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.

Spoiler Alert: Invention of the Century Inside

OMG, SOOOO TASTY!!

OMG, SOOOO TASTY!!

Oh boy!  I’ve been waiting to share this idea for about three minutes since i just remembered it existed.

I’m a girl who is on the continual hunt for excellence.  I’m always trying to improve.  My brain is in constant motion, for the better and for the worse. I don’t want anyone to see or hear my private thoughts, but today, I’ve decided I’m going to let you in on a little piece of Meg’s brain that harbors my inventions.

A lot of things go on inside my head.  Mostly irrelevant, nonsensical notions, but sometimes there are gems.  This is one of those times.  But how do you dissect the weird from the truly ingenious?  Luckily, I found an online survey that allows you to determine whether or not your invention is good or bad.

I present to you:

MOTIVATIONAL SOUPS

Describe what your invention does in one or more action phrases.

It’s like MLK in your Minestrone.

Does your invention solve a specific problem? If so, describe the problem it solves.

Hunger is a very real problem in my life, and in anyone’s life who is alive.  People gotta eat! And everyone could use a little ego boost.

What advantages does your product have in comparison to the products or solutions above?

I’ve never eaten a can of minestrone and immediately felt souper cool, friendly, or fun – Progressive and Campbell’s just can’t do that. BOOM.

What disadvantages does it have?

I guess if you tell people that your emotional state is being swayed by a canned liquid lunch, people might question your sanity. Other than that, I see no disadvantages.

How much do you expect to sell your product for? How much do similar products sell for?

Like, 5$?  Maybe I’ll add a name your price option, Souper Rich seems like it could be a big seller.

Describe a typical user of your product. Is the person who pays for it a different person? If so, describe the typical person who would pay for your product.

Grumpy people at lunchtime.

What are your goals for this invention?

To improve the mental and physical well being of the human population, while providing a well balanced meal. To make so many dollhairs.

Mark any of the following items that you already have with a check. Mark any that would like to have with an * and estimate your expected budget for that item if you can.

[X] sketches (a simple drawing of the invention)

[X] patent (official patent protection for your idea)

[X] visual model (a 3D model that shows how the invention might look)

[ ] working model (a model that demonstrates that the invention will work)

[ ] computer model (a computer representation of the invention, used for manufacturing)

[ ] technical drawings (drawings that a shop can work from to produce your product)

[ ] renderings (a computer generated image of how your product will look)

[ ] prototype (something close to or identical to the final product)

[ ] production run (many copies of the product to sell)

[ ] product photographs (professional photographs of the product to use in marketing it)

Flavors to be rolled out in large quantities:

Souper Easy, Souper Fun, Souper Awesome, Souper Smart, Souper Attractive, Souper Awkward, Souper Friendly, Souper Drunk, Souper Sassy, Souper Dramatic

Any and all offers are appreciated.  I’d like to see this up and running… tomorrow.  Kinda hurting for cash and stuff.

 

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Cleaning: Then vs. Now

Chores.  The word that, as a child, would make me come up with a sudden prior commitment, a misplaced cell phone, or some sort of bedridden ailment.

No pants? No problem. #Laundry

No pants? No problem. #Laundry

Chores. The word, that as a semi-adult, would still make me come up with excuses, take a necessary nap in avoidance, but the end result would be finding my cell phone.

It’s funny to think about how much you’ve actually grown up compared to yourself as a child. I used to cringe at the thought of doing dishes, but now I will head hunt a roommate and give her a hairy eyeball until she goes and washes the pan from two days ago.

I don’t think I’ve grown up that much, but there are certain aspects of life I’ve accepted as growing up since I’ve moved out.

Making your bed:

Kid: The only time I made my bed was when my mom made me change my sheets.  I just rolled out of bed, then rolled right back in at the end of the night.  Covers still disrupted, it was easy to just pull them back over my gross kid body and call it a night.

Adult: I will forget to bring a lunch to work but you better bet your bottom dollar I make my bed.  There are few greater pleasures than getting ready to go to sleep and hopping inside a freshly made bed.  The warmth of the blankeys permeated through the sheets.  Just pure heaven.  An absolute must before leaving in the morning.

Laundry:

Kid: Laundry consisted of me finding what looked the cleanest on the floor and putting it back onto my body.  If I mustered up the motivation and strength to put everything in a basket and bring it upstairs, mamma Meg would take care of that problem.  Shirts always perfectly folded, socks always perfectly coupled.  I don’t think I ever had missing footwear as a child.  My mom had that shit on LOCK.

