I have a friend who plays tennis in the summer as a "hobby" but has won several tournaments and trophies. I have a friend who scrapbooks until her fingers bleed, and sits back to watch the recipients cry over what she's made for them. I even have one friend who is such a movie buff and collector that she can literally pick up a line you start from any movie and complete it, and then tell you what actor played the role and who directed it.
Some are good at anything they try
Another friend became such a gym enthusiast, she's now a certified physical trainer. I stay away from this friend.
Then I have those ridiculous friends that are just good at anything they try, so they keep moving on to other things. One friend is from Florida, and became close to a master golfer and fisherman while growing up. Then he moved to the mountains, so he took up snow boarding until he fit with the "extreme sports" crowd, all the while taking monthly fly fishing trips on the side. He now lives in a rainy part of the country, and is bowling six strikes at the beginning of every game - and, of course, he has his own personal nice and shiny ball and bag. And shoes.
Disgusting. Tried to hate him for it, but he's just too darn fun, as you can imagine.
I have a sister who's a domestic goddess, turning anything she touches with paint into a masterpiece, mending any broken piece of whatever into something that was better than it was before, churning up a tonic over the stove for your congestion or blending some special lotion in the food processor for that scaly spot on your elbow. She grows her plants into any shape or form that she pleases, and can create any jewelry ensemble with her bead and tool kit.
I even have a brother-in-law who I never thought I'd envy for his hobby of souping up engines for truck mud runs in county fairs, but man, he's really made some of those engines purr with strength. Now he'll be driving them in competition, which means he's a redneck with a hobby and a goal.
Know my limits
This doesn't help my situation.
These people compel me to review how I spend my time. I have no library of rare DVDs overflowing with movies I've memorized, nor do I grow anything or make anything out of beads. I don't play tennis or paint, haven't fished for years, and the last time I bowled I finally realized that 49 is not an "almost-good" score.
And I will never be able to drink enough tequila to slide down a mountain strapped to a plank the size of an ironing board, nor do I have the gumption to work on truck engines. I will admit I've thought about taking on others' hobbies, but at least I do know my limits.
After all the realization, appreciation and analysis of my family and friends' hobbies, I thought I'd possibly go on a quick soul search to find that one thing that I'm good at, that I can have flashy fun with and perfect over time.
So far, I've come up with people watching, mixing drinks and maybe a bit of poolside resting. Even though I'm more than willing to work hard at all of these, I doubt it will complete me.
Darn the Burgin Barnstormers.
Bobbie Curd is a staff writer for The Advocate.