Things I can’t be bothered to learn about

I’m sure we all have them, those topics, skills, areas of interest that we’re going to get round to acquainting ourselves with some day. As the years tick by, and I continue to gain precisely no knowledge about things that nevertheless annoy me because of my ignorance of them, I decided it was time to accept what I’ll never know. It’s not that I no longer want the information or ability; if it could be magically implanted in my head then I’d be happy about it. It’s just, I’m too damn lazy to learn it myself, and too damn bored by thinking ‘One day, I’ll …’

1. Car maintenance – I like cars and yet, I find car maintenance so deeply tedious that it makes me frankly incredulous anyone could expect me to engage with it. When I had my old car, it spent enough time in the garage that I assumed they were taking care of tyre pressure and oil levels and ensuring there was enough water wherever it needed to be. Now I have a brand spanking new car, and surely if a car can give you directions (not that I went for Satnav) it can figure out how to top up its own water by repurposing rain or something? If not, then technology is failing us. And by ‘us’, I mean ‘me’.

2. Beauty routines – Prompted in part because I just received the latest issue of a magazine, and it had a special section on the best lotions, potions, elixirs, serums and oils. I quite like reading the descriptions of them. They all need to be used in careful combination according to a complex matrix of factors, and most of them are hilariously expensive (although there’s always the one, cheery ‘High Street Best!’ thrown in for the cheapskates). Unless you are a newborn babe, everything on your face is the sign of damage, and it requires a tiny, £78 pot of life-reversing unguent to undo that damage. I did a quick count once, and if I’d bought all the ‘essential’ concoctions it would have cost me the best part of £500. Let me think about that for a … no.

3. Super foods – What the actual fuck? I just… I can’t. It’s too hard and there’s cheese and Jaffa Cakes between me and the quinoa and goji berry ragout or whatever the arse I’m supposed to be eating to add 10 years to my life and give me the energy of a Duracell bunny. I like tea and biscuits that give me the energy of a lazy sod who spends a lot of time reading on the sofa. And, my weight is fine and my health is fine. So, your point is…?

4. Wine – I like drinking it, I prefer red and champagne, I’d like a wine encyclopedia because I’m a geek. Beyond that, the minutiae of vintages and vineyards, winemakers and   varietals leaves me absolutely cold.

5. Gardening – I really, really like the idea of gardening. I’d like an Elizabethan herb garden, neatly laid out with carefully lettered markers for the different plants. I can picture it in summer, sunlight reflecting off glossy leaves, bees buzzing round the lavender, me drifting around in a floaty, floral number, snipping here and there. What I’ve got is basil in a pot on the window-sill.

6. DIY – D I don’t think so. I can’t hang a picture, or build a shelf and it would never cross my mind to try to put together some Ikea furniture. They don’t even have words on the instructions, just pictures. It’s gibberish. I am, on the other hand, very clear about what I do want and there are plenty of people out there wiling and able to build stuff. It’s their livelihood, not mine, and I’m very happy to support it.


Published by


I've run out of books. Again.

5 thoughts on “Things I can’t be bothered to learn about”

  1. Oh, I can’t be bothered to learn about any of those things, either, despite fantasizing that I surely can. The best way to learn about such things is to encounter them in fiction, preferably, say, in a Katie Fforde novel in which the heroine is a car mechanic who fixes the hero’s car or a DIYer who repairs the hopeless bookcase the hero tried to build. Add to the list: 1) the ins-and-outs of 21st-century televisions that make it possible to do things like watch two channels at once, if you know which complicated buttons to press on the 100-button remote control. Does anyone really want to do that? I’m waiting for the television that lets me just say “Turn on to something I’m in the mood to watch, please, and while you’re at it, bring me some wine and cheese” and does so with no button-pressing whatsoever. 2) Everything anyone, anywhere might ever want an iPhone to do, unless, you know, Siri is now doing the dishes and mopping floors.

  2. I’m with you on all your list and the two in Emily’s comment as well! Phones and TVs should be easy to use and I wish my garden was a pot or two on the windowsill – I could cope with that. I like sitting in the garden or seeing it through the windows, but not mowing the lawn or on my hands and knees weeding etc – and even when it’s done, it all needs doing again, just as cleaning the house does!

  3. Emily – Well, I totally agree with you about televisions. And for that matter, there are microwaves as well, they always seems incredibly complicated. This is one of the reasons I have neither a TV nor a microwave: they’re ugly, they serve no purpose in my life and they’re too bloody difficult to understand. Of course, when the connected home becomes a reality, you will be able to get Siri to turn on to whatever channel you want. And mop the floors – albeit via cleaning robots.

    You know I’m an Apple fangirl, so just to challenge your ‘no uses for an iPhone comment’ a bit –

    Margaret – Yes, I think it’s the neverendingness that provokes the existential despair. I can cope with housework, mostly, but I’ve given serious thought to hiring a cleaner just to clean my tiny bathroom.

  4. Hilarious and spot-on! I am thankful I have a husband who loves cars and is willing to do any and all work on them. Drinking wine is good. Talking about wine like a sommelier is pretentious and annoying. Gardens – I’m all for them just as long as I don’t have to maintain them. DIY – again that’s why men were created. Beauty routines and most exercise routines to boot – Just no. You shouldn’t have to figure out how to exercise or how to make your skin beautiful when it is too late.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s