Monday, March 9, 2009

Self-Proclaimed Experts

We've all seen them, right? People who feel they are experts in one or another area of life. The man who is always on the cutting edge of technology. The kid who knows everything there is to know about programming computers. The lady that always nails it with fashion. They're the experts. We may even have a few areas in our own lives where we consider ourselves to be experts. Not that we would brag about it, certainly, but it's obvious we have more than just a working knowledge.
But what about the people who think they're experts when they're not? The confident soloist--who really shouldn't be singing. The expert in the kitchen--only her dish is always the last to be touched at the church potluck. The style guru who really thinks no one sees the three to four inches of dark hair at her part.
For this reason, I tend to keep some opinions to myself. Not on my blog, of course. This is my blog and I'll give any opinion I want here. But I'm always afraid of being proved wrong--or finding someone in the crowd that actually knows more about it than I do. So I try not to come across as an expert in most things.
I also have some areas where I know good and well I come up short. I sing alto, and I've done some singing in groups at church. I have an adequate four-note range. : ) If I practice enough I can hit the notes decently and blend with someone. But I do not have a voice that people clamor to hear all the time. I'm aware of that.
I play piano and organ--adequately. That is to say, the song service won't actually grind to a halt while I'm playing. I have no false illusions about being the best.
I can be a decent cook when I want to be. I have my share of flops, but I can turn out some fairly appetizing things as well.

I'm a bad driver.

I never thought I was really good at it. I mean, I'm not one of those people that assumes no one will ever get carsick when I'm driving. Shoot, I've made myself carsick when I'm driving. I guess I never really thought that it took talent to drive well. Learn the rules of the road, get behind the wheel and go. But it doesn't come naturally to me. If I want to be a good, smooth driver, I have to focus and concentrate on what I'm doing. Except I don't.

I'm usually listening to talk radio or a music CD. I may be talking to anyone of the half dozen kids in my vehicle. I've been known to put on makeup while driving. (It doesn't improve the look, trust me.) Who doesn't talk on the phone while driving? I've even dictated parts of books into a tape recorder while behind the wheel.
I think I've had two accidents in the twenty-two years that I've been driving. They were both minor (one didn't even cause any damage) and both were the result of someone hitting me. But I tend to treat my vehicles roughly, all the same. I think I view them as if they were a tank. Except they're not.
One of our vehicles is a 12 passenger diesel van. It's quite the beast, but it's not invincible. Especially the tires. We've had to replace a couple. And I think mostly it was because I ran over something. I blogged last year about having to replace a tire and a rim. Probably because I hit a curb.
A couple of months ago we had to replace a tire on my car. I ran over something in the road.
And then of course, just a few weeks ago, I cracked the wheel on my car. I was driving about 45 mph at the time and I was digging in my purse. The road swerved, but the car didn't and I ended up hitting the curb on the median. Last week I went to get the tire and wheel replaced. My husband also scheduled a front-end alignment for me, which seemed prudent at the time. But once they got under the car, they discovered that I also bent the strut. (Don't ask--I have no idea what a strut is.) Apparently that's a bad thing. They have to order a part and they can't do an alignment (the car needs both a front and rear alignment) until the strut is replaced. The wheel and tire cost almost $300. The strut and the alignment is going to be another $400.

I now pay attention when I drive. I don't dig in my purse. The only makeup I put on is lipstick. And I tell the kids to shut up more often. (Just kidding.)

I doubt I'll ever be an excellent driver. But I've just had a very important lesson in being a decent driver. I don't think I'm going to forget anytime soon.

Anyone want to confess something of their own? It'll make me feel better ...

1 comment:

  1. You want to know something we are "experts" on,or something we don't do well.....
    I don't think I believe I am an expert in anything. I may be able to do several things well enough to do... but an expert.... not in any particular subject.
    Who can really be an expert in something? A person may know a lot about something but be and expert...????
    People that think they have an opinion about something because they know about everything is just very annoying to me.
    What i don't do well????? I am not very good in self discipline.


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