Simple is not the same as easy by Deb Eileen

I’m a smart person. I’ve got not one, but two, university degrees. I watch Nova on public TV and we even have a subscription to Discover magazine (which I read despite the fact they never offer decent fashion advice or recipes). However, the list of normal everyday things I’ve never mastered is long. It includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Cartwheels: This knowledge gap showed up young. I would run forward, throw my arms up and then hurl myself onto the ground and then my legs (for reasons unclear) would slump over and hang there limply like a before picture in a Viagra ad. This tragic inability to engage in the careless childhood antics of cartwheels meant I was doomed to never be a cheerleader.
  2. Parallel Parking: Unless there is a space 3-4 car lengths long that I can coast into I am unable to parallel park. I either run the risk of driving up onto the sidewalk (which makes pedestrians really touchy) or I am so far from the curb I practically need to take a cab to get there.
  3. Finger whistle: I always thought it looked sassy when people would place their fingers in their mouth and give an ear splitting whistle. When I do this all I do is blow spit all over my fingers. Finger spit is not sassy.
  4. Sheet folding: How is it possible to get the fitted sheet folded into a tidy square? Did everyone else take some kind of linen origami class? My linen closet never looks like the one in advertisements or on home decorating shows. I can fold the top one fine, but the bottom one always looks lumpy like I’m hiding a body in there. For the record I would never hide a body in my linen closet- the garage makes way more sense.
  5. Map Reading: In order to navigate I must have the map facing the same direction I am driving. Even with this support it is quite possible I will still manage to get lost and if I have to finger whistle for help I’m doomed.

For scientific reasons I decided it was time to attempt another cartwheel. Using the powers of The Secret I visualized myself cartwheeling across the backyard, the wind in my hair, the world turning upside down and the right again. I took a deep breath and began running. Arms up I threw myself into the moment and landed up flat in my back in the yard. The dogs came over and gave me a cautious sniff. Some things are just not meant to be.

What is something simple you can’t do?

20 Replies to “Simple is not the same as easy by Deb Eileen”

  1. Eileen, great post as always. You always crack me up! I’m glad you didn’t throw your back out with that cartwheel.
    I so cannot figure out the sheet folding thing.
    I also wonder how does one get clothes out of the dryer and hung/put away before they get wrinkled? My husband continually laments the wrinkled states of his shirts, but unless I stand there awaiting the end of the cycle and at warp speed whip out each shirt and hang them like my life was at stake, they end up a wrinkled mess!
    And the thing I cannot do (and for which I’ve abandoned all hope) is math. Short of counting with my fingers (and even that I have to count and recount, it’s just not gonna happen…

  2. My cartwheel is still okay but I can’t whistle at all, with fingers or otherwise. Like Jenny, I also have trouble with math.
    I think the secret of the sheet is that someone has to help you–I’ve never made a good fold of one on my own.
    Hilarious post, Eileen!

  3. I can’t whistle either. I do know how to fold sheets–I’d explain, but it’s better if I show you, so here’s an open invitation to come on over for some wine and sheet folding tips. When you’re here, can someone explain to me how to use bleach? It terrifies me.

    I also can’t keep house plants alive. I know it has something to do with water . . .

  4. Judy–bleach is terrifying. I avoid it at all costs. Once bleached my jean shorts when I was 12 so they’d be really cool for our school trip to this amusement park. Well, I soaked them in straight bleach yet they still looked very dark blue in the bucket, so they sat in there for days.
    Finally after 3 days I gave up and figured that was some hearty indigo dye they’d used.
    I washed them, dried them, donned them for the big day.
    Wasn’t at the amusement park but an hour before the entire crotch ripped out of my shorts. And I was going to be there till midnight…
    Oh, and Eileen I totally forgot to tell you–now don’t be too jealous–I used to be a gymnast (and a cheerleader!) so I could do some pretty scary things with my body that I’d never try now. In fact I used to do back walkovers down our spiral staircase–I don’t know what my mother was thinking letting me do that!!! But I do know my back really hates me now for it!

  5. Hilarious, Eileen!! Okay, I can do a cartwheel but also can’t whistle or fold sheets or handle laundry very well in general, or read a map. I can parallel park (but it’s MUCH easier now that I’m driving a mini cooper, anyone can park that!). I also don’t know how to weed a flower bed. In fact I’m sort of afraid of weeding, certain I’m going to pull all the flowers instead of the weeds.I’m sure there’s more but that’s probably enough ineptitude to own up to this morning. Thanks for the fun post!!