Adult: Laundry consists of me finding what looks the cleanest on my floor and putting it back onto my body.  If I muster up the motivation and strength to gather everything into a basket and bring it into the laundry room, chances are I waited too long to fit it all into one machine.  Nothing is ever folded. Socks are always missing.  Laundry is a constant battle.

Dishes:

Kid: Don’t get me started.  I could catch a disease washing a dish.  Especially growing up with three boys, I saw how they ate.  No regard for manners, politeness, or basic chewing.  I was not in any way, shape, or form touching those plates.  Got to the point where if I didn’t do my dishes, my mom would actually take them and put them on my bed.  And as we learned earlier, my bed was never made – so that made for a very unpleasant situation.

Adult: I learned very quickly after moving out that doing dishes is essential.  When you live with people you don’t know, it’s important to keep the place clean.  Or, you quickly learn to question how people were raised when you see them leave dishes in the sink, bowls on the counter, and mugs on the table for days on end. Also, never been more excited to see a dishwasher in my life than when I moved into my new apartment.

Cleaning the house:

Kid: Cleaning the house meant one of two things, either I was being punished, or relatives were coming, which in some cases, could be punishment in itself.  Nothing worse than knowing Thanksgiving was coming up and remembering I have to polish the entire silver set that we use for thirty minutes a year.  “But it’s because it’s your grandmother’s.” My mom would always say.  Okay mom.

Adult: Now I just clean because the place is filthy and I can’t stand having to walk around wearing shoes.  A good vacuum is hard to come by, but essential for my sanity. I never understood why my mom put so much effort into cleaning when guests were going to come and dirty up the place.  But as a mature, cultured adult, I understand that presentation is important, and first, second, and all the time impressions are always measured. CLEAN YA HOUZE.

..Now excuse me, I have to go decide whether or not I’m going to shower tonight.

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Embarrassment is spelled: M-E-G.

When someone says, “Hey Meg, you should tell me the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you.”

I’m very likely going to respond with, “Which time are you talking about?”

I’m a magnet for misbehavior.  Not just for myself, but if you hang out with me long enough, I’m pretty much guaranteed to embarrass myself, my family, you, your family, your friends, your pets, and even people you don’t necessarily like very much.

I could be at a horse race in Ireland with your extended family, and in the midst of an adult conversation, and interject and ask why it’s so windy even though there are no trees anywhere in sight. I could be in third grade, using a calculator on my multiplication math test and ultimately shaming the intellectual reputation of my family by getting caught by my teacher.  Or I could be in college trying to get to class by cutting through a mud puddle that sucked my flats clear off my feet.

All of those things could, and did happen, but those are not close to the most embarrassing moment in my life.

That moment came and went whilst I was in kindergarten.  A mere five years old.

It was the best day of the week, show and tell day. I was prepared, brought my favorite book along with my favorite page already marked with my favorite colored (green) post-it note. I was ready.

We all do stupid things.  And if you don’t do stupid things, here’s a hint.  You’ve done stupid things, you’re just not willing to admit they were stupid.

yeah, none of us really like attention.

yeah, none of us really like attention.

But I digress. My friend Hayden was showing me the latest in Barbie greatness, and this other kid, Kyle had a badass gold encrusted slinky that glistened every time a pocket of sunlight hit a curve, or slink, or whatever. Sarah was showing off her aggressive collection of photos she had taken with Disney characters.

I’ve always been competitive by nature.  I never like to lose, and I always like to be the best. In the kindergarten battle of who’s got what, I was getting completely outdone.  That was not going to be allowed.  Not in my book.  Not in my school.  Not today.  Not ever.

In this game of show and tell, I was going to win.  So, in every effort to steal the spotlight from all the children in the room, I did the only thing I could in order to solidify myself in with all the greatest showers and tellers.

It was at that moment that I decided the best possible course of action would be to take my red dress and lift it all the way over my head.  I would show my fellow kindergarteners my underwear.  And I would win show and tell for life.

Except the only thing I won was a first class ticket and a front row seat in the Principal’s office. Principal Dunlap to be exact. 

Mrs. Camarotta marched me down, clenching my left hand with an adult dismay, to Principal Dunlap’s office.  This woman was the epitome of my childhood terror.  She wore a tight black fitted skirt suit, stockings, and pointy black heels.  Her hair was perfectly gelled, combed, and styled.  It never moved.  Not even when she was angry.  She was an artist of discipline and I was her next project.

Letting go of my hand, Mrs. Camartotta turned and walked out the door after making sure I was seated in the chair facing Mrs. Dunlap’s desk.  She closed the door behind her. Then the lady in black turned around in her swivel chair, and spoke to me.

