Be Excellent In Her Presence: Useless expertise
The second rule of the Tao of Steve is ‘Be Excellent in Her Presence’ and as I re-watched the movie for the 147th time last week, I wondered about where my particular excellence lay. Not that I’m starting to seduce women.. but, you got to wonder.
I always thought that by now – age 41- I’d have cultivated some excellence. You know, be considered an expert in a few areas (professionally), whereby my employer could look at me and nod sagely, ‘yep, Rachael sure knows her stuff’. Instead I’ve found that my expertise has been deployed in a more skattershot approach. I’m not actually an expert at anything professionally (well no-one is asking me to Davos, put it that way), but boy do I have some random expertise collected over the years. Non of which impacts my earning ability, date-ability, fame or fortune. The collective however… might make me more a Steve…
1. Pie crust.
I can make the hell out of a pie crust. Something to do with cold fingers (thanks blood thinners!) and a nimble way with butter. Not only can I whip up a pie crust in 10 minutes, I can roll the sucker out and cap, crimp and bake it with my eyes closed. The only problem. I can’t eat it.
Celiac disease blows and gluten free pie crust is like nuclear fusion and equally tasty.
2. Noise blocking
As a highly sensitive individual (HSP, yes, its a thing), I’m not good with noise. I can’t sleep if so much as a moth is breathing, never mind my ever present snoring hairball of a dog. (screw snoring spouses, try a dog with allergies). Factor in police sirens, owls, cat fights and even coyotes and I’d never actually sleep without this skill. These days I can block out anything through a combination of earplugs, headsets, white noise, fans and Klonapan. Actually it might just be the Klonapan.
Since I resemble a linebacker from behind, I knew my specific bone structure had to have a use for something. Apparently picking large objects up from the floor is it. Sure it sounds easy, but when you can pick up your body weight from the floor without so much as a grunt, twinge or pause, I think that qualifies as expertise. It certainly made my CrossFit instructor stare and the dude whose bar I picked up high five me. Not sure where its going to come in useful unless I join the mob and need to be moving a lot of bodies around.. but I’m sure it’ll come in useful sometime.
4. Reading People
This is the only upside that I can see of being a HSP (Yes, its a thing). Apparently in being one of life’s butterflies (easily hurt, fragile, over-sensitized), we’re also very aware to the feelings of those around us. Which means I know when you need the bathroom, when you got offended by the waiter or when you’re saying yes under duress and trying to hide it. I can be ridiculously empathetic (even when I don’t want to), and I sometimes wish I couldn’t see quite how you don’t want to be doing something (hint : no-one should look like that on the day they get married)… but hey, people rarely go hungry or thirsty in my company.
As it is said in the Tao of Steve, ‘I’m an excellent camper’. Of course this is the ultimate useless expertise as no-one ever needs to be an excellent camper… Its not like its a prerequisite to a job, finding love or making the world a better place. Its useless. But if you ever need to have your tent pitched (no comment), your bag and Thermarest ready to go and the tea on boil/ beers cracked.. well I’m your girl. One day I’ll find a use for this expertise, but until then, I’ll just intimidate guys who are still trying to find the flysheet as it starts hailing.
I think this year I might try to work on my other, more applicable excellence .. you know, like conversation, writing, getting off of Klonapan….