Things I Know I’m Just Going To Suck At Forever (And I’m Okay With That) » VSB

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Things I Know I’m Just Going To Suck At Forever (And I’m Okay With That)



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.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog,

  • Other_guy13

    Emails are pointless to respond to in an age of text messages…and if you text me…why do I need to respond. Nobody ever said anything important with their thumbs,

    • Lea Thrace

      Like I am really really trying to refute this entire comment.

      But I cannot find fault with it.

      And that makes me feel some kind of way. Hmmm.

    • JBusy

      E-mail hasn’t been around long enough to create silly guidelines like “respond within 48 hours” and “not responding = rudeness”. It’s almost like being on time to work or church – some folks are too optimistic and creative for all them “spose to’s”.

      • QueenAT

        If it’s work related, I’ve gotten to the point where my Subject Line says what I need. And it’s also how I train my team. For example:

        FOR ACTION: Plz approve plan
        FOR REVIEW BY COB Thursday: Comm Plan
        RECAP: Call on Monday notes
        NRN (No Resposne Needed): Talking a Sick Day
        Call me when you have a min EOM (end of message-nothing in e-mail body).

        I am not sure how any professional person can only correspond via text

        • Junegirl627

          You are the MVP

        • Me

          I do something similar, but the folks at my job are slow to pick up. I use these:
          REVIEW: End of quarter deck
          APPROVAL NEEDED: Annual policy
          DRAFT: Forecast template
          REQUEST: End of quarter data

        • Kae

          Never saw that NRN one but it’s going in the rotation.

          Detailed Subject line is everything – because people are not opening these emails. Which struck me as odd at work.

      • HoneyRose

        Email has been around for 30-40 years. Plus, if you use it to get significant work done then you have to have some sort of guideline.

    • Junegirl627

      I reply to most emails with simple replys “yep” “yup” “yasss” “ye” “yay” “no” “nope” “Nah” “…” and “k”

    • Buster Cannon

      Bruh, people get on me all the time about responding to texts’. If you send me something that isn’t a direct question, I don’t see the point in responding with a simple ‘ok’. I just look at it, nod, and go back to what I was doing. God knows my heart lol

      • Kae


        You know I got the text and you’re not asking me about anything… what am I supposed to be texting you back?

      • Blueberry01

        Because it’s rude, BC. That’s like someone saying something to you in public, or perhaps greeting you, and you give them a blank stare.

        How would they know that you received the text, if you didn’t respond?

    • E_Deshon

      Thats extra rude though. You can send a thumbs up or ok response.

  • miss t-lee

    Y’all really gotta watch Martha Stewart’s fitted sheet folding tutorial on youtube.
    It’ll help y’all I promise.

    • Ess Tee

      I *just* learned to fold a fitted sheet this summer. One of the dudes in these here e-streets bragged about knowing how to fold a fitted sheet, and I was flabbergasted. That motivated me lol.

      • miss t-lee

        Welcome to the fold.
        Pun intended…lol

  • Damon Young

    I can’t say hallelujah. Whenever I try it’s like my tongue stops responding to messages from my brain.

    • Lea Thrace

      I shouldnt have laughed. But I did. Heartily. At your misfortune.

      I might be slightly terrible. But only slightly.

    • Cleojonz

      It’s probably the way you’re trying to say it. You have to say it like you are actually having the holy ghost moment like – Halle-LOOO-yah!

    • Blueberry01

      It’s your Pittsburgh accent, Damon. I used to date someone from close to there (Westland, I believe the name was) and he couldn’t say certain words either.

  • QueenAT

    I gave up on all types of eye liners…. but additionally, I have given up on proper texting. I am Jeff.

    • cakes_and_pies

      I hate the Jeffs. I have a friend who does this and I just let the phone dance for a few minutes before I respond.

      • miss t-lee

        Jeff would run me up a wall.

