I should have figured this stuff out by now – updated

Hi!  I’m wearing eye shadow!
1.  Eye shadow. I’m in the 50+ Club and I still can’t apply it without looking like Blinky the Clown. I used to blame my mother for that, since she forbade it rather than teaching me how to wear it, so naturally I resorted to putting it on with a trowel in the school bathroom and washed it off before I went home. But even after I passed the age of 14 and got lessons from women who wanted to sell me expensive “Spring” makeup (remember “what season are you?”), I still can’t work those applicators. I give up. In my defense, I was never any good with charcoal pencils or paint or even crayons for that matter.
2.  Omelettes. Maybe it’s all in your wrist, but it’s not in mine. I have always been singularly uncoordinated; I can trip over lint on the carpet. Special omelette pans don’t help. I just make scrambled eggs with stuff in them. It should be the same but it’s not.
3.  It’s not all about me. When friendships end or other estrangements take place, I always torture myself wondering what I did wrong. Logically, I know there’s a good chance I was not even remotely the cause. Sometimes life just happens and people move on without you. And even if it is something I did, if it’s bad enough to end the relationship over without even talking to me, then my problem was a relationship with someone who didn’t care enough to try to work things out.
4.  My phone. Self-explanatory for anyone older than 25.
5. Yarn. I tried to learn to crochet. I can make a chain that goes from here to the Mississippi River, but don’t ask me to loop back and make an actual item out of it. I can knit but with two needles only, not three and certainly not more. Basic stuff with corners, which removes most garments from my repertoire but also keeps me from knitting fugly toilet paper covers, so that works out. My knitting is mainly for therapeutic purposes anyway, so I’m mostly content with being limited to rectangles.
My lack of expertise aside, I would absolutely love to take part in the graffiti form of guerrilla knitting seen here. I mean, it makes me smile just to say “guerrilla knitting.”
But while we’re on this subject, I have a hard time believing that anyone is dexterous enough to hand-produce the finished products I see knitters and crocheters proudly displaying. Unless I personally watch you making it, I am going to believe you took a nice photo of something you bought at Aran and snipped the label out of. I’m not judging. I can’t be the only person to have thought of that.
6.  Gardening, although I’m somewhat improved and have even managed to keep a begonia alive for a whole month now.This is a recent development and I’m not going to jinx it by making assumptions this early in the game. I trust our government less and less and have determined that growing my own food is something I should know how to do. I planted a few veggies early this summer, happily envisioning wandering out on my little deck and picking a bowl of salad. The reality, not so much.The beans look promising but the lettuce is scraggly. The radishes…how do you tell when there are radishes ready under there?
Nope. No radishes.
7.  The Soccer Mom thing. My son played for a year. The real Soccer Moms accurately intuited that I was an impostor and accordingly didn’t talk to me unless it was necessary (i.e., “Excuse me, you’re standing on my foot.” Actually, I can do a whole bit on being The Soccer Mom the Other Soccer Moms Don’t Speak To, and just might). My children had the “oh, her” mother in the neighborhood. The mother who did not bake cookies, who did not compare toothpaste brands, who wouldn’t have been caught dead driving a minivan. I was the mom who would stay home sick with my son because we’d had an all-night Baldur’s Gate marathon. When my five-year-old informed me she didn’t have to eat carrots because dryads can’t digest vegetables, I let her skate on the basis of creativity. If you were dumb enough to eat off my floor, you deserved whatever you got. But — I did an awful lot of things right, too, and I raised great kids who maintain they hit the Mother Lotto. Those are ramblings for another time. Fluoride, schmuoride.

8.  It really will be all right. I don’t know why we go through the things we do. Karma, a life lessons curriculum we pick for ourselves before incarnating, random chance, some kind of cosmic system of checks and balances, reenacting the life of Job, or what…there are many schools of thought. They might all be wrong, and they could all be right too. Maybe I’ll know the answer someday. But one thing I’ve learned, if I stop to think about it, is that it may not work out like I want  it to, but it does work out. I need to remember that and quit all the worst-case-scenario-ing.


The beans kept their promise. I ate my entire harvest in one sitting, but I grew my own food!


Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

2 thoughts on “I should have figured this stuff out by now – updated”

  1. Our moms must have gone to the same Don't Let Your Daughters Wear Make-up school. Sure wish she'd shown me how to do it right – cause I'm still struggling to apply it without looking like a clown when I'm done. Love love love this post! You hit on so many things that I haven't figured out yet either. Somehow I've managed to live 50+ years without the ability to do these things … so figure I can coast the rest of the way still not learning them. 🙂


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