23 things I don’t know how to do at the age of 23

I feel that there are certain adult skills that one might have acquired by the time one is 23.
I am sure they vary widely due to people’s individual circumstances, personality, socioeconomic position, culture and of course personal beliefs.
But there are some things that I cannot do, or have not tried, that seem out-of-place in my well-traveled, well-educated life.
And so here they are:

Twenty Three things I don’t know how to do at the age of 23, (and that I probably should considering…)

23. Set the oven
Oh, I’ve turned on the oven before, pre set to 350 degrees, I GET IT, I just don’t know how to execute it properly without destroying everything inside. And also how does the timer work? GAH!

22. Spell ‘Definitely’
So obviously spell check is on here in the post, but I honestly cannot wrap my head around this word. I think I may have a slight form of dyslexia, because I always spell the word “Definitly” or “Definatley”. I was always awful at spelling, I used to get my “b”s and “d”s around the wrong way. It’s kindof weird because I love writing, and I never let spelling get in the way, I kind of just bulldozed over it and made it work however I could.

21. Set a mouse trap
I’ve never really experienced a problem with Vermin (living in high up apartment buildings for most of my life.) Cockroaches I hate and have had to deal with, but mice? Those are pets aren’t they? I know they are. I had two growing up, Bindi and Gemma. Bindi lost an arm to a magpie which swooped past and ate it, and Gemma had a thyroid problem so became huge and fat, and then got a tumor. Both had to be put down, although they lived with their disabilities unhindered for at least a year or two. Oh the sparkling childhood memories. I digress, in our Toronto apartment, we’ve had little mousey friends, and after they ignored my humane trap which catches them in a box (to be released at your convenience) new, masculine roomie put his foot down and set a real trap. The killing kind. Sadly I was alone when I found the result, and turned into an UTTER wimp when I had to touch the limp soft body.

20. Open a bottle of bubbles
Any kind of alcoholic beverage in a glass bottle with a cork that pops off, is immediately handed off to someone else in the room, because I have destroyed too many light fixtures with my inexperience.

19. Sew a hem
I can sew on a button if it drops off (not neatly of course) but anything that requires more skill or patience then that is impossible. My mum is not a great seamstress, but she used to be able to hem my school dress if needs be.

18. Build a website
Even this most basic WordPress blog still confuses me. I have visited other blogs where the layouts are amazing and they have other tabs. Nope. Not me. My brother is the computery/internety one of the family, and I’ll just have to be content with being the Smart, Outgoing, Hilarious, Pretty, Girl one. Sigh.

17. Paint my nails
During the ridiculous Pantomime I did, I had a lot of free time during rehearsals. I mostly read, but once, I brought some nail polish and decided to tidy up my scratched and cracked polish. Much to the horror of some one who actually knows how to do this neatly, I got a lot of red polish on the skin of my fingers. “It’s fine” I told her, “You just wash your hands once it dries and it all comes off.” Apparently striking randomly in the direction of your nails is not the way to paint them, you can actually achieve this neatly, by gently placing the brush with polish on the edge of the nail, and brushing out delicately.

16. Negotiate a Contract
I find it toooooo awkward talking about money, well, that which applies to me. Other people, fine, FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS. Me? No. I’ll just take the same small paycheck until I get annoyed and leave.

15. Cook a full Turkey or Chicken
Thankfully for my first Christmas away from home, it was a hodge-podge of religions and traditions, so we just had chicken breasts for lunch. I went to a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my friend, and her Turkey was so amazing and moist, and the stuffing…ah! Simply awesome. But I just don’t get it. This probably has something to do with my problems with the oven.

14. Use eBay
I set up an account. I browse. I think I even set up a paypal account. But when it comes to stuff I actually want to buy…?! There seem to be too many buttons to click, too many things too fill out. UGH. Too much. I’d rather buy something face to face (oh god now I sound like an old foggie who is afraid of the internet.)

13. File a Tax Return
I have always given my tax returns to somebody else to do (boyfriends, father, accountant I worked for as a personal assistant) but now the date of lodging a Tax Return in Toronto looms, and I’m going to have to bite the bullet and figure it out. In a foreign country. Great.

