pt. 1: baths
I’m good at baths. I can soak for Guinness Book lengths of time. I can order my grocery pick-up, exfoliate, listen to a podcast and mentally redecorate our home all from the tub, all at the same time.
pt. 2: baking
Pretty bad at baking. I don’t trust the oven’s thermometer. I don’t trust any thermometers. I don’t trust the cook time. I don’t trust the recipe. I don’t trust myself. I still bake because my husband and toddler love banana bread, but it’s psychosis inducing every time.
pt. 3: reading
I used to be very good at this.
In high school I read so much that I cruised right through the English class literature list and was free to write book reports on whatever I wanted. Now I get annoyed with the main character because I can’t remember their motives for doing the things they do and the author’s attempts to conjure sympathy are lost on me. I find myself thinking, “She needs to get her life together. I don’t have time for this.”
I was gonna put up a paywall here, but I’d rather not. You could subscribe $50/year if you want me to keep it up. Because, I will keep this up if my free subscribers keep switching like they have been lately…
pt. 4: wordle
I love getting a Wordle on the third try. Once I guessed it on the first.
My starter word is ‘stern’. If there are no matching letters I plug in ‘audio’. I share scores with little jack. He’s never missed one. I have. I used to just forget to finish them. But since I learned he’s never missed one, I haven’t either* and I raised my accuracy from 97% to 98%. I’m optimistic I can make it 99%. That’s as good as I can hope for.
*Ok. There was one night where my day went haywire and it was 11:55 PM and I kept falling asleep trying to guess. So I looked up the answer to not lose my streak. Sue me.
pt. 5: sewing
I have my late mother’s sewing desk and her steadfast Singer. I have her stitch ripper, thread, ric rac, straight pins, measuring tapes, tracing wheels and all the rest.
And I am a terrible seamstress.
I had a pair of pyjama pants that were also my mother’s. I’d inherited them with a lot of clothing when she died. They’d always been too big on me and then the elastic went. I still wore them when I was low on clean clothes, but I decided enough was enough when I was standing in the kitchen and my son swiftly pulled them down to my ankles.
One evening I set to repairing them. I searched a few videos and began my work.
It seemed achievable, until I realized the fabric had more stretch than I knew how to handle. And the elastic wasn’t cooperating. Failing was better than quitting. I pressed on.
I knew they were horrible, but the finished product was more comical than I could have imagined.
I had fitted the elastic to be around my waist, but now the rise was way too short. On another note, the inseam had never accommodated my long legs and now they had risen to mid-calf. But they’re third string pyjamas. What did it matter?
Then I remembered that covid has made me shameless in going out into the alley to check on my guerilla flower garden. I have to get rid of them. Otherwise I will wear them in a momentary lack of judgment. I will descend the fire escape with feral hair and my toddler son to inspect the day lilies and hollyhocks.
And run smack into someone I know
Your mention of baking reminds me of the best headline that ever ran in a newspaper where I worked. Our food editor would sort through reader submissions and choose ones to receive a $25 prize and be published as "Recipe of the Week." We'd use the winner's name in the headline to give them an added thrill.
The food editor failed to understand why the entire staff lost bladder control over the following gem, which I'm told was clipped and taped to the mirror behind every lesbian and gay bar in Chicago . . .
DON'T PREHEAT THE OVEN WHEN BAKING BETTY'S CAKE
Ya, wordle. Missed thrice. My starter words are 'about' and 'naive' - I like to get the vowels exposed, yet tried 'audio' for a while and didn't like how it worked - maybe not enough consonants. Never got it on the first try but 4x in two. 97%. Stopped for a while after the initial 'fad-time' was over but realized it's a good thing to do. Ever do Sudokus?