Tag Archives: Brownies

Stop multi-tasking

‘He’s your brother?’ I asked my friend incredulously. ‘I can’t believe what a small world it is.’ My friend looked at me oddly. ‘I told you that,’ She replied, confused. ‘I was wondering why you didn’t react.’

 I cast my mind back to see if my friend was lying. She had, it was true, come over for tea last week, and we definitely talked. ‘I told you what he did,’ She continued. ‘And you nodded and asked if I wanted some brownie.’

‘Oh,’ I explained to my foolish friend. ‘I was cutting the brownie when you were talking. Of course I didn’t hear a word you said.’

 I am not a fan of multi-tasking, which I believe is a very effective way of appearing distracted and rude, whilst doing several things badly. I do not like it when people check their emails whilst I am telling a story, or text whilst we are watching a movie.

I think it is disconcerting when you get a manicure at the same time as a pedicure, particularly if the person giving them is as intimidating as the tiny, furious Chinese woman who recently held me hostage with nothing more than a nail file and some toenail polish. (I like to be able to move at least some of my limbs at any given time. Safety first).

 I am aware, however, that cutting a brownie and listening to someone talking possibly does not count as ‘multi-tasking’ in the traditional sense.  I have therefore tried to improve my ability to do two things at once.  This morning, for instance, I collected the post whilst drying myself with a towel. Which is really 3 things at once, as it came with a healthy dose of making fast friends with my new neighbors. 

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Do Not Lie and Why I can’t Sew

I told a lie yesterday. It wasn’t, as lies go, the worst lie I’ve ever told, but it has had far-reaching implications. Let me explain.

‘How good are you at sewing?’ He asked me. I stared at him for a moment. ‘Exceedingly,’ I replied. ‘You remember ‘Little Women’? That good.’ He didn’t remember ‘Little Women’, or at least he failed to recognize the awesomely apt domesticity allusion I had just made, but he nodded happily and passed me two of his jumpers. ‘I have gotten a hole in my two favourite jumpers,’ He told me. ‘No problem!’ I replied cheerfully. ‘I adore to sew!’

I do not adore to sew. I do not even like to sew. The last thing I attempted to sew was a sampler for my Mother, aged 6 ½. The teacher took one look at it and decided it would work much better as a glasses case, and promptly folded it in half, inside-out, and sewed it up. My Mother does not wear glasses.

I said I could sew because I like to impress. I also truly believe that there lies, hidden deeply beneath this lazy, fickle, self-absorbed sarcastic pleasure-seeker I seem to have turned into, a bona fide Beth, who revels in the simple pleasures of hearth and home.

It is easy enough to convince someone that you can sew- simply take their holey garments, send them to a dry-cleaner and return them later to their owner, mended. The trouble is that now the other person thinks you are a sewer. They will assume that you are also a baker, an ironer, a hooverer. Soon you can never let them anywhere near your home, in case they see that you still staunchly believe that one day a lost Brownie will come and secretly tidy up your flat. But I fear that I have now opened the floodgates, so tonight, instead of smashing ice-cubes against our kitchen counter to make crushed ice for our caipirinhas, I will be making little lavender bags to put in my underwear drawers. Look- I’m new to this, ok? I assume that’s what domestic goddesses do. Now, if I could just work out which of my over-stuffed and randomly filled drawers is meant to be for underwear…

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