  6. As long as you keep your sense of humor and can laugh at the world, you have nothing to worry about. If you keep your sense of humor and through your writing get the the rest of the world to forget their problems, everything will work out just fine.
    Maybe that sense of humor is what drives your “liberal” views.

  7. I can do math, I’m great at, but you have to hold me at gun point most of the time. I don’t know what to do with a comma. So I get some and toss them into my ms and hope one or two fall in the right place. May be why I’m not published yet. Oh, and I don’t do mornings very well. My eyes may be open, but I’m not functioning until 10 a.m.

  8. LOL!!! I use one set of sheets per bed. For the express reason of NEVER having to fold that damn bottom sheet. Wash ’em and put ’em back on the bed in one fell swoop. I have back up for the kids’ beds.I double sheet the girls’ bed so if there’s an accident, I can whip sheets off at 3:00am and have a bed made ready to go underneath. AND NO FOLDING!

    Cartwheels – I’m still good at it. Could never do a back walkover. The shame of my acrobatics class.

    Parallel Parking – I learned to drive on a 1976 Cadillac coupe de ville back when you had to parallel park to pass the drivers test. I can now park and DOCK any vehicle with ease.

    Maps? GPS my friend. GPS. “Marjorie” tells me where to turn. I love her.

    Finger whistle – never could!

    Great post! Happy weekend, Debs!

  9. Hey Melissa–as a former high school English teacher I put together a handout called “punctuation for dummies”–it makes the comma rules make sense. I promise. I’ll send it to you if you want. First I’ll have to find it though . . .

  10. I throw like a girl. I was pretty good at most sports (can/could? do cartwheels on the balance beam) but throwing, not so much. Or not with any consistency anyway.

    I think I saw the Martha Stewart show maybe twice. And one of the episodes I saw she demo’s how to fold a fitted sheet. I thought “cool”, did it once and then thought “That took a lot of effort. What the hell’s the point?” “Who cares if it looks like a crumpled mass in my linen closet?” (and by linen closet I mean the bookshelf in the corner of my bedroom.)

  11. I have been taught to juggle by three (THREE) professional jugglers. I still can’t do it. I somehow end up throwing bean bags over my shoulder. To top it off, my husband has video proof.

    I can’t do math either.

    And I’ve never understood the reason behind folding sheets. My advice – get flannel, it doesn’t wrinkle. (Incidentally, my grandmother was mortified when I told her, no, I don’t iron my sheets for my husband. I told her if he wants ironed sheets, he can bloody well iron them himself. She didn’t get it).

  12. Haha! Eileen, you crack me up. I could do cartwheels as a kid, but now? I can’t even touch my toes. And I throw my back out simply picking up flats of seedlings.

    I have to do the “turn-the-map-to-face-the-direction-I-want-to-go” thing too. It works sometimes.

    Here’s something I wish I’d learned: lock the garage door at night. Two nights ago someone went into our garage, into my car, and stole three cases of my CDs. (I guess I’m still not used to having a garage, or thieving neighbors! Grrrrrr!) I’m so mad, but the silver lining is now I can get an iPod and XM satellite radio.

  13. I can’t do math either- and my comma use is dodgy. I told you the list could get quite long.

    Jess! They stole your CD’s? Bastards. On the upside I do love my iPod. I love my iPod the way some people love their small children.

  14. Hey Larramie, she’s a LIBERAL so both of us have to face it. I had to although she was NOT raised that way. I did get even with her though as I reluctantly left her more than $48.30 in my will. Let’s she if she will give half to the government to help her fund all of those liberal programs. If she does, more power to her as that shows she believes in the courage of her convictions as she was taught. If she doesn’t, I win my point. My only problem is I will be gone and looking up from the big BBQ pit to see who won.
    I believe a liberal will give you a fish, a conservative will teach you how to fish.

  15. I too have to have the map facing the same direction I’m driving/walking. Otherwise I’m completely turned around. The fitted sheet folding, I have mastered (sort of)–there’s a secret and I watched someone do it, and now I am way, way, way more skilled.

    I’ve never mastered the cooking of meat. I either turn it too early or too late. It sticks to the pan, it gets burned, tough and stringy, is too pink in the middle, etc. So I let my husband do it whenever possible.

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