For example: I have strengths. No crossword puzzle is safe from me. I can quote MacBeth in a pinch. I'm a decent poker player. I play the guitar. I have strengths, is what I'm saying.
Apparently, I also have weaknesses, as illustrated by an exchange between Toots and me just this past evening.
You should know that it makes me crazy when she speaks to me like I was a child. It's one of only a small handful of things that can generate a guns blazing, full tilt boogie screaming match. I'm old, for chrissake. I don't need to be told what to do step by step like a child.
Or so I thought.
After dinner, as is my wont, I trundled downstairs to watch the Red Sox cough up yet another eighth inning lead. On my way down, Toots asked me if I wouldn't be a love and take the sheets that had just finished washing and put them in the dryer, which I did with great aplomb.
About an hour later, I hear her voice tumbling downstairs.
"Did you put the sheets in the dryer?"
A perfectly valid question. I forget things. I forget things ALL THE TIME. I've been told I'm the archetype absent-minded professor. I forget by whom.
"Did you actually turn the dryer on?"
Now was this question completely necessary? Well, as it turns out, yes. Because there have been plenty of times where I've put clothes in the dryer and not actually turned the beast on. So that's one reason why I took this question in stride.
The other reason was, for the life of me, I couldn't remember if I did or didn't.
"That's...that's an open question, dear," I said as cavalierly as I could, getting up from the couch.
My job was now clear. I had to go to the laundry room and confirm that I had, in fact, turned the dryer on. The problem was, I had no idea at all if I had or not.
I stared at the dryer. It stared unblinkingly back at me.
The laundry room smelled faintly like laundry, so maybe I did.
I reached out a tentative hand to the top of the dryer. Cold. Hmm. Maybe I didn't.
There was only one thing left to do. Open the dryer and reach my hand in, and consult the "was the dryer on" manual, which states:
Clothes cold and wet: dryer not turned on.
Clothes warm and dry: dryer turned on.
I opened the door with a hand that shook ever so slightly. I placed my shaking hand on a bedsheet.
Dry. Blissfully dry and still a little bit toasty. Whew! I had performed a task that any seven year old child could have done without thinking. I was so proud.
"It's all set," I yelled upstairs. "What do you think I am, a child?"