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)

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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, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • Brass Tacks

    Things I will forever suck at.

    -My facial expressions betraying my actual words.

    “Yea… Fam! She seemed really interested in your rap career. I know! That one line about your bars being similar to SARS #hardbody”
    *eye twitch*

    or

    “No… I’m happy for you. Brad seems like a great guy… You, you deserve that.”
    *Perma smile w/ the corner lip scowl*

    or

    “I find it shameful that in this day and age, men still treat women like y’all are only here for eye pleasure. Everything you say is important, but these lames just want you to stop talking and turn around so that they can look at your a ss”
    *Head nods in solidarity while eyes linger on thigh muscles …Giggity*

    • Hugh Akston

      “My facial expressions betraying my actual words.”

      I need to learn this…my day job actually requires me to do this…but some ish you hear it’s just not possible…

      • Brass Tacks

        At work, when I’m asked something ridiculous. I tend to pause before my response. And during that pause, I’m certain my face has this wtf look of complete perplexity.

        I have to do better.

        • Hugh Akston

          When you figure it out please write a book the rest of us will be in need

      • L8Comer

        I tend to squint when I don’t want to betray something. Like I’m trying to understand? Then i diplomatically find a way to tell the truth haha. But yeah, my job requirements are likely different than yours.

    • Valerie

      I can’t control my facial expressions either.

    • Tambra

      ” What’s the matte?” to which I reply nothing but you know I am lying cos I can not play poker.

    • L8Comer

      “My facial expressions betraying my actual words.”
      Just tell the truth lol. problem fixed. This used to be me too. But so much communication is nonverbal so I, and likely you, aren’t fooling anyone anyway with your words

      • Hugh Akston

        The problem is I don’t know how to filter truth sometimes I froze at work because I don’t know how not to say what is blatantly obvious my supervisor tried to coach me…she gave up after a few interactions

        • L8Comer

          Lolol it takes practice. It’s annoying to tip toe around something that’s obvious. I crouch what I want to say in a lot with a lot of niceties and filler

      • Brass Tacks

        Oh miss, I’m all about that.

        However, when certain situations call for tact, understanding, and or maturity and I’m not in necessarily in that space “mentally”. I filter and then speak, but my face be having its own ideas.

        • L8Comer

          Lolol I feel you. Context is everything.

      • kingpinenut

        99.99% communication is non-verbal

    • Me

      I just got told many many times in the past 24 hours that I’m a bean spiller. I don’t have a poker face and I never pick up on context clues that are supposed to warn me about blasting somebody on their bs. So I’m all like:
      Me: “Hey, how was your weekend”
      Her: “Great, but the mister spent it with his mom, so I miss him”
      Me: “Huh. They let him spend the night in the senior community that says all visitors have to leave by 9pm?” *unknowingly skeptical face*
      Her: *facial expression goes from quizzical to disappointed to heated in 0.5 seconds*
      Me: “Oh, but um, maybe he had requested a overnight guest pass because I heard that sometimes they um, let folks do that, and that was probably what happened, I think.” *crazy non-convincing grin with begging eyes and nervous giggle*
      Her: “Right.” *face looks like she plotting*
      Me: “Alright then, glad all is well. TTYL” *awaiting angry phone call from friend I just accidentally blasted*

      • Kae

        ????

        I’ve done this also. It’s part of the reason I don’t try to insert myself in conversations or start convos with questions.

        • Me

          I just made the same decision for myself last night!

    • miss t-lee

      “-My facial expressions betraying my actual words.”

      I’m the same way. It’s why I can’t lie…lol

      • kingpinenut

        Plus yous a tejan….lyin in texas will have you by the side of the road face down

        • miss t-lee

          Bwahah.
          It’s just not even worth trying to remember the lies…lol

    • E_Deshon

      When i was a bit more jr in the military i was constantly counseled on my facial expressions…..my eyebrows and cheekbones work well for most photos but not conversations.

    • Blueberry01

      Go to the corner, BT.

      • Brass Tacks

        Fine. But I’m taking my animal crackers with me.

  • PhDivaLife

    I cannot spell necessary or occasion without assistance from spell check.

