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