A Particular Set of Skills

WARNING: Strong language that is likely unsuitable for people with access to language skills may appear in the following post.

I have a particular set of skills, not the kind that would help me find any missing relative or deal with their would-be abductors in an action movie, but they do count as skills or maybe more precisely “skills” in air quotes. They’re not the kind that my parents are particularly proud I possess, but on occasion, they have made my friends laugh. (And the “skills” I’m referring to are not abusing semicolons and parentheses, though my editor David might argue that I’m quite skilled in those areas as well.)

I can rant.

I can rant in a way that will make a room go silent. I can rant in a way that will make you spray water onto your screen. Your reaction depends on the topic at hand and my mood or my objective. I’m that person people have said, “I bet it’s cute when you get mad,” and immediately the “oh shit” or “eject” cartoon bubble appears over their head when they’ve accidentally discovered how woefully mistaken they were.

This ability doesn’t make me particularly different or special. It’s just that in my basket of ways/tools I can pull from to express myself, I happen to be better at that style. My precision with the English language becomes sharper. My sentences become simpler. I’m like an angry Hemingway. Again, it’s not so much a thing to brag about. It just is what it is. Thus, I have a blog. It’s here to help me work on communicating my thoughts better. That’s a lot of blahblahblah to start a story, but you needed some background.

Tuesday was the anniversary of Jay’s death. It was also two days after a cookie misadventure, which nearly left me without a thing to bring to a gathering of friends. On that day I went to see one of the few people I can be around on that day: my trainer. I have a lot of great friends, but my trainer is one of the few who can successfully navigate through all of the mess that is me some days. On Tuesday, I walked in pretty wound up and then launched into a story about some cookies. As I’m working my way into the second or maybe third sentence she says, “I’m going to stop you for a second. You’ve now said “fuck” five times. Normally you say “fuck” zero of the times. I just wanted to make you aware that I’m counting. Continue.” Oops. I completed the story without another incident. At least I don’t recall one. Although, as mad as I was I probably had “fuck” amnesia and said it ten more times to emphasize all of my crazy buttons had been pushed. Yay amnesia that lets me believe I stopped at five! Ultimately, through the use of that expletive, I successfully (and emphatically) communicated that I was completely amped up about the thing I was amped up about. All before 6 AM. Go me!

On Thursday new thoughts on “the Great Cookie Massacre of 2019,” which is really how it should be referred to from this moment forward, were shared.

Now I realize you’re probably thinking, “this is a lot vague talk about some sort of cookie thing, and I’m not entirely sure where we’re going here. This seems like a “near” rant, but not quite an “actual” rant. I thought I read this far for a rant. Where is the payoff? Didn’t you say you were good at it? I’m not feeling the “good” here. I knew I should have picked up the New York Times instead. This is bogus!” Well, first off: when did you become such a rant critic? And your sticking around is really on you, but also you’re not wrong. I’m fence-sitting because I’m torn. You see, I promised my Dad today that I wouldn’t go on an epic cookie rant on my blog. However, a good friend thought it might be a fine idea and encouraged it. I’m sure he could picture himself tucked in, reading it and chortling. (People really don’t chortle enough these days.) Then there was another person who, without context for the story, felt I had the potential to turn it into something funny, which I’m also failing to do.

So, what I’ve successfully delivered here is an unfunny brag about ranting where I didn’t rant. It’s a post where I threw in several expletives, and you learned nothing about a supposed cookie massacre. However, had I chosen to crush my father’s soul and gone through with the rant, you likely would have heard things like: “self-deprecating,” “I Love Lucy,” “parchment paper,” and a declaration that “peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies are the best!!!” (Because they are.) There likely would have been a story about how I used to work at a cookie store in a mall, and there might have been a brag that I can out-cookie most people. Although, in true rant style it probably would have digressed into a vague threat to the universe regarding dough storage, and someone would have restarted the “f-bomb” counter.

7 thoughts on “A Particular Set of Skills

  1. azzageddi says:

    Peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies are indeed the best.

  2. You are not a crumbly person – not scorched about the edges. Thermostat calibrated to appropriate temperature to avoid half-bak-ed-ness. No “vague threats against the universe” worth your spatular. Pouring out with restraint ( and humor) is the icing on the cookie.
    (And now I’m hungry and have to scrounge looking the last Oreo in the package…aaarrrggghhhh…)

    • Beth says:

      Thank you, Mouse! I hope my Dad was also a bit proud (though not so much at the colorful use of language). The cookies that survived were quite delightful. I may have had one straight out of the oven when it’s still in its gooey doughy/melted chocolate glory. At a friend’s suggestion, I did try the latest chocolate peanut butter cookie dough Blue Bell flavor, which was arguably good, but I have to admit Vanilla Bean may still be my Blue Bell go-to. (Add a cookie to that, and you have that mana from Heaven, especially in the Summer.) Thank you for the words of support, and apologies for the language. 😦

      • HA – being around show people/ankle biters again, I’ve had to watch the language again. But those idiots licking ice cream in the store, if I ever catch one, that individual will get all the ones stored up. (Blue Bell Homemade vanilla – do not mess with my ice cream!)

      • Beth says:

        Oh my goodness, that ice cream licker! I watched that video in stunned silence and was completely horrified. I simply don’t understand, because that went so far beyond a harmless prank. If you ever catch one, they will deserve all the words (and also special time in jail to fully understand the seriousness of tampering with food).. That was unbelievable!

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