THE BLOG
11/28/2016 07:23 am ET Updated Nov 20, 2017

These Are The Most Impressive Of All My Obsolete Skills

A few days ago, I was pumping gas, and got to do one of those victory fist pumps in my pumping of the pump.

Because I love it when I get the meter to stop on exactly 00.

But I don't really need that skill anymore. I haven't used cash to buy gas in years. With a credit card I could buy $30.02 and it doesn't make a bit of difference. But how sweet to know you have the expertise to hit exactly $30.00.

And now that I've been thinking about it, I have quite a few expired skills.

I can darn a sock. My grandma taught me with the little darning egg and cotton thread. And how not to make an uncomfortable knot. I am going to have to be more frugal in my retirement -- no doubt about it -- but I think repairing socks is a dead art.

I can open -- and even more dangerous to human beings -- close -- an umbrella using that tiny sharp little lever, and not pinch my finger in the slide-y thing.

I can un-flood a carburetor by sticking a pencil in the choke to hold it open. I had a 64 Chevy Impala that needed that pencil at least twice a week.

I can skim the cream off the top of the milk bottle.

I can attach a garter to a stocking, and then sit on that damn garter all day and not quite die.

I can draw little Twiggy lashes under my eyes.

I can make coffee on the stove in a percolator.

I can install the player roll on a player piano, and pump the hell out of it, and sound sort of like a rhythm-challenged Scott Joplin.

I can adjust rabbit ears so the picture will stop rolling. Especially if I stand in exactly the right spot.

I can refill a fountain pen.

I can cover a textbook with a brown paper bag. (I can't not deface it later, but still.)

I can make a kite from twigs and newspaper, and paper dolls from the Montgomery Ward catalog. And I can make a potholder on a little loom, which is always the perfect Mother's Day gift.

I can play a 33 record album, and skip the song I hate by picking up the needle and placing it at the exact beginning of the song I want -- without a scratch or a squeal.

I can thread a roll of film onto the little sprockets on a camera.

I can track which light on the Christmas tree is causing all the other ones to fail.

I can attach roller skates at just the right tightness using a skate key -- and even attach the skates to sneakers, which is a truly awesome accomplishment.

And most impressive of all my obsolete skills:

I can use whiteout to fix a typo. And not get a glob or a smear. Absolute complete coverage and yet a smooth surface to retype on. And not only that! Once the whiteout is perfectly dry ... (don't rush this step) ... I can put the paper back in the typewriter and turn the roller to the exact place and strike the key without being a little too high or a little too low. Many people may not know what the hell I am talking about -- but you other people ... well, you understand my genius.

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Read more from Nancy at her blog "Not Quite Old."

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