Monday, July 14, 2014

I Have No Skills

I am amazed at the lack of skills I have. To illustrate that point, let me tell you a story about a shirt.

Last September, I bought a new shirt from Marshalls. It was stylish, yet cheap. A week later I wore that stylish shirt to the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, a small-town, beer-soaked and sausage-laden good time. When a slightly intoxicated female flung her arms around randomly, catching my shirt with her hand, to both our surprise a button popped off right in the middle.

I clutched my bosom protectively, made it home unmolested and took the shirt off. 

I didn't know how to sew a button on. So I didn't wear the shirt. For 9 months. Same goes for a nice pair of brown cargo shorts I bought. I didn't even know the manufacturers of these items sewed that extra button on in case this very thing happened! I thought it was just decorative.

Yesterday my mom taught me to sew on a button. It was surprisingly easy. Threading the needle, tying the knots, and sewing that button on way better than the manufacturer did gave me immense satisfaction. 

Maybe I'm an extreme case, but I doubt it. We don't make the things we use anymore, and as a result we don't know to fix them. When they break, we throw them away. A few weeks back a buddy of mine crashed on an air mattress, that happened to leak. "Throw it away" he said. Neither of us thought of patching it.

Part of the issue no doubt is that things are made so cheaply now. A $15 dollar shirt loses a button? Oh well, buy another. 

There are a few problems with that mindset. First and foremost, I have find I have very few skills when it comes to making or repairing things, greatly lessening my chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse. It also creates an inordinate amount of waste and junk.

So, I'm determined to learn more skills. Doing things yourself is very satisfying, and ultimately saves money. Being a homeowner on a budget has already forced me to learn a few, but I'm determined to learn more. With the DIY revolution, Pintrest and the Internet I have few excuses. The knowledge is out there. Here's what I want to learn in the next year:
  1. How to sew a button
  2. How to hem and tailor my clothes
  3. How to make cheese
  4. How to weld metal
  5. How to mill my own flour
  6. How to bake my own bread
  7. How to brew my own kombucha
That list will grow, but it's a good start for now.

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