        • HoobaStankyLeg

          I thought he was texting hisself… I have no clue what’s happening…

          • miss t-lee

            He technically was…lol

      • QueenAT

        I can have a full on conversation, with myself, propose on thing and decide on another all in the matter of 10 mins. I loathe texting because I text just how I speak… off the cuff.

        • cakes_and_pies

          Gather yourself woman!

      • Me

        I do this to my boss’s IM’s. Rather than have that damn notification pop up on my taskbar every 5 milliseconds, I let a full minute go by before I even check what he wrote. Dude likes to IM paragraphs broken up into short bursts and it’s frustrating. I gave up on trying to drill the “3 messages equals a conversation, so just call me once you hit send that many times” rule into his head and resorted to the “ignore until I’m ready” rule.

        • cakes_and_pies

          That is so annoying!

      • HoneyRose

        One of my work friends is a Jeff, and I have to let her finish talking to herself on Skype before I respond lol.

  • As a sleeping bee champion.. I’m judging yall REALLY HARD.

    WOW.. I take for granted that everybody doesn’t grow up riding a bike. Just wow.

    • Lea Thrace

      and now im judging you for using sleeping and not spelling. This is the world we live in. lolololol

    • QueenAT

      I take for granted everyone didn’t grow up swimming. I’m from Miami. When I meet people who can’t swim, I’m like “do you want to just wade in the water forever?”

    • God Shammgod

      English is my second language okay?!

      And I went from a tricycle to a bike with training wheels to…well, to getting evicted from my childhood apartment. lol. so that was that.

      But I take for granted that folks can double dutch, and I’ve been proven wrong many a time.

      • Lea Thrace

        psst. I took adult bike classes this summer as well. Still didnt quite learn tho. you aint alone.

        • L8Comer

          Somehow my mom taught me to ride as a kid even tho she’s never been able. I fell a lot but I got it in 2 days.

      • Blueberry01

        What’s your first language?

    • B-Dot Willz

      I read this and thought “Man I love naps too but is there a championship I should be prepping for?”

      • I just reading and spelling go hand in hand.. I guess not. Lol

  • Dtown Bougie

    My 2 words of shame are… unfortunately and definitely.

    Thank you Word for those squiggly lines lol.

  • God Shammgod

    Additional things I will never learn

    How many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop
    The second (and million other) verses to Lift Every Voice & Sing
    How to Bake ( I can cook my azz off but anything that requires dough to rise is not my ministry)
    The lyrics to most of D’Angelos songs

    • Cleojonz

      “The lyrics to most of D’Angelos songs”

      What you think it is, is never what he’s actually saying lol.

    • I just squealed a little bit about the not being able to bake–me neither. I can cook just about anything, but give me a cake/pie/bread recipe and it somehow comes out both over and undercooked.

    • kingpinenut

      You aight…..

  • Kylroy

    On #4: when I was 11, my mom whisper-called me over at the grocery store while she was writing a check – she’d blanked on how to spell “twelve”.

    • Blueberry01

      Numerical spellings can tough.

  • King Beauregard

    Here is a video of how to fold a fitted sheet, and I swear the key step is witchcraft that I will never understand:

  • Negro Libre

    Getting 8 hours straight of sleep…

    I can get 12 with a break in between, if motivated.

    • King Beauregard

      I have read — and I believe — that a break in the middle of a night of sleep is perfectly normal. Trying to sleep an uninterrupted stretch is unnatural.

      The thing I find really important is to understand the 90 minute cycle. You may know that sleep involves a 90-minute cycle, but less well known is, so do our waking hours (or at least that’s what I find). What this means is, every 90 minutes or so you’ll hit a window when it’s relatively easy to fall asleep; on days you’re periodically coping with fatigue I bet you’ll find that the periods of fatigue are 90 minutes apart. That’s how waking up in the middle of the night works too: you’ll be awake in increments of 90 minutes, so work with the system. Watch a TV show, yell at people online, get a protein-rich snack, rake the leaves like a crazy person at 3am. If you miss the 90-minute mark, just wait for the 180-minute mark to hit.

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