Teach Me How To Do… Anything.

Some people just have it all.  They’re gifted with athleticism, gorgeous flowing hair, the ability to eat a thousand bags of cool ranch Doritos and not gain a pound.  The “have it alls” are naturally beautiful, conversationally gifted, and can generally stop drinking after one glass of wine.

Then there is me.

On a good day, which is usually a Thursday, I snooze three times before getting out of bed, realize I don’t want to there is not enough time to shower, and opt for a headband to conceal the collection of greasy follicles on my head.

Make up is a struggle.  Picking an outfit is a war.

Despite the fact that I’ve made several resolutions to be more polished and put together, I can’t seem to get my body on board by taking sleep off the top of my priority list.

Basically, I’m a hot mess and I can’t do anything correctly due to the fact that sleep dominates my life and I was given the short end of the stick in the talent department.

Given the opportunity, or a new body that miraculously is good at stuff, I would like to know how to do the following:

Cooking:

It’s no secret that I am the worst chef on the planet.  You ask me to make you toast, I’ll give you a plate full of bready ashes and a glob of jelly on the side.  I just don’t know how to do it.  My idea of a fully cooked dinner is a bag full of microwaved steamed broccoli and a side of 90-second rice.  I like microwaves because you don’t touch anything, and at the end of three minutes, your meal is hot and you didn’t ruin anyone’s day.

Construction:

If I have to look at another piece of IKEA furniture and try to assemble it based on picture directions, heads will roll. There are always four extra pegs and a structure that, to me, looks sound, but once I place an item of more than a pound on it, the whole thing will come crashing terribly to the floor.  I can’t build anything.  Except bears, I can totally build a bear.

Anything involving cars:

I bring in my car for a routine checkup and the mechanic tells me I have a four-foot-long boa constrictor in my engine and a nest of African rats in my trunk.  Seems reasonable, so yes, I’d love to pay $800 for you to alleviate that problem, Mr. Mechanic.  It would be nice to know that it isn’t possible for my gas tank to be under the hood of my car, or the general location of my spare tire.

Navigation:

If I text you and tell you I’m five minutes away, multiply it by four because I will be lost in thirty seconds.  I cannot, for the life of me, navigate to and from a location in one successful attempt.  Sure, you may think to yourself, “Why doesn’t this chick just buy a GPS?” And to you I say, thank you, but even GPS are not immune to my idiocy, and I have no idea how far three-hundred feet is, so now seems like a good time to make a right.

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Yeah.. um, let’s just take a left.

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CloudLife 101.

A lot of people buy sports cars or elaborate vacation homes when they reach their mid-life crisis.

My father chose to take up skydiving.

He spent his week commuting to work in his fabulous, pre-owned, 2003 Ford Taurus – a car our family so wonderfully dubbed, the Golden Gladiator – he spent the weekend riding in a different type of vehicle.  One that happens to elevate over 12,500 feet above ground level.

While your parents may have had to extend their car insurance policy to encompass that new Porsche or Corvette, my mother had to sign off on a life insurance policy.  You know, just in case my dad died mid-flight or whatever.

On my twenty-first birthday, my dad walks into my room with a question, “How would you feel about going skydiving?”

I weighed my options, thinking to myself, “Is this something I really want to do?  Jumping out of a plane is a pretty serious activity.  And totally dangerous.  I don’t know if I want to take that kind of risk…”

That is completely false.  As soon as the question left his mouth, my voice was already in full-fledged, freak out mode.

“UMMMMMMMMMMMMM, are you serious? HOW CAN I NOT GO SKYDIVING?!?!?! Tell Mr. Shaw, the butler, to clear my schedule. TODAY, I WILL BE WITH THE CLOUDS!”

And was in the front seat, buckled up, and had posted a Facebook status before he even finished his sentence.

It’s a pretty well-known fact that I am completely obsessed with clouds.  Like, I know everything about them.  Cumulonimbus, altostratus, fog, you name it, I love it.  So when I heard the words ‘sky’ and ‘diving’ come out of my father’s mouth, you better believe that I immediately jumped (no pun intended, but totally intended) at the chance to hang out in higher altitudes.

We get to the ranch, which is essentially a giant field enclosed by a wooden fence, and go to this hut to check in.  My dad elects to have my first attempt at sky flight filmed and photographed, “You’re going to want to look at this later, trust me, kid.”

My father calls me kid. I don’t know why. I guess I am still a child… mentally?

Getting harnessed up by Lars.

Getting harnessed up by Lars.

I get harnessed and strapped six ways to Neptune, then meet the guy who is essentially responsible for my life.  He is no shorter than six-foot-three, skinny, and extremely Russian.

“Hello, I am Lars, I will be your tandem.” He tells me as he pulls up his goggles away from his eyes.

He hands me what looks like a leather yamika with straps, and points at my hair, “Put this on your head. Your hair is wild. I don’t want that curly bun my face.” Then handed me a pair of plastic goggles. These looked more like a see-through bikini a doll would wear on vacation than something I’d use to cover my eyeballs.

We march to the plane, and take our seats inside.  The plane takes off, and all I see is the field getting smaller and smaller.  We reach the desired altitude, and they swing open the side door.

The videographer stands  up, snaps a picture, and holds on to the bar on the side of the doorway.

“Are you ready?” Lars asks me before interrupting my answer, “It doesn’t matter, because you are strapped in you see?  You go where I go. And we are going down.”

I am completely strapped in to this man.  We have to move our legs in unison to take steps forwards towards the doorway.  We are inches away from free falling.

*

Nice goggles, eh?

Then he says the most magical words I’ve ever heard, “Do you want to go through a cloud, or wait and go around it?”

“UMMMMM. I want to go through a goddamn cloud.”

The videographer jumps out of the plane, and we rock back and forth and “THREE… TWOO…”

He doesn’t even wait until 1 to push off the landing and into the open air.  My face is being slapped seven ways to Sunday with wind in every direction.  I see the videographer below me, snapping pictures, so I give my best thumbs up.

I feel my cheeks being pushed backwards towards my ears, inevitably making me look like a chipmunk. But I don’t even care, because we jumped right smack dab into the middle of a big ass cumulonibus cloud.

Realizing this, I look straight into the video camera and scream, “OH MY GOD, I AM IN A CLOUD. I AM IN A [EXPLETIVE] CLOUD!”

Best looking chipmunk in the sky?

Best looking chipmunk in the sky?

Turns out, playing the video back, you can’t hear me, you can only see me mouthing the words and doing rapid hand movements which I assume means I was just really excited.

We were freefalling for what felt like a lifetime, but was actually probably thirty seconds when Lars called out, “MEG. PULL THE PARACHUTE.”

And just like I practiced, I unloaded the parachute – like a champion, I might add.

We coasted under the parachute for another minute or two until we were in clear sight of the landing spot.  I didn’t realize how awkward the whole man-strapped-on-your-back thing was until I wasn’t hopped up on adrenaline, realizing it was all ending soon.

Approaching the landing, I did as I was taught, and made sure my feet were lifted off the ground, as to prevent any broken legs. We landed, Lars freed me from my buckle harness, and gave me a high five.  “Did you have fun?” He asked.

The answer was obvious, but I couldn’t put my feelings into words.

It was even better than I imagined.

Related Posts:

Sky Geometry – Vintage Photography

Just A Perfect Day – Raspberry’s Daydreams