When I was in kindergarten (before the homeschool years), Thursdays were music days for us and the preschoolers. We had a music teacher (or just some woman who could play the piano well enough to impress a bunch of 3- to 5-year-olds) come in and play the piano and lead us in song. One of those songs was something about peanut butter and we had to snap our fingers when we got to the bit about “crunchy peanut butter”.
Friends, I could not snap my fingers. Oh the secret shame of a 5-year-old! That song is actually burned in my brain because I remember trying desperately to mimic my classmates while praying that they could not tell that my fingers made no sound at all. My older sister and brother tried to teach me at home, in preparation for music day every week (we sang that song a lot), but it felt like a lost cause. I was doomed to be the girl who couldn’t snap her fingers for the rest of her life. It was my cross to bear.
I’m happy to report that, years later (no joke, I was probably around 11) I did finally learn to snap my fingers. But tonight I’m going to share with you a couple other things that nearly everyone else I know picked up real easily and I could simply never do.
Yup. Can’t swim. My parents enrolled us in swim lessons at a local university (the only place with a semi-public pool)… it was one of those set-ups where your level was the name of a fish: polliwog, guppy, minnow, etc… I never graduated from polliwog. :( My brothers surpassed me easily, leaping off the diving board and swimming out in the deep end, while my teachers were getting more and more frustrated with my lack of buoyancy. That was what held me back – an inability to float. I’d lay on my back, with the instructor holding me up… I’d be totally relaxed, totally zen. And then she’d take her hands away and…. glub glub glub. I’d sink like a stone and have to be hauled, flailing, out of the water. After being held back 3 times in a row, I begged off swim lessons and my parents agreed. I can doggie paddle enough that I’m certain if I get knocked into the river or something one day, I’ll be able to make it to something solid to hold onto.
I actually spent a while dating a guy who had been a really serious swimmer most of his life, breaking national records and whatnot. He always offered to teach me, and I always found a reason to put it off. I felt like seeing me panic and thrash about once my head went under the water would not be good for our relationship.
No joke, I can’t whistle. When I attempt it, some sound comes out, but calling it a whistle would be mighty
generous delusional. And it’s weird, but I make no noise at all when exhaling, but am able to make more whistle-like sounds when inhaling. (Incidentally, there was song that involved whistling in kindergarten too. It was terrible). Is there a way that someone can learn how to whistle? Or is that something that comes naturally to people? How do I learn this elusive skill?
I feel like sharing 2 of my inadequacies with you is probably enough for one night. If you want to share anything that you don’t know how to do, I promise you’ll hear no judgment from me :)