    I never learned to skate. I grew up in a rural county without a skating rink. It’s on my bucket list to learn how to do that and swim better (not what I had to do to pass the swim test in college. ..which almost caused me to drop out during jr. year) by the time I have kids though it doesn’t look like any of those things will happen in the near future lol.

    I have given up on the fitted sheet.

  • Yve Black

    Girl I can show you how to fold a fitted sheet “perfectly” even your mama will be impressed!

  • KNeale

    -I really can’t whistle and doubt I ever will.
    -i’ll never look tough. no matter how many dragons i slay, people of all genders, races, and ages will talk to me like I’m 12 years old and have wandered away from my parents and dont know how to cross the street without someone holding my hand. because i guess, as im told, i genuinely look it.
    -basic drawing skills. i mean even my stick figures need jesus.

  • Lea Thrace

    I have embraced the art of living alone. Which means never having to fold a fitted sheet. Ball that ish up and stuff it in the back of the linen closet and keep it moving. Cause who gon check me boo!*

    *disclaimer: this line of thinking only lasts until your mom comes to visit and takes a peek in said linen closet.

    • Valerie

      I ball the sheets up and throw them in a closet as well.

    • L8Comer

      What? Nooo… Lolol. wait Ima find a good video.

      Idk why I take so much pleasure out of folding sheets nicely and making my the hotel corners on my bed.

    • L8Comer

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z5k9nWcuFc

      For when your mom visits lol. It’s really easy and once you master it you feel great

      • Marilynmcoppedge

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ac240f:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !ac240f:
        ??
        ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash520WebPilotGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!ac240f:….,……

      • Blueberry01

        Thanks for this!

    • E_Deshon

      Im a pro with fitted sheets. My grandma didnt play games about putting things away.

      • dee

        Same, my mother was not having it, it was almost militant.

    • I most certainly crumple those poor defenseless sheets and dramatically chuck them in the linen closet.

    • BmoreLikeLA

      Folding the fitted sheet is my super power. Pinterest taught me

    • chile just roll it up and flop it down, but make it look slightly squared at the corners. boom. lol

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    Dilemma. I swear at some point it was mn not mm.

    Reading aloud.

    I don’t know if I skipped that day in the first grade, but *everyone* I’ve ever met can read do it correctly. That is what is coming out of their mouths is behind what they see with their eyes. So they know that a question mark is coming and can end the sentence with the right intonation.

    I find it amazing.

    They find it amazing that I’ve never learned how.

    As an educated professional, this rarely comes up anymore but I’ve given up on learning it.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      And endos. Never got the hang of those.

      • King Beauregard

        … root canals?

        • Cheech

          “Innuendo” is Italian for Preparation H.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Front wheel wheelies.

          • King Beauregard

            Oh. That’s how out of touch I am: in dental terminology an “endo” is a root canal; that was the only way my brain could process what you were saying.

    • Cheech

      I’m with you. I swear it was dilemna. I just looked it up though and Oxford has dilemma.

      And 2 entries above that, d i l d o. “An artificial erect paynus used for chexual pleasure. Also (slang), a stupid or despicable person.”

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Had to be one of them changes they announce to stay hip. Like adding a new definition of lit 2 years from now.

      • Kas

        I just did the same thing. MM did not compute.

        • Cheech

          Apparently it’s a certain age thing. And BB is on the team.

  • Adrienne_in_MTown

    Let’s see:
    -Being friendly to strangers (it’s not that I’m stuck up, I’m an introvert)
    -Being on time (and I actually have a guilt complex around it)
    -Putting away all the laundry and the dishes consistently when finished (I live alone and don’t judge me)
    -Not writing things in bulleted or numbered list format
    -Public speaking

    But I still love me! :)

    • King Beauregard

      If you put the dishes away while they’re still damp they’d just get disgusting, so it’s better to let them air dry in a rack anyway. ABSOLVED.

      I’m very much an introvert and would probably be completely socially isolated if not for the Internet. I’d be that mysterious weird neighbor who is seen doing his shopping on weekends but otherwise doesn’t leave the house.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with being an introvert; people are a pain.

      • Adrienne_in_MTown

        I like to be left alone on the weekends too, I need that time to decompress and get ready for the work week lol.

        • King Beauregard

          Do you ever wonder how people got along before the modern age? Way back when, folks like us would have had no choice but to interact with other people 24/7. Would we have simply gotten used to it, or would we have been just more of the mentally-ill people that I suspect dominated the landscape?

