Sunday, January 31, 2010

And several small fires

Pet Peeve No. 187: Bragging About Personal Failure

There are few things that bother me as much as when people boast about not being able to perform basic, mundane tasks.  It's not a mark of honor.

Take, for example, cooking.  How many people do you know who brag about the fact that they cannot boil water?

Or changing a tire.  I know it's hard to do by yourself, but it's not impossible.

De-fragging a computer.  I learned to de-frag when I was twelve.

Taxes.  Come on, people, in the age of Turbo Tax you really can't understand what is going on?

Sewing on a button.  I once had a boy at church thrust his wrist out at me and say, "You're a girl, you can fix this, right?"  Ah yes, grasshopper, with my Estrogen Powers.  I just stare at frayed hems, and they magically mend.

Understanding the basic functions of U.S. government.  Look.  There are THREE branches.  Not fifty.  Not even five.  You learned about them in fifth, eighth and eleventh grade, and you probably took a class or two in college while you were at it.  How is it possible that it's still a mystery?  AND WHY ARE YOU PROUD OF THE FACT THAT IT'S STILL A MYSTERY?

I am not saying I am good at any of the aforementioned things.  I am good at some of them, adequate at others.  And yes, sometimes it's funny when my adventures in cooking go horribly wrong, but mostly it's just a little sad.  

If you cannot fend for yourself in an emergency, you are not darling or adorable.  If you cannot iron your own shirt, you are not manly.  If you cannot turn on your oven, you are not a bigger feminist than I am.

You're just kinda lame.  And never ask me to sew on your buttons again.


  1. amen amen amen. and amen. my own failure is basic math. it is embarassing how limited i am. lots of people tell me it isn't important, which is vaguely insulting instead of comforting. like "it's okay dear, you'll never need to use your brain in YOUR LINE OF WORK."

    i am, however, guilty of poking fun at my cooking skills,which are equally miserable. and, i like to point out that dan is the cook in our family, not i. mostly though, i do this with family and well-meaning ward members. because when we show up to functions with food, everyone, including people who HAVE KNOWN ME MY WHOLE LIFE, assumes that i made the food. because i am the woman, and marriage is like a magical fairy wand that sprinkles cooking skills on the spouse with the vagina.

    but still, unacceptable. shall find other ways to make my point....

  2. After years of my sister in law [mooching off of us at holidays] swearing she couldn't cook I gave her a basic cookbook with a post it note on the front that said "Yes, but you CAN read, right?"

    I never saw her at my house for dinner again nd was happier for it. And before you think I am too much of a bitch I actually made her [and my brother/their kids] an ENTIRE Thanksgiving dinner [in addition to ours] to take TO THEIR HOME so she could serve dinner to her guests because she "couldn't cook". I still kick myself and wish for my dishes back that she broke.