My name is Self-Appointed Expert, and this is my blog. It is part memoir, mostly fiction, and above all just trying to be funny. Some of is based on stuff that happened to me, some is based on stuff that happened to people I know, and a good deal is just entirely made up. So, if you find yourself offended, just remember - it's a joke. When you give me that look, it's a joke. Consider it my homage to the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, A Million Little Pieces, John Hodgman, and Christopher Guest.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Hole in Awesome.

This afternoon, for the first time in my life, I went golfing. “For the first time” as in for the first time to ever pick up any sort of club that didn’t have “Putt-Putt” written on the side. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous going in. Granted, with a cute little tennis skirt and a pink LPGA visor, I totally looked the part. But, I worried, would the Elle Woods school of golfing be enough? According to my much, much older and eh, somewhat wiser friends, learning how to golf is hard. (Not hard like getting into Harvard, but still difficult.) And attempting to learn to golf without at least going to a driving range first is “a guaranteed disaster.” In other words, according to all experts, I was definitely going to crash and burn.

Welly, welly, well, you nay-sayers, I hope you like eating crow. Because if “disaster” is the standard for a newcomer, then I’m fucking Tiger Woods. (Don’t worry, white boys, I'm not literally fucking him. I’ll still come back to you. At last half the time. (I think his mom is Asian.)) It was a Par 3 course, and I was consistently hitting 4’s and 5’s. All in all, it was a great day – and I was relieved to find I had a playable level of talent for the game. Relieved because if I didn’t, then this was it for me with golf, forever.

Now, I know a moratorium on a lifetime of playing golf based on one afternoon of golfing for the first time may seem a little extreme, but bear with me. The thing is, as a rule, I don’t typically bother doing things I’m not naturally really good at. I’m not a work hard and eventually master a skill kind of girl. And the reason for that is simple: there just are so many things that I have a natural aptitude for, it just doesn’t make any sense to waste time trying to do something I’m not automatically above-averagely good at. Think about it: why would anyone want to look like a doofus starting from scratch when they were already so amazingly awesome at so many other things from the get go?

Consider the facts. The following is a list of things that I’ve found myself to be really good at without trying: writing, studying, remembering, taking tests, getting into Ivy schools, winning scholarships, interviewing for jobs, blow drying my hair, directing plays, painting, skiing, horseback riding, poker, singing, not getting cancer, laughing at jerks, telling dirty jokes, alluding to funny movie lines, public speaking, email, fucking, not dying, and softball (when I was a kid).

Things I am not good at, and never will be: soccer, running, bowling, getting mad, playing instruments, dancing, manipulating, politicking, not eating, and softball (as an adult).

Things I am moderately okay at, and would consider learning how to do better: volleyball, acting, handjobs, and (now) golf.

Notice how there are more things in the first category (can do well, naturally) than the second (can’t do at all), and by far the fewest in the last (things I’m not naturally good at, but am good enough that it might be worth learning to do well). It’s really quite the little reverse pyramid. (That’s another thing I’m good at: visualizing abstract concepts graphically.)

Anyway, this isn’t to say that I never do things I’m not good at. I run several times a week, and occasionally I will get pissed off. I just never do any of those things well, and I’ve accepted that I never will. The good news is, there’s more than enough things that I do do well to keep me occupied, and lucky for me, many of them are very lucratively overpaid.

And honestly? In the choice between writing really good legal briefs coming in fresh off the street, and having to practice a lot to learn how to give a good handjob…I think I got the better end of the bargain.

Anyone disagree? Yeah. Didn't think so.

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