Friday, January 15, 2016
Eight Things I Suck At
Right after I got married, I decided to host a dinner party for my family. My cooking repertoire was limited to mac & cheese, bean burritos and scrambled eggs, but this didn't stop me from attempting a gourmet meal for company. The recipe I found in a popular women's magazine looked simple enough----chicken with a creamy wine sauce nestled in the buttery layers of a flaky pastry shell.
I prepped in the kitchen all day, cleaned my tiny apartment from top to bottom and lit candles to enhance the cozy mood I wanted to create. The evening started off perfect with lively conversation and plenty of wine as we snacked on appetizers. Once my family gathered around the table, I couldn't wait to serve them my masterpiece. It was the first real meal I'd made since returning from my honeymoon and I was damn proud of it, right down to the chopped parsley I sprinkled over the top of the chicken breast.
The results were not what I expected.
The room fell silent as everyone chewed....and chewed....then quickly reached for glasses of water to wash it down. Puzzled by their behavior, I lifted a forkful of the stuffed pastry into my mouth and was horrified to discover that the meal that had taken me three hours to prepare tasted like wallpaper paste and had the same consistency of glue. It was inedible, and I don't think I've ever been more embarrassed than when I dumped all the food in the trash bin and ordered pizza for everyone. I learned from my mistake though, and after experimenting with a variety of cooking techniques, I was finally able to host more dinner parties, which were fortunately a success.
But there are still plenty of things in life that I suck at and that I'll probably never be able to improve upon:
1.) DRIVING: I've always said that if I win the lottery, the first thing I'm doing is hiring a chauffeur because I hate driving. I still have nightmares about the crash dummy videos they showed us in Driver's Ed class. Anything over 35 mph is risky to me, which means you will never find me on the interstate. I don't like making left turns at intersections without a turn signal, either, so that pretty much limits how far I can drive from my house. I'm still waiting for the day we get George Jetson cars that fly. Maybe then I'll finally be able to make a left turn.
2.) ACCEPTING COMPLIMENTS: I like to be appreciated just as much as the next person, but compliments on my appearance make me feel awkward. I don't know how to accept them because my insecurities won't allow me to believe them. My husband tells me I look tousled and sexy in the morning when I crawl out of bed, but when I look in the mirror, I see Medusa cracked out on Flakka.
3.) DIETING: I can stick to a diet for about three days, until the food starts tasting like something my husband dug out of the mulch bin. That's when dreams of juicy cheeseburgers and greasy chicken wings invade my sleep, and I wake up to a soggy pillow that looks like its been gnawed on by a pack of hungry wolves.
4.) RETURNING PHONE CALLS: I'm awful at returning phone messages and will text the person back rather than get stuck in a twenty minute conversation. Who uses phones nowadays to talk? The only calls I get are from debt collectors or people trying to sell me buy-one-get-one-free deals on cremation urns.
5.) GROCERY SHOPPING: Being the Foodie that I am, nothing pleases me more than being surrounded by chilled cases of gourmet cheeses or the smell of warm bread on racks by the bakery counter. I love to go to the grocery store with a budget in my head and a shopping list in my hand, but that's when I become A.D.D. and am easily distracted by all the pretty displays. It never fails that despite promises to my husband of sticking to the items on the list, I come home with five pounds of dog biscuits and a tub of Goober peas.
6.) FASHION: A fashionista I am not, and I'd rather pick the lint out of my air conditioning vent than shop for new clothes. Years ago when my kids were young, I bought them clothes made by a company called Garanimals, that took the guess work out of matching clothes for children. All a parent had to do was buy items with matching animal tags---a giraffe-tagged shirt went with a giraffe-tagged pair of shorts, and so on. I need some Garanimals today, but in an adult version, because I have no clue how to put the perfect ensemble together. The one thing I'm good at is matching black with black. And yes, I'm totally cool with people thinking I attend a lot of funerals.
7.) SINGING IN PUBLIC: When I was in college, I was a soloist in the school choir, sang at many of my friend's weddings and occasionally stood in as a lead singer for a few bands. I loved singing until the day I entered a voice competition and forgot the lyrics. Being booed off stage was not my idea of fun, and I vowed never to sing in public again. Fast forward fifteen years to a good friend's wedding. I agreed to sing for her even though I was nine months pregnant and experiencing Braxton Hicks. The night of the wedding, my nerves were shot but I sang my heart out until a swift contraction caused me to hit a sour note that left the congregation wincing in their seats. I'm pretty sure there was a coyote howling at me all the way from Montana. For that reason, my singing is now limited to the shower.
8.) WORKING OUTDOORS IN THE HEAT: I love gardening, as long as it's only 65 degrees outside or cooler. I live in sunny south Florida, so this means I only garden 2-3 days out of the year. I want the garden to look nice all the time, but there's nothing worse than being drenched in sweat, covered in dirt and under attack by an army of hungry mosquitos. My only other option is to weed the garden after midnight with a flashlight.
Even though there are numerous things that I suck at, there are plenty of things I excel in. I'm a good wife and mother, and I'm great at multitasking----I can sing off-key in my car while wearing all black....and make the smoothest right turn you've ever seen.
***NEWS FLASH*** This has been an amazing week for Meno Mama! My NEW post, "My Love Of Pets Started To Affect My Marriage" has been shared in several major magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Women's Day, Country Living and House Beautiful. I'm already loving 2016!!
***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Catch my NEW humor post, " Why I Don't Sleep With My Husband" featured on Bonbon Break this week! You can read it here: http://www.bonbonbreak.com/why-i-dont-sleep-with-my-husband/