When I was a kid going to summer camps, we used to merrily sing the song, “Billy Boy,” in which a young man talks about finding a woman he wants to marry. For some reason, what stuck with me was that the song’s narrator wanted to know whether the woman could bake a cherry pie, as though that were one of the most important qualities in a wife.
I thought of that song when a quiz swept through Facebook yesterday testing the number of basic life skills you have. Although I was deemed an odd combination of “Joan Holloway, the Dos Equis man, and the president of the United States, all rolled into one,” the skills that got me there were knowing how to iron a shirt, being able to throw a punch, knowing how to change a tire. About as useful, ultimately, as baking a cherry pie.
What are the real life skills? Here are some I propose:
Ask yourself, can you:
- Do that little sway that soothes any baby in your arms?
- See who is left out at a party and see to it that they feel included?
- Know in your gut when someone is lying to you?
- Figure out how to say no without alienating the person asking?
- Know when to lie when someone asks about how their haircut looks?
- Know how to approach a dog – or a child — so you’re not threatening?
- Fire someone so they don’t hate you?
- Figure out how to juggle your physical, emotional and spiritual selves so none get “shorted”?
- Give love — as well as accept it — gracefully?
I think that pretty much covers it. Unless you can think of something else?