11 Things I’m Terrible At

Here are 11 things I’m terrible at doing. Feel free to point out more of my character flaws in the comments.

1. Having a hangover. I can hardly even go outside with a hangover anymore without feeling like if I don’t take off my clothes and get into sweats, lie down, cover myself with blankets and start watching a sci-fi/ fantasy epic from the mid ‘80s, I’ll start projectile vomiting on the next person who passes me on the sidewalk. I don’t know what’s happened to me, but now that it has, I’ve become absolutely terrible at having hangovers.

2. Breaking the ice. Saying something appropriately charismatic that makes the opposite party feel welcomed, on-the-same-team and comfortable with my presence – I’m generally pretty terrible at that unless I’ve had some drinks, but if it’s a girl I have a crush on, well, my average is like 1:10.

3. Acting appropriately around babies and small children. I feel incredibly awkward and inept in the presence of tiny human beings, and in this regard the only option I feel I have is ‘resorting to’ speaking to them like adults. It may sound progressive, but it’s actually just me not know what the fuck I’m supposed to say to this little person whose response is no doubt going to be frighteningly original, unpredictable and confounding. Parents probably end up thinking I’m disturbed and kids who will actually remember me will probably think, later in their lives, that I was weird.

4. Pretending to like sex when it’s obviously mediocre. I’m so terrible at pretending to like sex when it’s obviously mediocre that I’ve stopped, like, mid-thrust, and said “Why are we doing this? This is boring. Are you bored? This isn’t that good.”

5. Keeping up with my family. I probably hold the record for most calls from family avoided, most Facebook friend requests/ emails from family never, ever responded to, and most thank-you cards never sent out. I don’t know what it is other than extreme selfishness and disregard for anyone not currently in my line-of-sight, but whatever the full story may be, I’m really, really bad at keeping up with my family.

6. Not sometimes becoming highly convinced in UFOs and other alien stuff. I am one of Those People who have at points been completely and utterly convinced by manipulative, sensational YouTube conspiracy videos about Alien Visitors and Zero-Point Energy and Government Plots, so much that on a number of occasions I’ve earnestly (urgently, even) tried to convince my close friends that we were Being Visited and that Aliens Lived Among Us. I’m not even kidding. I’ve embarrassed myself a number of times with this behavior. I still, like… I… believe. I can’t help it. I’m sorry.

7. Not experiencing shame after a night out. I don’t know what it is about me but I’ve come to the conclusion that I could like save two drowning infants, ‘bag’ a Perfect 10 after beating down some creep that was harassing her, and find two $100 bills on the ground and buy a round of drinks for everyone at the bar, during one night out, and the next day still find something for which I should be Incredibly Ashamed. And once I locate the shameful thing I’ve done, it’s like my brain assumes this weird program of constant, repetitive access of the memory, each one sort of biting my soul and making me cringe in embarrassment. People actually see me cringing in embarrassment. Sometimes I make sounds.

8. Not worrying obsessively about the environmental crisis. Of course, reading this article today didn’t help at all, but regardless, I’m terrible at not worrying obsessively about the environmental crisis. I remember when Peak Oil first became a major concern for Environmental Worriers on YouTube, I actually began buying extra cans of food every time I went to the store; I also purchased a ‘crisis preparedness handbook.’ The environmental crisis freaks me out, and I’m terrible at thinking rationally when another doomsday story breaks. I just let the silent freak-out take over.

9. Witty banter. I don’t know if there’s something wrong with me, but unless I’m with my group of friends, I’m terrible at engaging in witty banter. I don’t even get it most of the time, especially when it’s with like an older clerk that’s ringing up my groceries or something. I simply don’t know how to respond to the folky-family-friendly jokes they’re throwing at me, which I know they expect me to respond with an equally unintelligible reference-quip they’ll laugh at, whether they Get It or not.

10. Being confrontational to strangers. I honestly don’t give enough of a shit if someone accidentally cuts in front of me in the line at the coffee shop to exercise some precedent by confronting them and telling them that they must move to the back of the line. Of course, that’s an incredibly tame/ lame example and I’d probably actually say something, because such a situation reasonably doesn’t even need to be interpreted as a confrontation, but the point is simply that I’m incredibly averse to confronting people I don’t know to the point of actually having real fears of being pranked on those shows that put hidden cameras on you and expose you to a terrible situation – like a waitress shaming a person for being gay or something – and film you not doing anything and actively looking away while a terrible injustice to another human being occurs just five feet away. I am afraid of those shows because I am so terrible at being confrontational to strangers.

11. Grocery shopping. I have this ideal grocery shopping fantasy in which I purchase all local, organic food at the cheapest possible price. I know that’s a weird fantasy, but whatever: the fantasy is actually possible, albeit difficult. To achieve it you must have a knowledge of the average value of everything you buy (so as to recognize when something’s marked up outrageously), a knowledge of which stores carry certain products at a lower price than other stores, and a working, updated knowledge of the sales happening at the grocery stores you frequent. Most importantly, though, you have to spend a lot of focused time at the grocery store itself performing what are basically comparative cost/ benefit analyses of everything you buy by taking into account how much each product is worth by weight, what you need vs. what you don’t need, and the first three factors here listed. Of course I don’t do any of this shit; when I get to the grocery store all that seems to just fly out the door and I just start throwing shit in the basket regardless of its price or if I can make it at home. As a consequence I almost always leave the grocery store feeling like I willfully cheated myself of at least $10 in what could have been saved. TC mark

image – Downtowngal


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  • Anonymous

    #11: Counting. seeing as there’s 2 #5s.