  • Tambra

    Eye make up. Anything involving eye shadow and I am all thumbs. Doesn’t matter if I have the correct brushes I am still going to mess it up.

    • Valerie

      I personally got the hang of eyeliner when I bought my first gel eyeliner and used an angled brush.

      • Tambra

        My eyes are very hooded, so I am not worried. I can get away by using a coloured eyeliner.

        • Valerie

          I’m actually scared to try colored eyeliner. Always black.

          I will try green for Christmas.

          • Tambra

            They are nice. Plus YouTube is always inspiration.

  • Cheech

    The socks are in the corners of the fitted sheets.

    • brothaskeeper

      You ain’t neva told no lie!

  • LMNOP

    I have been trying to figure out parallel parking for at least 5 years now. Other people make it look so easy…

    • Tambra

      Practise girl, practise.

      • LMNOP

        I am, just also trying not to hit cars while I learn. My snowed in spot after the blizzard last year was really helpful, because I had the freedom to know I was just hitting snow.

        • Tambra

          Hehehe. I know the feeling. But I had to learn to parallel park on my own. But you know the good-bad thing about being a woman driver? Every he-man out there just assume you can not do it and offers help. It annoys the shid out of me most time, but in very tight spaces I appreciate the help. I would even flash a smile then.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Had to double take on the word practice.

        • Tambra

          British- “s”= verb, “c”= noun

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            ^Speaking the Queen’s English over here.

            • Tambra

              No I speak Caribbean English. Lol, but brought up under an English system that is slowly morphing into the American in some aspects.

              • L8Comer

                I still spell some words “wrong”. Idk how that happened since I was raised here. I am certain it’s behaviour and colour, and flavour. I must’ve been too up under my mom when I was a kid.

                • Tambra

                  Yes you definitely got that from your mum. I do not think I can do the switch when it comes to those words.

                  • L8Comer

                    I guess she taught me to read and write so it makes sense. The practice / practise type switch isn’t an issue for me. Just the -“our ” words. Especially behaviour drives me crazy

                • brothaskeeper

                  Back in the day, my brother had reached the county spelling bee, much to the consternation of the elementary school that we attended, who took umbrage that a skinny Black boy could be so audaciously smart, as well as the judges, myopic in their interpretation of spelling rules. It had come down to him and a YT gurl. He was asked to spell the word “harbor”, which he did, but with a U. The judges counted him wrong, and the girl spelled the word correctly (or alternately, rather) to win the competition. My brother was inconsolable. Not even a trip to the Pizza Hut could lift his spirits.

                  • L8Comer

                    Aww, poor thing. the “our”s get me! What is a harbor? Harbour looks right to me.

                    This just made me remember. I went to the country spelling bee when I was younger too. I got 3rd place and I was kinda annoyed cuz I got out on a really simple world that I knew the spelling to. I was just nervous. Anyway. This white girl spelled February wrong cause she didn’t say capital F and she got 4th place. Her dad was furious. He made a scene. I remember him storming past me and my mom all red in the face. He was really big. He argued with the judges for a while and was yelling at them. Eventually, they gave my award to her. :/ It was completely unfair cuz everyone knows the rules and someone else got out early that day for not using a capital letter in the spelling of a word. I totally forgot about that till now lol.

                    • brothaskeeper

                      That father was probably from a European background, because in Spanish, at least, only proper names of things are capitalized, and not months or days of the week.

      • Kas

        Damn Brit influence . . . Practice

        • Tambra

          Hahahaha

    • cakes_and_pies

      I don’t know how to park into a straight parking space. I always back in to a space if it’s not slated.

      • LMNOP

        Backing in is usually harder. Impressive. I hate all parking. In a parking lot I usually do pull through spots so I don’t have to back out.

    • RagesAgainstMachines

      Lol! The best advice I got (from a male, ugh) on parallel parking is as follows: Pull up even with the car in front. Back up slowly and when you’re at the halfway point, cut the wheel to the right HARD while still backing up slowly. Then when when you’re halfway in, cut the wheel back to the left.

      He was right, but I never told him. ?

      • L8Comer

        That’s pretty much what I do. You gotta make sure you’re close enough to other car when you line up tho.just a few inches away

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          Yep! This!!!

