Rubbish at stuff

I’m pretty rubbish at stuff. When I think about it, my skills are restricted to basically writing, running and getting kids organised and out of the house on time. And, to be honest, I even struggle with that one sometimes.

I seem to lack the basic skills and knowledge for life in the 21st century. And I don’t have basic stuff that most people take for granted.

It wasn’t always like this. As a teenager, my parents and teachers predicted I would go far. I went as far as a spare room in my own house, where I write press releases for other people and edit their English.

Sometimes I feel as helpless as a 6 year old child. Only trapped inside the body of a 41 year old woman with very bad skin.

Talking of skin, for instance, a fellow acne sufferer told me about a vlogger who does great make-up tutorials about covering up spots. I’ve had spots for 30 years and I’ve never covered them. It’s never even occurred to me. So I’ve basically spent 30 years needlessly looking crap.

A side effect of the Roaccutane to improve my skin is hair that looks like straw. Most people wash their hair to get rid of grease, I wash mine to moisturise it. I posted a pic on Instagram and a couple of real life friends made suggestions of how I could improve it.

How do they know this stuff? How come I don’t know this stuff? I realise I stopped learning about hair, skin and beauty at the age of 15. When I stopped reading Just 17. Apparently you learn this stuff from friends, sisters, magazines and hairdressers. I gave up going to the hairdressers a couple of years ago, and never went for more than a trim in the first place. I don’t talk to any real life human beings any more who aren’t closely related to me, as I work at home alone, so there’s nobody to give me friendly face-to-face advice.

Selfie, Hair, Roaccutane

Last week, I was asked at the last minute to leave the house for work. I knew I’d have to do it the following week and I’d made peace with that, but this was something different. I didn’t have time to mentally prepare. I would be facing two of the biggest things I’m no good at all in one go – namely driving and finding my way.

I’m a crap driver and I hate going strange places and will almost inevitably get lost. Getting lost will make my driving worse. Oh, and I don’t have sat-nav and I can’t read maps on my phone. Because that’s what normal people do, not people who are crap at stuff.

I suspect I may have panicked slightly over the phone, seeking reassurance from a woman half my age.

‘But, I don’t know where it is! How do I get there?’

I stopped short at asking, ‘But what should I WEAR?’. I am both too young and too old to need reassurance and help from people to whom I should be demonstrating a mature and able persona. But I really didn’t know. I haven’t worked in an office for nearly 18 months. I don’t have work clothes any more. My work clothes weren’t that much like work clothes even when I did have them. I can’t just put on a black top or a white shirt. Basic things that people have. Because I don’t have them. I am rubbish. My wardrobe is full of Superdry Tshirts.

I wore black jeans, green Converse and the smallest of Superdry logos on my dark grey Tshirt.

I had to go on the motorway and everything. I don’t go on motorways. Because I’m a bit rubbish. I think my husband always thinks I won’t make it home in one piece if I’m allowed on motorways.

So I made it there and came back in one piece, in 27 degree heat, driving my oven of a car which has broken air conditioning (another thing that makes me crap) with my window down on the motorway.

I am still alive. My hair is a mess and so is my face. I have no normal clothes, no sat-nav and no air conditioning in my car.

I am rubbish.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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39 Comments

  1. Well good thing you’re gorgeous then eh? Just kidding, you are not rubbish at all. You’ve built up a whole new career over the last year and it’s going from strength to strength! I know bugger all about hair and make up too and Just 17 made me chuckle, I remember those days well 🙂

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    • First of all your amazing and secondly you sound like me :0) my hair is very similar to yours I have blonde hair that’s at the best is frizzy. I have found a hairdresser who I now trust and try auzzie hair products, they are great and smell amazing. As for driving I hate it, though I love my sat nav it’s my life saver. My part is parking I hate parking. Massive hugs and here to talk hair anytime xxxxxx

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      • Thanks very much! Really appreciate that and glad I’m not the only one! Parking has always been a huge issue for me too, although I’m not so bad now I’ve got a Mini. I do use a couple of Aussie products. x

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    • Thanks very much! Good point about the career! Just 17 was such a big deal when we were teenagers 🙂

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  2. Oh me too – clueless with hair and make-up, no skin care routine beyond slapping on a bit of spf moisturiser, and I can’t drive at all, let alone on motorways. But we are not rubbish- we are different. Lovely and different and not bothered by some of the things other people are because we’d rather read a book than watch make-up tutorials. You are not alone! Xx

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    • That’s so good to hear and such a positive way of looking at it. I’m not normally bothered by these things, but every now and then I think ‘why don’t I know this stuff, why does everyone know it apart from me?’! x

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  3. You’re not rubbish at all.

