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No matter who you are or what you’re capable of, there’s someone out there who has a talent that you envy at least a little bit. Maybe it’s a universally desirable skill like dunking a basketball or singing like Mariah Carey. Or maybe it’s something a little more obscure like the auto-tisement (Did I just make that up? Nope. I just googled it. Already there. Darn.) that said “British Voice-Over Talent, Call 555-1234.” That’s a talent you don’t run into every day.

I have a few talents I’d like to develop over the next fifty years:

  1. Smooth Talker.

I know people who can talk themselves out of any ticket or sticky situation. It baffles me how they do it. I can’t say for sure but a slight disregard for authority probably helps. For me, on the other hand, I can’t pass a postal truck without checking my speed. It’s not as if I’m constantly breaking the law but if I do I will always get caught. I was feeling really rebellious the other day so I ripped the “Do Not Remove” tag from my new pillow. Unfortunately, I ripped the seam open too.

  1. Great Memory.

My husband has an amazing memory. He says it’s mostly insignificant facts but I’m still jealous. My sisters, brothers-in-law and I once played a game of Trivial Pursuit with him and he won the whole game before the rest of us ever answered a question. When I’m trying to recall the name of an actor or a movie, I have to take him on a trip I like to call “Abby’s Celebrity Road to Nowhere.” It goes a little something like this: “What’s that movie? They ride in a hot air balloon…It’s got that girl with the brown hair…Oh, I know, she played the sister of that other girl who was in that movie about horses…You know the one…The father was a bank robber…” It’s painful for everyone involved.

  1. Dance Like No One Is Watching.

I’ve never felt comfortable doing anything in public that even remotely resembles dancing—just walking past a crowd can be problematic. I don’t take aerobics classes, either. Just the thought of Zumba-ing in a mirror-lined room full of strangers makes me want to vomit. I’m as coordinated and graceful as a newborn moose. It would be hilarious for everyone else but I’m not that generous.

  1. Inventor/Phrase Coiner.

My son constantly asks me who invented everything. Sometimes it’s something I already know or I can look up like: “Who invented basketball?” or “Who made the light bulb?” But sometimes it’s not that easy like when he asked me “Who invented swimming pools?” That got me thinking that I’d like to invent something. Imagine if I’d come up with the recipe for the Colonel’s Secret Recipe Fried Chicken. I’d be a millionaire! Or what if I’d invented Velcro instead of that old slacker George de Mestral? I’d be adored by every mom whose toddler has easy slip-on sneakers and by every boy who carries a Velcro wallet! If I can’t be an inventor then I’d at least like to coin a phrase. It would be so cool if everyone started saying a catch phrase that I made up. Like what if I had been the first one to say “No way, Jose!” or “Fiscal cliff?” I’ve got a few options I’m going to throw out there to see if anything sticks. 1) My brother-in-law should actually get credit for this one. My sister and I were talking about the stupidity of the phrase: “That’s like comparing apples to oranges.” You can totally compare apples and oranges. I could come up with about twenty ways that they’re the alike! Instead, my brother-in-law suggested that we say, “That’s like comparing apples to mustard.” I like it. Let’s see where it goes. 2) I’ve also been working on a word for the greasy spots on my sunglasses that show up when they get pushed back too far on my face and rub against my (apparently greasy) eyebrows. I like “smoodge.” It’s short and practically an onomatopoeia. My husband prefers his own phrase: “eyebrow juice.” Since he is the trivial genius in the family, he may be on to something. I guess we’ll just have to let it play out.



Mad Skills

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