“That don’t impress me much!” sang Shania Twain, in her irritating 90s hit, of the same name. Well, I’m no Shania Twain (thank goodness) but I must admit, impressing me is a bit of a hit and miss affair too. You could win a gold medal at the Olympics for the High Jump and I’d forget your name (unless you lived next door to me, or something). On the other hand, you could do one of the following things and I’d be open-mouthed with admiration:
1) Being An Expert. I’m hugely impressed when somebody is an actual “expert” on something, even if it is just something useless like Star Wars. In fact especially if it is something useless, for some reason. I like it when people have the attention span to apply themselves to things and to remember stuff. I sit entranced when people start reeling off loads of facts, because I have a terrible memory myself and a mind that roves around looking for something else to be distracted by all the time.
2) Being Tidy. How do people DO that? I long to live in a stark white minimalist void…Or even just to have “a place for everything and everything in its place” but somehow I can’t pull it off. I mean I DO have a place for everything but that place is called “right next to where I am, when I want to put it down”. And the other place is called “the floor”.
3) Being Hospitable. It’s great when people say “Come round now if you like! We’ll open a bottle of wine and rustle up a meal!”. I’m SO stunned that they can do that. Despite the fact that any of my friends are welcome to come to my house IN AN EMERGENCY (even an emotional one), people are very unlikely to be invited otherwise. Sometimes I blame the untidiness but I think I might do the untidy thing on purpose in fact… To keep them away and to give me an excuse NOT to invite them. I’m warmly and lovingly sociable away from home but if you visit I’ll probably be uneasy and counting the minutes until you leave. Seriously, I’m horrible. You probably won’t get offered more than one cup of tea either – I just forget.
4) Being Able To Mend Things. Actually I AM pretty good at mending things myself… But people who can mend big things like cars impress the hell out of me. Mostly because they are men. Heh.
5) Using Cling-Film, Without Swearing. How on EARTH do people manage to do this? When I use cling-film, it refuses to “cling” to anything but itself. It won’t tear, so I have to develop a third hand, to hold scissors (which don’t work anyway). It comes off the roll in a strip that isn’t the entire width and then gets narrower and narrower, leaving an increasing amount behind, in a diagonal. By the time I have finished, the roll is f*cked, my nerves are shattered and the food is protected by some kind of tattered, baggy imitation of what cling-film ought to be.
6) Playing FPS games, on Xbox. Aren’t people who can do this, clever? Many, many times my son has demonstrated this ability to me – but try as I might, I am totally incapable of controlling my character in a “First Person Shooter” game. I hold my gun and try to walk – but before I know it, I’m aiming at the sky and rotating slowly, until one of my son’s friends sneaks up and shoots me. Poor Brandon, “Stop teabagging my Mum!” is a cry no child should ever have to utter.
7) Being Quiet. How the Hell do quiet people keep quiet? I never stop talking, I have an opinion on everything and I crack jokes and I drive people mad. I’d love to SHUT UP for the sake of those around me but it isn’t any fun, so it isn’t going to happen. I’m really impressed by people who keep their own counsel though and I’m sure that they are cleverer than me.
8) Being Able To Cook. I love it when somebody can create delicious, hearty food and share it with others. Such skill. My meals however come in three types, “Cooked in the microwave, straight from the freezer”, What shall we order?” and “OMFG what IS this?!”. I can fry bacon and eggs though.
9) Looking After House-Plants. I look in awe when people have homes full of beautiful plants. Plants tremble at the mention of my name. Any plant that enters my home should start living every day as thought it were its last.
10) Looking Good In Charity Shop (Thrift Store?) Clothes. “I got it for fifty pence!” says my friend, when I admire her trendy little cardigan, “isn’t it unique?!”. Yes, it IS. But when I buy clothes in the Oxfam Shop, I look like a crazed cat-lady, a refugee, a throwback to the 80s, or a tall old-age pensioner. What I’m trying to say is, I look like I’m wearing a 50p cardigan.
What impresses you, that YOU can’t or don’t do?