    You are craving a niche for yourself
    I’m discovering myself slowly but surely
    I’ve never had swishy hair that I crave

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    • Thank you! I really appreciate that. My hair used to be OK when I was young, but life’s too short to worry about hair, right?

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  4. Knowing stuff isn’t everything. Doing stuff is more important. Like driving on the motorway when its not your favourite thing to do. Or becoming self employed. And managing three children, a husband, guinea pigs…

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    • Thank you! I really appreciate that. It’s true – three children, two guinea pigs and one husband do take a fair amount of looking after!

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  5. Oh you have made me laugh as I am exactly the same. I went on an event the other week and the girl I was e mailing must have wondered who she had invited with the number of car parking questions I had sent before hand xx

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    • Ha ha, glad it’s not just me! These things are very important!

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  6. What can I do? Can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t play a musical instrument, clinically inept at DIY. And don’t even start me on travel: even with a list I can’t remember everything. Once left my trousers in a hotel outside Nottingham – the kids used to wave to them as we went to Center Parcs.
    Only talent = moderately amusing about the everyday trivialities of family life: so with three skills you’re doing pretty well. And you’ve blogged consistently for years – one day your children will realise you’ve left them a really precious gift. Have a lovely week 🙂

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    • Thanks very much! Good to know I’m not the only one who lacks skills!
      Very good point about my blog. The kids don’t know what I write and I don’t want them to know yet, but I hope in 10, 15 or even 20 years they can look back and read about their lives and be happy I’ve created this record for them.

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  7. See… you made it back unscathed after escaping the house to work and driving all the way there and back on the motorway. It proves that when pushed we’re capable of anything. From the blogger who got lost on the way to and from a local hospital last week when she deviated from her normal route!

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    • Oh dear! I could do that too! Yep, I made it back in one piece, so that was an achievement. Not sure if I’m capable of anything, but it’s a start!

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  8. But you’re pretty handy at giving out accurate information in emergencies, handling sensitive court cases and spending two days on some strange car race handling all the media……..!?! You are also very good at babies and breastfeeding and should really be volunteering as one (IMO). And for record you always looked LOVELY and TRENDY and MODERN in the office! Way better than the rest of us in our office uniform!!! So there. (this blog post made me laugh a bit, I’m not sure if it was supposed to?)

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    • Thanks very much! It was supposed to make you laugh a bit. You inspired it, to be honest, when I realised how incompetent I am in hair matters.
      True, I guess I do have a few other skills and it’s good to know I looked trendy in the office. Now I just look scruffy at home 🙂

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  9. 1) you are not rubbish 2) I always think I am a d*ck. I always wish I was aloof and mysterious and cool and calm and that I could shut up and generally be someone else but me. We all have our things thought don’t we? And they are just that. No-one would EVER think you were rubbish and I hope not many people would think I was a d*ck! x

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    • Thanks very much! That’s a lovely thing to say. You’re not a d*ck, but you’re right, we can all be a bit hard on ourselves. x

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  10. You are the most amazing Mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend.

    Who cares about the rest

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    • Thank you! That’s such a lovely thing to say 🙂

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  11. You are so not rubbish! Quite frankly I am in awe of all that you do/manage. Who needs to have non-dry hair?!

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    • Thanks very much! That’s a really lovely thing to say 🙂

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  12. oh this made me chuckle – I am rubbish at so many things but try and focus on the stuff I am good at. Organising the children and all their clubs is a huge responsibility and not a skill to be sniffed at – don’t ask me the number of times I have forgotten a club and then either gone to pick them up early or forgotten to take them. Then there is the running – I can’t run 50 yards without gasping for breath! You’re great at what you do, that’s why counts!