    • Anonymous

      besides that, I enjoyed this. You’re not the only Brandon that’s horrible at keeping up with family.

      • Brandon

        damn, got to it before i could. thanks anyways.

      • Anonymous

        ah yes, the downside of Twitter: immediate editors.

      • Brandon

        damn, got to it before i could. thanks anyways.

  • sousasuos

    oops i read eleven things (you doubled up on your fives, sir!)

  • sousasuos

    oops i read eleven things (you doubled up on your fives, sir!)

  • Mary

    #9 is totally me. I’ll even apologize to other people who bump into me on purpose. I just can’t do confrontation.

  • Anonymous

    “I feel incredibly awkward and inept in the presence of tiny human beings”
    No one really talks about that. It’s worse when you’re a woman… we’re like, suppose to have a motherly instinct or something. 

    • Aelya

      I swear. It’s like, they hand you the child and they look at you expectantly, and you’re just like….oh, how cute. -awkwardly coos at baby who has now started crying and everyone is looking at you because they think you’re a monster-

      • Anonymous


      • Anonymous


  • Megan

    oh my goodness it’s all so true

  • EP

    Number two is what makes me like boys like you.

  • http://twitter.com/andshewasnt genna mae

    “Not worrying obsessively about the environmental crisis.”
    I’m going to school for an Earth science, and am also Very Alarmed at the trends our pals in climatology and oceanography are finding. More often than not, when I think of things like climate warming and the Ogallala aquifer drying up, I start panicking and wishing that I’d chosen a different degree field instead (so I wouldn’t have to think about such things). Sometimes it helps me to think that I could someday be a part of the solution, but that feels like it’s still a long way off.
    Of course everyone has reason to be concerned about these sorts of things, but worrying gets us nowhere. Most of the kinds of resources we have today should be around long enough to last through our lifetime, and in that time there is a lot of pragmatic thinking to be done. It would be so much more constructive if we put the energy we spend worrying toward devising our own little ways to help improve the environment.

    So, in essence, stop worrying!  : )

  • Falco

    Congratulations. You’re a Woody Allen stand-in.

  • Sapphireblue10

    Soooo Brandon, when you figure out what this condition is called, let me know because I think I might have it too :/

  • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

    #6 = mad endearing

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I read conspiracy theories… 

  • http://entropicalia.wordpress.com Alison

    With you on 2-7, especially not knowing how to handle children. But grocery stores, no. I can jedi a freaking grocery store. It may be my rather disappointing mutant power.

  • SaraJane

    number 2 and 10. so true!

  • erin pea

    if i had a crush on you, i’d think that this post is really cute. like “hi, here are my flaws. will you still love me?” and your perfect girlfriend at the time will be all, “yes”.

  • Frida

    #5: I am such a hypocrite with this.  I take weeks, or months to respond to family or friends I don’t see often but feel rejected if I don’t receive a response within a day or 2.  To the point of hopefully checking my email every hour.

    #6: Vigilantcitizen.com Made the mistake of letting my friend and sister know about it during one of my obsession episodes.  Friend teases me about it. Sister actually believes it now.

    #11: My downfall is Walgreens.  Cannot walk out without hands full of XXX Vitamin Waters, makeup, magazines, Trident strawberry gum, werther’s original fat free hard candies, gummy life savers  or  lip balms.  I don’t want to calculate money wasted on that.

  • Ford Tennis

    Relatin n shit. Thanks for this. 

  • http://vpande.wordpress.com Vasudha Pande

    Zero-point energy is a real thing. Get your quantum mechanics right.

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    I thought I was the only person who did number seven.


      I suffer BADLY from #7.  And somewhat badly from #1.  There is a point in the night when I round a corner and things just don’t work out my way.  Usually this is after I think it’s a good idea to take a shot after several beers…


      I suffer BADLY from #7.  And somewhat badly from #1.  There is a point in the night when I round a corner and things just don’t work out my way.  Usually this is after I think it’s a good idea to take a shot after several beers…

  • Laura

    Holy shit yes to almost all of these! Most specifically 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10. Really though 3 and 9 are my worst. I may be the only chick in the universe who doesn’t get the whole baby craze. I get super awkward around kids, too, because I don’t know what to say to them. And with my friends I’m the jokester. The one making everyone laugh. But at work, in public, when I’m not around people I’m safe with that all goes out that window. WEIRD! Anyway thanks for posting this. I feel a little bit better now about all the things I suck at.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I make involuntary sounds when I suddenly remember stupid things I’ve said and done while drinking. When my boyfriend says, “did you just make a noise?” I say I was just humming a song. “Hmm hmm mmmh. see?”

  • Anonymous

    I make involuntary sounds when I suddenly remember stupid things I’ve said and done while drinking. When my boyfriend says, “did you just make a noise?” I say I was just humming a song. “Hmm hmm mmmh. see?”

    • HAY

      AHHH I thought I was the only one!

      • brandon gorrell

        we should start a support group, like we can email each other the things we make sounds about and everyone else can give us feedback about if said event is something we should actually feel terribly embarrassed about. i feel like 85% of the things mentioned, most of us would be like “you have no need to feel ashamed, you’re freaking out… what you did/said was normal.”


  • Darren

    i do the exact same thing / feel the exact same way around children. i like the idea of them but find them extremely scary and intimidating in person

  • jas

    did i write this

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