I realize that my blog is kind of awesome. I realize that men and women alike throw themselves at me in the streets, that I’m deluged with job offers from Fortune 500s, and that my hair sparkles like fairy dust. And I know what you’re all thinking: “Laurie is a goddess among women, how can we join her harem, etc., etc.”
But the truth?
There are a few things that I’m… not so good at.
Let’s talk about those.
Self-aggrandizing cover letters notwithstanding, I hands-down, balls-to-the-wall, straight-up suck at office work. This is unfortunate given that 95% of my post-college career has been spent in the hallowed, fluorescent-lit halls of a cube farm.
I’ve been reduced to tears by more than a few copy machines, I have an appalling inability to organize anything in alpha-numeric order, and I could not operate a multi-line phone system if the lives of a thousand puppies depended on it.
I lose phone messages, I staple packets upside-down, and I’ve been on the losing end of a hole punch more times than I’d care to admit.
It’s not snobbery, though I’ve been the brunt of that accusation on more than one occasion. I realize that scoring in the 98th percentile on the LSAT suggests an intelligence capable of mastering a fax machine, but I cannot do it. My awe-inspiring intelligence is unfortunately limited to standardized tests and recalling lyrics to early-90’s TV theme songs.
Common sense? Street smarts? Basic motor skills? Sorry, my friend. I hope you had back-up copies of those contracts I accidentally shredded…
I don’t have any.
I don’t mean “I am better at verbal concepts” or “my spatial skills are weak”, I mean “I’m lucky I can find my way out of the house each morning.”
I have a twenty-six-year habit of glazing over like an Olsen twin the moment someone starts giving me directions, the speaker’s voice morphing in my ear to a Charlie Brown womp womp womp. And if you’ve ever tried explaining to me the inner workings of a machine, you’ve undoubtedly repeated yourself a minimum of four times before I finally said, “Oh! Now I get it.”
[photo courtesy enginehistory.org]
Fact: I still don’t get it.
I don’t want to join your kickball league.
I don’t want to sub for your dodgeball team, I don’t want to play a pick-up game of HORSE and– for the love of all that is holy– no, I do not want to go rollerblading.
My middle school years are memorable for many atrocities: flannel shirts, Fear Street, and being turned down by Jimmy Bowers for the sixth grade Sadie Hawkins dance, just to name a few.
But more than the angsty fashion, more than the contraband horror novels, and more than the mortifying personal rejection, my lasting impression of middle school is one of an endless nightmare known as Physical Education.
Oh, how those words still strike fear into my heart. Dressing out, picking teams, fitness tests… Phys Ed was nothing more than one long exercise in humiliation, pain, and adolescent self-loathing. In other words: just like the rest of middle school.
The only time in my life that I’ve intentionally played a sport was my freshman year of college when, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I joined the Crew team. I don’t think I realized what it was. I lasted a total of one 6am practice before collapsing on the quarter-mile track, red-faced and breathless, unceremoniously trampled by a hundred sets of chiseled calves and shiny white Reeboks.
I’ve never looked back.
Oh, how I long to be crafty. I’d love to be one of those people who knits scarves and embroiders pillows and makes stuffed narwhals to sell on Etsy. I have sincerely tried to be this person. And I have failed.
Even in elementary school, my dioramas and ashtrays and bleach-bottle Santas turned out so embarrassingly awful that my teachers would routinely re-make them at the last minute, slapping my name on their own finished project just in time for Parent-Teacher Open House. It’s a miracle I didn’t give up entirely.
Googley eyes, fabric paint, sewing machines– oh, how you evade me! Between my lousy hand-eye coordination, my non-existent spatial skills, and my general impatience with details, crafting is an uphill battle that I will never win.
And homemade curtains notwithstanding, I have accepted that.