very limited recall of my 8th grade Spanish class and my High School French, none of it seems particularly useful. I don't know when "I am a cat, I don't like to work." would be appropriate conversation in Mexico. However, if I were in France, I could ask everyone I see, "Do you have a red sweater?"

I can't Surf. My brother has been a surfer since we were small, he never taught me. I would love to know how to surf, how cool would that be?

I definitely can ramble on and on about things I can and can't do but, I'm done for now.

How about you?


Deborah Raymond said...

I get asked the same question as well, and it also makes me squirm. This is the reason why I jokingly named my blog Wonderwoman Creations. I think people take me seriously though.

p.s. I can't swim (okay, I can enough to save my life, but that's it)

Sabrina said...

I think the thing is dear Lola, that you do so much, and you do it so well, and on top of that you have a most compelling way of sharing it with everyone. This causes self-doubt and concern for some of your readers. If Lola is so successful in a (seemingly) effortless way — what am I doing with myself??? It is not really jealously (well not entirely) that we query you to your limitations, it is awe and wonderment. So it's a good thing. Take the pat on the back and never, never again admit to the world that there might exist something that you CAN'T do!

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

Yes I know this question quite well. It's the one that makes me face turn red and my ears hot.

My simple answer to this question is - Yes. I can't find the right answer to this question. :)

Floss said...

What a lovely post! And the only time anyone ever introduced me as: 'This is Floss, she's good at everything' I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, and then to shout a very long list of all the things I'm very bad at (and that would include mental arithmetic, let alone calculus...)

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Someone left a comment on my blog the other day saying exactly that- is there anything you can't do.

I think it is great that you know what you cna do and what you are good at. I don't think we ficus on this enough.

There is so much I cannot do. Like follow instructions to assmeble IKEA furniture... I can't cook either.

However, I know I am good at making people feel welcome and I know I am friendly.

But to end on a positive I know I am always willing to try something new.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I am also good at typos.

Pomona said...

I went body surfing once and my bikini bottom got sucked off by the water as I whizzed into the shallows. I don't think I have ever been near a surf board since - the whole experience was too traumatizing. Those high-waisted swimsuits look just the thing - I am sure they wouldn't ping off in the water.

Pomona x

andrea creates said...

great post.
i always feel like i can't do anything- lol

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Yes that is an odd question to be asked!
I tend to go with with it and pretend I can do anything I put my mind to and hope I don't get asked to do something I can't ! ;)
I'm so with you on the trousers, I can hem them too but how boring is hemming trousers!!
Vivienne x

Tas said...

I wish I had your gift of the gab. Well, I can talk...lots...if you ask close family and friends. But small talk with strangers leaves me stumbling at "nice weather we are having, hey?"

Sherri B. said...

What a fun post! I, like you, have the gift of gab and have been told that I could make a meal out of nothing (I love the challenge).
Did you make cheesy potato soup?

Everything you share with us, you do well and we enjoy!

Janee Lookerse said...

Lola! This post made me laugh so hard! I agree that while most people seem to mean well by that question it can seem a bit snarky. I'll have to think a bit more about things I can and can't do. Maybe I'll come up with a short response post for you :)


Unknown said...

Hah, I love this post. I guess I never really think about the things I can't do. Well, ok... that's not true. There are some really obvious things, like: I can't play guitar, I can't reach stuff on the top shelf, etc. But most of the time, if there's a will, there's a way.

Joyelle said...

Love what you do, appreciate the humbling affect of not being able to do it all, and know what you DO and DON'T believe...

fun post :-)

Ribbons Undone said...

Great post--so entertaining. Here's something I can't do, and everyone else CAN do--bake boxed brownies! It seems as if the whole world can mix 'em up, throw 'em in the oven, and enjoy. Me? No--they come out like bricks!

Pia K said...

oh to this i can relate "Are you asking me this sincerely, is it a compliment of sorts, or is it an obtusely veiled snarky comment?" - and sometimes when someone talks about something and i comment, well i used to do that also... i tend to hear that it might sound like one of those nasty people who always want the last word and have done EVERYTHING EVERYONE else have done. which really isn't me at all.

and there are, like you say, loads of stuff i can't do and have no interest in doing.

and i concur with deborah above, i can't swim, just enough to possibly save my life if it's not a too far distance to shore. i really do not like deep waters.

Pia K said...

happy easter btw, i hope you are having a grand one! my favourite holiday, bright, unpretentious, many free days to spend as you like. and candy for all:)

diane said...

i can't stop feeling exhausted so i can demand a case of those energy bars.

Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch said...

What an interesting post. I love the retro artwork!

Flaming Nora said...

I can't cook.
I can make wonky cakes.
I can't suffer fools gladly.
I can have infinate patience if I think you really want to learn.
I can't keep a tidy house.
I can make something out of virtually nothing (except in the food dept).
I can't be quiet for long, well at all.
I can listen.
But if anyone ever asks me that question I always answer "no".
Great post.

Cannwin said...

Love it! Maybe I'll make my own list and link it back to you. :)

Maddy said...

I also think you write really well :) I mean it's beautiful the way you lace your thoughts in words and it is all so original that we are almost always drifting with your words to make a fine picture in our minds... Love your blog, love your work... you do make every woman feel hopeful of what all can be done at home :) keep it up