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    • That’s very much, that’s a lovely thing to say! Most of the time I do concentrate on the positives, but then I think ‘look at all these things I don’t even know about!’.

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  13. Aw Sarah this made me chuckle but I know you are SO NOT rubbish. I totally get the Sat Nav thing. I had an event a few weeks ago and asked the husband to set the Sat Nav up the night before. Following morning Sat Nav fell off the window and wouldn’t come back on. Cue me phoning husband at work in a mad panic. The result…… him sat at his desk talking me through the whole journey whilst my iPhone was on speakerphone for 35 minutes!!!! I have to say he made a great Sat Nav lol x

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    • Thank you very much 🙂 And that’s a brilliant sat nav story, you have a very patient husband! My husband knows I’m a bit inept and worries about me driving, but he wouldn’t have the patience to sit and talk me through the route like that.

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  14. I’m brilliant at being terminally late, picking my nails, making a huge mess, getting irrationally irritated by fools, plucking my eyebrows too much that they are hardly there – We’d make an excellent team! x

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    • Whoops! We certainly would 🙂

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  15. You aren’t rubbish at all, you are wonderful. You are good as so many more things than you give yourself credit for. I know what you mean though, I am the same. I have my confidence knocked just now and feel similar. I learn a lot by reading. Best thing I ever did was go to a beauty salon, they helped my skin immensely and I’ve never looked back. I was nervous going in at first, but they are all lovely x

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    • That’s such a lovely thing to say! Sorry you’ve had your confidence knocked, that’s not good. Good idea about the beauty salon, maybe I should give that a go once I’m off my medication, thank you. x

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  16. I loved J17 – buying that each Wednesday used to make me really popular that day at school!

    I bet there’s loads more you’re good at. You’re just focusing on the rubbish stuff (which probably isn’t as rubbish as it seems).

    I’ve got really slack over the last few years – eating too much, wearing the same dull work wear (the only stuff that fits), and vaguely do my hair and make up (to cover the occasional spot and even out skin) and biting my nails – you’d think after growing them to get engaged and married years ago, I’d have had the willpower to continue to not bite them.. I think some is a sign of getting older and not caring what others think – because if you’re done things so far off your own back on how good you are at it, then it doesn’t matter about the rest – especially when you’re focusing on sorting out dependents.

    My tip for skin is Sheer Cover – covers birth marks, doesn’t sweat off (my make up always goes by lunch time even using long lasting stuff), spots etc. Brilliant stuff if a bit pricey. Can’t help with dry hair because mine’s greasy at the roots and drier at the ends – my solution is it needs dying to even it out.

    Guess it depends if you’re really bothered and if you think it’s worth the effort and make you happier, because annoyingly these things take trial and error which is always annoying. If you’re not happy with these things, find the people in the know. I guess that’s what YouTube tutorials are for (but don’t go to the orange permatanned beautians in department stores!). Or do what I do and ‘stalk’ people with hair like yours that you’d like yours to look like, and find their hairdresser.

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    • Thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a long comment.
      I think you’re right about getting older. My view on work clothes now is – you’re employing me to do a job, not to look good. I have years of experience and can work just as well in jeans as I can in smart clothes (possibly I can work better in jeans as I feel comfortable!)
      Sheer Cover sounds great – I will look it up once I’m off my medication.
      Love your bravery in stalking people for their hairdresser!

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  17. Sarah, I don’t know you but I know from your blog and your comments on mine that you and I are very different. You’re not a pet person, I am overrun with animals. You are organised. I once missed an exam because I’d got the wrong day. And yet, I could have written this post. I am rubbish in many of the same ways as you (I mean seriously, who actually works from home AND owns work clothes and makeup??) but we both function. And I find comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one who is rubbish and yet surviving. Thank you for the reassurance!xx

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    • Thank you for the reassurance too! We’re probably pretty similar personality-wise, we just have differences in our likes and dislikes. x

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  18. You are not rubbish! I know nothing about make up so I avoid it and the only reason I have learnt how to do hair is because I used the Internet! You are fab who needs work clothes anyway? I’d much rather wear a super dry T shirt to work and definitely jeans if they’d let me!

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    • Thank you! That’s such a lovely thing to say, I really appreciate it 🙂

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