“Hello, Megan.” She said sternly, “What brings us here today?” I was unaware there was more than one person involved in this ‘us’ situation, but I made the motion to say that I understood what she asked me, yet I still had no idea how to respond. Then I heard a sound that normally wouldn’t alarm anyone, but scared me straight to my grave (metaphorically).  Right then, her office door opened.

I turned around, not knowing who to expect, when I saw my mother.  And then I saw her face.

It was at this point in time that I realized who she meant by ‘us.’  She meant me and my mother.  Why ‘we’ were here.  Essentially, my mother had to drop everything she was juggling, which at the time meant my two infant brothers in each arm and my four-year-old brother in a front facing backpack, to come to hang out at the bad kid party in the principal’s office.

“So what brings us here today, Megan?” She asked again.  I was astonished.  My skirt show just brought my mother into school.  This was not going to go over well with my father.  Pulling the hems at my dress, “Um, I think I did something bad.” My face was as red as the skirt I had just pulled over my head.  I was mortified.

“You know, Megan,” Principal Dunlap lectured, “there are appropriate ways to get your teacher’s attention, like raising your hand, calling out for help.”  She simultaneously counted on her fingers listing the ways to be appropriate.

“Do you think lifting your dress up was appropriate?” The question was rhetorical, and this was not the time to be smart ass, as my father would say. “No, not it wasn’t.”  I sounded apologetic as I looked up and nodded in agreement with my mother.  My face was still a very dark shade of “humiliation red,” and I didn’t see it fading any time soon.

“Good. As long as we’re clear, your mother can go home and you can go back to class.  Mrs. Tuccio will bring you back to show and tell.”  She reached to grab my hand and led me out the door, but not before my mother sarcastically added in, “Make sure you show your book this time.”

My conference with the devil was over.  I survived.

I marched down the hallway back to my classroom.  I was still filled with unease at what my classmates would think when I entered after the whole dilemma. But then I thought about what the kids would have been talking about while I was gone. They would have been talking about me.

I had made it into the Hall of Fame of Show and Tell.  Reputation cemented in history.  Right where I belonged.

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Sole Mates.

Hey,

I’m going to be honest. I don’t really know if this will change anything.  But everyone keeps telling me that writing is therapeutic, so I’m going to give it a shot.

I never thought this would happen to me.  To us.  It always happened to the others.  I thought we were different.  Sure, when we first met, we may have got off on the wrong foot; but being forced to hang out with each other made us fast friends.  Pretty soon, we were inseparable.

We were matched up with each other from the start.  It was our job to be together forever.  I never went anywhere without you, and always made sure to stay close.  Our friends were great, too.  There were days, weeks even, where we’d all huddle up, clinging to each other like there was some sort of static electricity binding us to one another, but in reality, it was just destiny.

Sure, there are snags in every relationship – and we were no different.  Some days it just felt like you were one step ahead of me, anticipating my every move.  But the pace was far too fast for me to keep up, and eventually, I got tired, worn down, and defeated. I was cast aside, thrown on the floor, put in a pile to associate with others who were washed up, faded, and used.

But then you joined me, like you always did.  We were the perfect pair.

Our life, although never dull, had its low moments.  It seemed as though we were stuck in a tunnel with no light at the end, wondering when we’d both get to go back home.  I missed our friends.  They were so colorful, so vibrant, much more so than us. We were plain, but it was okay.  We liked it that way.  We went with the flow;  not the most popular of the bunch, but we always got invited to do things.

I got used to spending my time with you, and at the end of the day, it never mattered to me that you were dirty and didn’t smell great. I should have listened during our arguments when you would constantly ask me to, “put myself in your shoes.”

Socks: A love story.

Socks: A love story.

I guess what I’m saying is, I was selfish. I never knew that our time together would end so abruptly.  I never really got to say goodbye.  It was time for our monthly getaway, a trip downtown with friends: tons of water, lots of heat, a place to let loose and get rid of all our stains we’d garnered from the work week.

One minute we were holding hands, spinning in circles.  A couple kids in love, enjoying the water.  Next thing you know, I lost control, and turned around and you were gone.  The pool was crowded, more so than usual.  Must have been spring break or something. I figured I’d catch you when you wanted to dry off.

But I was the only one got to dry off.  I lost you.  I was left, and you were right – we never should have taken our eyes off each other.  It happened for a second and now you’re gone.

I don’t know what else to say.  I guess everything doesn’t come out in the wash.  But I feel as though I serve no purpose.  Life is pointless without you.  I don’t know how much longer I’m going to last.  Even our friends have started distancing themselves from me.  I guess they’re getting more time outdoors – I should be happy for them.

I will never forget you. You were my sole mate.

I hope you’re happy.  Wherever you are.

Love always,

Me.



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