Skillz

napoleanI was talking to a friend (who I am kidding, it was my therapist), about things we like to do for fun, and the topic of learning new stuff come up. I LOVE LOVE LOVE learning new stuff. Anything which makes me more self-sufficient, more ‘handy’, “better”  or less scared of something makes me feel like I stand a better chance in the face of the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

Shooting, riding a motorcycle, rock climbing, swimming, boxing, snowboarding .. I’ve learned quite a few skills over the years. So when she asked me what sorts of things I wanted to learn, what classes I might want to take now that I’m situated in CA and slightly less overloaded, I think she expected the usual ‘pottery class’ or ‘wine appreciation’. Maybe a ‘surfing’ or ‘kayaking’ since I am outdoorsy. But when I actually thought about it I’m not sure that the skills I want to acquire are actually ones they offer classes on.

  1. ‘In Da Club’ Dancing. No, I don’t want to learn swing, zumba or hip hop. I just want to be able to get down in ‘da club’ without looking like my Mum. Being born British brings with it an awesome accent and horrific stiffness of the body. We literally don’t have right bones to do anything more than waving our arms around and jumping up and down. Apparently these days.. that’s not quite the thing. Not that I spend a lot of time in clubs , but I used to LOVE to dance, and its a skill that I’d like to have. You know. Just in case the zombies require it.
  2. Motorcycle maintenance in English. Yes I know classes abound on mechanical type things, but unfortunately they’re populated by teachers who use the proper words for things. What I need is someone who can refer to the ‘thingy’ and the ‘coily wire’, ‘the lever’ and ‘the spanner with the round hole’, without complicating it with actual facts about how the wheels go round.
  3. Flirting. Sorry but I’m crap at it. I’ve had 20 odd years of practice but even my ex husband told me I was terrible. Not only am I terrible at it (I’ve thrown someone across the dance-floor, and punched them in the face while “flirting”), I don’t know how to respond appropriately to someone doing it (if I even recognize it in the first place). Apparently I have no game. There has to be a class for this. Or maybe I just need to subscribe to Teen Magazine?
  4. Face to name recognition: How do people do that? I literally have no clue how to remember people’s names. I recognize their faces.. but names? Nothing. I know their dogs names, the car they drive and even their drink preference, but trying to get their attention at any point? I’m Bridget Jones yelling ‘um….OY‘. Which is slightly awkward in a business meeting. With the CEO. Whose name you’ve forgotten.
  5. Sitting down in a coffee shop. I can’t. I just can’t. How do people do it? I mean I know they do it. I see them. Gazing through the window, or scanning a screen. Maybe just stirring their latte and looking peaceful. How do people actually go to a coffee shop and sit there for like an hour? I’ve tried it twice. The first time I set a speed record for cappuccino drainage. The second, I lasted about 10 seconds. I just feel so naked. Lost. Alone. Sitting a coffee shop and drinking a cup of coffee signals to the world a kind of confidence and peace that I just don’t possess. Nope, I’m the one trying to drink 160F latte through a pinprick while walking.   Help me .. anyone?

Needless to say I told my friend (analyst) that I would sign up for a map reading class in REI. I guess I can learn how to escape from zombies without using GPS. Personally I think a class on tolerating a massage might be more useful.. but hey. It’s a skill.

 

 

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