12. Fill a car up with petrol
This seems just silly, but it is true. I grew up for a number of years with no car and no need for one (in Hong Kong and all) so my parents never asked me to help out with doing this. Also, I miss the days of service (here comes the old foggie Paris) remember when people served? Like at petrol stations they would fill up your car for you.

11. Use an Iron
I have tried, and I have failed. I’m getting better, but I would still not count ironing amongst my skill set.

10. Walk away from the samples people in grocery stores
If I take a free tester, I know that I will be standing there for a good five minutes listening to the sales pitch. I may even pick up the item they are hawking and then sneakily put it down somewhere else. I am a WUSS. That’s why I’ve just had to start declining.

9. Tie a nice pony tail
I remember first learning to tie up my own hair for school very late, like year 6 or even year 7. Why would I need to learn? I always had bob cuts, and when I did have longish hair as a kid, I had a maid and a mother that did french braids and treated me like a real live doll. Even now when I attempt it, it has lumps and bumps and I just think “fuckit” and leave it. It’s the artsy disheveled look ya’know?

8. Use the Automatic Cheque deposit at the ATM
I’ve never really tried – and I prefer to speak to a person direct (that way the cheque clears instantly) but yeah – I should learn how to use that technology though, not just to fight off foggie status, but also, like, come on man. The future.

7. Make a Tiramasu
It is my delightful roommie’s birthday Tomorrow, and after sneakily asking around for her favorite cake flavour to surprise her, have learned that her heart yearns for Tiramasu… If a cake doesn’t come in a box and require, 1 cup water, 1 cup vegetable oil and 2 eggs, then I can’t make it. Sorry. My desert cooking abilities are limited. I am an expert desert eater, just a poor desert maker. (Surely I should pick one meal and try to become a champion in that field, I have always thought I’d like to be good at deserts – everyone loves Nigella after all!)

6. Fix/Replace a Smoke Detector
Luckily I have always lived with those much more capable than myself – so our smoke detectors have remained active, and I, as a result, have not died a death related to smoke inhalation. The only reason I know our current smoke detector works is that I frequently set it off when cooking.

5. Hang a picture
I’m sure I COULD hang a picture, I mean – I logically know the steps involved: find a strongish wall, nail, hammer, TAH-DAH hang your picture. But I haven’t, and as a result, the beautiful frames I got for Christmas remain propped against the base of my wall, waiting to be hung.

4. Fix a flat tire
Are you really so surprised? If I can’t fill a damn car with petrol, how can I be expected to remove bits and fix them? I’ve seen them do it in movies. Looks like it involves a jack to lift up the car and then what? Screw driver? Meh.

3. Make a cup of Coffee
I drink tea, which is as hard as putting a tea bag in some hot water, adding milk, sugar, and stirring. Coffee drinkers seem to have a whole other process going on – that I just don’t get. They grind it, pour water through the ground up beans and a tiny paper sheet? UGH I don’t get it, and I live in fear of someone asking me to make them a cup.

2. Tell the difference between a ‘Good’ Bottle of wine and a Crap one
Yes, I’m afraid wines are wasted on me. If it’s sweet or bubbly, I’ll drink it. I know I like Zinfandel’s and that’s about it. My parents (who love wine) despair of me. My attitude until a year or two ago was: If it gets me drunk and goes down okay, then it’s probably alright. Classy.

1. Drive a Car
Yep, that is probably the number one thing I should be able to do at the age of 23. I have a long list of excuses for why I HAVE NOT got it, including that I went to University in a far away city, and that the legal driving age in Hong Kong is 18…blah blah blah, the truth of the matter is, I should have found a time to do it before now, but I haven’t and so I take to the road as a 23-year-old learner, attempting it on the wrong side of the road. I hope my friends who have offered to help will be patient with me.

And there you have it.

23 things people should probably have learned to do by the age of 23. Am I bothered? Perhaps a little bit.
But I have other experiences and areas of expertise. If you really break it down, I’m not great at Cars, fixing things, cooking, or cleaning, (and some online stuff) so long as I can find people who CAN do these things, then I’ll be alright.

And in return, I’ll write all the witty blogs.

Most definetly definatley definitly

Damnit.

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