There’s some stuff I know how to do really well. I can burp on command. I can sing the entire score of Jesus Christ Superstar. If you pause Ghostbusters 2 at any moment, I can recite the next line. Look, I never said it was useful stuff.
But there are some talents that still manage to evade me despite the fact that I consider myself an adult human. Here are just a few of them:
1. How to Drink Whiskey Without Making Whiskey-Face
Back before I discovered the beauty that is alcohol that tastes like candy, my standard order at a pub was a Jameson on the rocks with a Kilkenny chaser. Between that, my cigarettes and a working knowledge of the history of western philosophy, I was sure I had all the coolness bases covered. What I lacked, however, was the ability to not screw up my face when I took a sip of said whiskey. I still can’t, and now I don’t have cigarette drags to hide it, but my appreciation of candy is at an all-time high.
2. How to Stop Biting My Nails
Okay, I know it’s not attractive, but neither was smoking. Nor was self-injury. Nor was excessive eating, prescription drug abuse or binge drinking. I’ll take some nail biting any day over all that garbage.
3. How to Drive
Yes, that’s right. I never learned how to drive. Oh, the shame. You see, my family didn’t always have a car when I was growing up and I didn’t think to ask for lessons given their unwavering, contagious faith in the goodness of public transportation. They taught me to navigate any public transportation system like a pro (though I’d have an easier time with a Zen koan than understanding how Toronto transfers work). While I agree that sometimes it is THE WORST, commuting often provides me with some much needed time to let my mind and computer-strained eyes go.
4. How to Properly Apply Eyeliner in Under 10 Minutes
The only thing I love more than a slick eyeliner look is a statement red lipstick. The thing is, I mess it up. Every. Single. Time. Either the line is jagged or smudged or just plain Robert Smith. A friend who seemed to have it down to a science confessed it took her 10 years to stop screwing hers up. So courage, friends: just a few more years and my vanity won’t make me late to your dinner party.
5. How to Not Want my Mom When I’m Sick
I can usually handle being sick. Blankets, soup, Bob’s Burgers and I’m fine. But when I get really sick, like I did recently, it wasn’t enough. I’d been forcing myself to keep up with work by not stopping for weekends and subsisting on a fine cocktail of coffee, sugar and adrenaline. My body got pissed. I had all the symptoms of a gastro, minus the infant I usually blame for giving it to me in the first place. And damnit, I just wanted my mom to get me saltines and ginger ale and to tell me how to avoid getting sick next time. I’m sure she’d say not biting my nails would be a good start.
Follow Erica on Twitter @ericaruthkelly