Not all of us in life possess the same.. “capacities” ..if you will. Some people, for example, have the ability to go all Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind” and perform a series of Algorithms like nobody’s business. Others (not to mention any names) simply have the savant-like ability to tell you what Kim Kardashian wore to every red carpet event she ever attended (Kidding.
I’m not kidding).
Recently I’ve been reading a collection of essays by Sloane Crosley called “How did you Get this Number?” (if you have never read her- check it out… she’s basically my hetero life-model) and in one of her essays, she tells the story of how when she was a child, she was diagnosed with a spatial disorder where the right side of her brain permanently took a mental health day, leaving her unable to do certain things, like tell time on a clock, or not get lost constantly.
This lead to some pretty hilarious encounters, but it also made me think about my own “cerebral deficiencies”. Or, to put it more bluntly: The Things I really Suck at.
I enlisted my sister for assistance (because obviously I think far too highly of myself to ever be able to perform this exercise objectively) and we came up with the following short-list (although I’ll tell ya- narrowing it down was a bit of a fun exercise in self-destruction in itself):
When I first asked my sister this question, her immediate response was: “Well, coordination isn’t exactly your strong suit, honey”. She’s got a point. Like Sloane, I too suffer from a bit of a spatial awareness problem. This has affected my life in a number of crippling ways. For example, I’m known to my family as “Spilly McSpills a Lot”, due to my propensity to spontaneously drop whatever it is I am holding; stairs are my nemesis; and my career as a competitive skier was cut tragically short after I careened into a tree during my first lesson. This also has the potential of compromising my future “networking” opportunities, given that I will never, ever be able to git my shit together enough to play a round of golf. Guess I’ll just tag along anyway and incessantly heckle my compatriots… that’ll work too.
2. Being Serious
Call it a “shield” – or maybe it’s a nervous tick- but for some reason, I feel the need to work humor into everything. I use it to diffuse difficult situations (tell me your dog died- and I’ll be the first one to make a joke about it), or to entertain myself when things are dull. While this can be fun, it also has its limits. It’s not a convenient problem to have, for example, when you work in a corporate environment, and your career depends on attending business lunches and engaging in (or at least not laughing at) conversation topics such as “how many points the TSX dropped today“, or “that addition I just built onto my house for my swimming pool full of money”. In a situation where I can’t make a joke, I feel like my back is against the wall, and I proceed to sit there all mute-like, focusing on how I’m going to pronounce my fancy-sounding menu item without fucking it up. Fail.
3. Administrative Life Tasks
My #2 goal in life (see my about page) is to be able to make enough money to hire my own personal assistant to do all of my inane, administrative life tasks for me. Preferably Lloyd from Entourage- but if he’s unavailable, I would also take any of Murphy Brown’s rejects, or Kris Jenner of course. Honestly guys- I’m really bad at it. It once took me 4 weeks to mail a letter. And that bad boy was already addressed, stamped and everything. This has gotta stop… now that I’m an adult I can’t really keep blaming the fact that my power got cut off on the concept of “the business day”.
4. Talking about feelings
I once had a friend who would say: “Let’s drink until we can’t feel feelings”. I liked this. Only, I would just as easily substitute any other verb for “drink”- just so long as it isn’t “talk”. Probably related to #2, I have an extremely difficult time talking about my feelings- so much so that when I have to, my skin starts crawling, and I contemplate running out into oncoming traffic in order to avoid it. I blame this partially on the fact that I come from a long line of feelings avoiders with a “suck-it-up” mentality. This makes us great at things like, coaching sports, and enduring extreme physical pain (which comes in handy at 6:00 a.m.), but unfortunately doesn’t score us very high on the “emotional intelligence” quotient of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.
So, moral of the story here: Thanks, Sloane, for bringing to my attention the fact that I clearly need a brain donor. Or maybe just a lobotomy… I think my future success depends on it.