I just can’t.

I’ve been raised wisely, and taken enough “self-awareness” classes, to know that “I can’t” isn’t the attitude we’re looking for from someone who’s self-confident, self-assured, and has A Grip. (But see my previous post — don’t get your hopes up.) However, I’ve had a couple of insights recently and they got me musing over other things (never good, really) so forthwith, my important list of Things I Just Can’t Do:

  • Drink a cup of tea with any authenticity. I’d love to be one of those people who orders tea instead of coffee, but I just can’t.
  • Watch reality television. I have a friend with a million kids like me and she’s up til all hours folding laundry and watching a variety of reality shows. She fills me in on the important stuff so I can feel culturally relevant. I’d love to see what Snooki & Co are really all about, but I just can’t.
  • Listen to the “Top 20 on 20” channel on satellite radio so that I can be hip enough for my kids. Listening to the same 20 songs — and bad ones at that (sorry, Lou) — reminds me too much of terrestrial radio. I pay the Big Bucks for satellite, which is supposed to also broaden (everyone’s) musical horizons, so I’ve tried to listen to “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias (feat. Pitbull {huh?}), but I just can’t.
  • Talk like I’m from Jersey. Now, you point out, you can’t really help that, can you? And I say, no of course not — I’ll still say “go call Paul in the hall” and you’ll find merriment in my accent. But I can’t discuss what “exit” I’m from (ugh) or be all “How YOU doin’?” (a la Joey from Friends) or talk like Tony Carmela Soprano. I’d like to use colorful words like fugazi, but in fact that would make me fugazi, and I just can’t.
  • Be pleasant in the middle of the night. I have tried to change this, I really have. We’ve had 14 years of middle-of-the-night wake-ups in this house, so obviously I have had the opportunity to perform better at 3:34 a.m. I find it so hard to actually get to sleep, so therefore the staying asleep part is critical. When that middle of the night wake up call occurs, before I’m even aware of it my subconscious is all, “Noooooooo! We were just asleep!” and GrumpyMom comes out. Now they know enough to go wake Dad. I’d love to be that nurturing Mom at 4:11 a.m., but I just can’t.
  • Drive the speed limit for the sake of the speed limit. Before my husband or children get all, “Ha! I knew it!” here, let me say this: school zones, urban centers, construction areas, etc. etc. — of course. It’s 25 mph for a reason. Slow the heck down, people. But that delightfully wind-y (as in, curvy, not blowy) road up the smallish mountain that I use every Saturday at the crack of dawn on my way to the gym? Please don’t be in front of me going the requisite 30 mph. I will ride your bumper, not feel bad about it, and even be yelling at you in my car. That road is fun and at its best at 50+, particularly with a little ELO blasting on the radio. I’d love to be able to be one of those Sunday Saturday morning drivers who’s conscientious and also enjoying the view, but I just can’t.
  • Treat children like babies or small animals. We never used “baby talk” around here. Right from the git-go we talked to our kids using real words and relatively normal intonation. We didn’t sing-song about widdle bwankies. And when we talked to them, we expected diaglog. I ask you a question, you answer my question, and vice versa. Consequently, our children’s vocabularies are fantastic, and if you ask one of them a question, settle in ’cause you are likely to get An Answer that’s long and informative. Ever ask a kid a question and they just stand there and look at you? I can’t abide that, I just can’t.

I’m ending it there. “But Alyson,” you say, “that’s not so extensive a list. I think you’ve still got that “can do” attitude.” To which I reply, hopefully you are correct. I will spend this Last Day of Summer According to Those Who Live in the World and Not Some Calendar Date enjoying the fabulous weather and keeping an eye out for “can” and “can’t”. But now I have to go to the gym. I’d love to be one of those people who says annoying things like, “I don’t understand it — I’ve been told to gain a little weight by my doctor.”

But I just can’t.

Update: Something else I can’t do? Write a damn post without a typo in it. This has been up for several hours and I just now caught that most heinous of errors — the it’s/its mixup. Aaaaack! I *hate* that mistake. So, put up a post that’s error free? Apparently, I just can’t.

This is a Word Up, Yo! post, in addition to being an insightful personal growth piece. How delightful that they go together, no? Check out Word Up Yo! — click here:

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6 Responses to “I just can’t.”

  1. liz Says:

    I love your list! We never did the baby talk thing either. Interesting how you worked in fugazi!! Go Enforcer, go!
    liz recently posted..The Usual

  2. Cheese Says:

    You just can’t… because you just shouldn’t! You go, girl!

  3. Booyah's Momma Says:

    Being pleasant at 4:11? It’s hard to do for anyone. I know I can’t.
    Booyah’s Momma recently posted..Fugazi- Its whats for dinner

    Alyson says:

    I”m glad I’m not alone. I will remember that in the middle of the night tonight, when someone wakes me up to announce that they can’t sleep. (Love that.)

  4. Grace Says:

    Ha. I’m with you on the Jersey Shore thing. I tried, and I can’t watch it. I loved it when Jon Bon Jovi said that’s not representative of the New Jersey he grew up in.

    Actually, I’m with you on all of these except the coffee/tea thing. I never developed a taste for coffee.
    Grace recently posted..Acting Squirrelly

  5. Joanna Says:

    Fiddlesticks…I may be said “friend” who loves Jersey Shore (and frankly “I don’t give a flip” how that paints me! 😉 It’s a dirty, guilty little pleasure, and it is very well-earned at a 2am laundry session. What–am I gonna watch a BBC special?) They’re not from Jersey(ok, I think 1 of them actually is), I’M from Jersey! And weirdly, I am proud of it. I spent 4 years at college in Vermont..and there I learned to defend New Jersey, Baby. A Jerseyan isn’t a gangster or a morally bereft sleaze who”creeps” on the opposite sex in Seaside–he/she’s a funny character we all have permission to play sometimes. And I like it. (Oops!) Fuhgeddaboutit!

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