      • LMNOP

        Do you start off backing up straight or at an angle? I always turn at one angle then drive forward at another angle and it’s really hard for me to straighten it out (I don’t even attempt it if there’s less than a space and a half.)

        I also have a hard time getting out of being parallel parked, especially when people park close to me, any advice on that?

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          Backing up straight the. Cut the wheel hard when you get to the mid point. It ALWAYS works for me, even on the tiniest spaces. The only time I mess it up and have to start over is when I psych myself out lol.

          • RagesAgainstMachines

            Ugh backing up straight at first. Discuss hates me. Disgust.

          • LMNOP

            How far do you pull up to the front car? Are you lined up like both fronts of the cars are in the same place?

            I never even start my parallel parking attempts with backing in, so this explains a lot of my problem lol

            • RagesAgainstMachines

              Yep! Even Steven with the front car. Then back up slowly, at midpoint cut it hard! I still go slowly because like I said, I get nervous. But it works 99% of the time for me.

              • LMNOP

                Today is like VSB Fix my Life.

              • HoneyRose

                I do it slightly differently but same concept – instead of lining up even with the front car and backing up slowly, then cutting at the midpoint, I pull up close to the front car until I can see the back of it out of my passenger side window. That allows me to skip the whole first step and go straight to cut hard towards the car, back up to halfway, cut hard away from the car and then finish sliding in.

                • brothaskeeper

                  “….and then finish sliding in.”

                  Giggity!

            • Kas

              You can’t parallel park in any tight spot pulling in nose first. Rage is giving you gospel.

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          Sorry last thing, the thing to keep in mind is when cutting the wheel hard at the midpoint, your car’s front end automatically angles away from the front car and if you over do it, you’ll only hit the curb instead of the car behind you. Usually all you have to worry about is being too close to the curb.

          • LMNOP

            Oh, that sounds much less stressful. I am seriously going to write out this technique and stick it in my car.

            • RagesAgainstMachines

              Lol he was like “cut it hard, then when you’re halfway in, cut to the left and smooth it out.” It was sexy when he told me, not so much now that I hate him. Lmao!!

              • LMNOP

                So you’re going backwards the whole time? Like ideally?

                • RagesAgainstMachines

                  Yep! Smh @this metaphor for that relationship.

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          To get out, I always back up as much as possible and cut to the right as much as I can. Usually you can maneuver enough space in front to cut hard to the left and be on your way.

    • E_Deshon

      I have to turn off my music and all distractions when I parallel park. When i was younger i would drive to a destination and let my friends park. Shameful I know but it worked. Truth be told i’m not an all star at parking in the parking lines either.

      • LMNOP

        Me too lol, and tell the kids to be quiet. I do the same thing when I’m getting on the highway.

        • Kas

          Learned to drive a stick when I was 11, never looked back. One of the advantages of having a cop for a father. Rules were for other people.

          • Tambra

            Learnt on a stick, that’s it. Wish I knew how to drive stick.

            • Kas

              My mom was never able to get the hang of a stick and she is a horrible driver. Her mom never learned to drive ever.

              • Tambra

                Thing is I have not been driving stick since I learnt got my licence.

          • LMNOP

            Holy sht, 11??? I have a 10 year old and I can’t even imagine

            • Kas

              His behavior with me is why he gets explicit instructions when he spends time with my kids and isn’t allowed to drive them anywhere. I don’t want to hear paw paw was letting them sit in his lap and steer at 4 and 6 years of age.

              • LMNOP

                My brother did that in a driveway when my daughter was like 2, they both thought it was a lot of fun, but I was like “2 year olds need to be in car seats at all times! It’s the law, this is not safe, blah blah blah”

    • Maaannnn, it took me FOREVER. It wasn’t until I got the biggest vehicle (Ford Excursion) that I learned. I was gone MAKE it fit…

      • brothaskeeper

        “I was gone MAKE it fit…”

        Words to live by!

    • Dmaclee

      I can’t drive worth a darn but my parallel parking skills are top notch. Thanks DC!

    • Blueberry01

      I think the biggest tip is to ensure your vehicle can “fit” in the space BEFORE you attempt to park. So, pull up to the spot and look and see if the front and the back of your car are NOT longer than the cars, in front and back of you.

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