Any girl can tell you that there are certain times of the month when she finds herself in a state of hormonally generated chaos. She feels things– lots and lots of things– which she can’t quantify, but so profoundly affect her emotional well-being. Some scientists call it pre-menstrual syndrome. I prefer the term UKD, or uncontrollable kvetchy disorder.
It is during these days that I find myself in a persistent state of self-doubt. Suddenly I am convinced I am unable to do anything well, and it has therefore become tradition that during my darkest hours I sit down and continue to build a list I began months before– “Things I’m Really Good At.” Below is a taste of the items that have my made my slowly expanding list:
1) Consuming caffeine. Seriously, if there a coffee olympics I would be the Michael Phelps of the latte competition. I have an uncanny ability to drink vast amounts of caffeine and still remain completely calm. I also am particularly skilled at befriending the right gay male baristas who have a love of all things Selena and are happy to share unlimited cups of coffee with fellow Selena fans.
2) Alphabetizing files/books/cds (do people actually buy those anymore?). I’ve always been averse to the Dewey Decimal System. As a believer in the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) philosophy, I think a more simplified organizational structure based on the ABCs is the most effective way to organize almost every facet of one’s life. And, ladies and gents, after 22 years of structuring my life in such a way I can say with certainty that I am extraordinarily speedy at completing this task.
3) Blowdrying my hair. You think I jest, but when you’re me and flying out the door at 5:45 am Monday-Friday, you don’t have time for a slow dry. You need to be chick-chock; in and out; one, two, three. And after a little finagling, I have mastered the art of the quick dry. Also, did I mention that my hair looks pretty spanking straight and suave when I am done with my 150 second air dry? Be jealous. Be very jealous.
4) Remembering minute details of peoples’ lives. Some might mistake my remarkable memory for my first grade best friend’s mom’s birthday as an old school version of stalking, but I promise I’m not that creepy. I just listen, and like a human sponge, soak up all the random factoids my friends, family, and subway acquaintances offer on a daily basis. And when people aren’t disturbed about my memory for their personal details, they are often pleasantly surprised that someone actually took the time to really listen to their life stories.
5) Choosing ripe avocados. It’s a talent, and not one my mother taught me either. I am self-taught avocado connoisseur. With a simple gentle squeeze I can fully assess the ripeness of an avocado and determine then and there if said avocado has a place inside my next batch of guacamole. Given my avocado addiction, this has proven a most useful skill.
And 6) Party planning. My backup plan if both the legal and journalism professions fail me, or I fail them, is to become a wedding planner. As my propensity for alphabetizing might have indicated, I have decent organizational skills. And wedding planning is the perfect venue to showcase my skills. It also gives me an opportunity to take part in creating one of the most meaningful days in any person’s life.
Now given my rare skill set I certainly have reason to smile, or at least not kvetch. After all, I’m one in six billion.