BUT ANYONE COULD DO IT … Marilyn Armstrong

We all have friends who do stuff we can’t do.

They make a perfect pie crust and the filling is great, too. They build and refinish their furniture. They tune the car and rewire the basement on Saturday afternoon and still have time to make dinner for company.

You love them, with just a hint of hate because they can do it all and you can barely drag yourself out of bed, brush your hair, and have coffee before mid-afternoon.

They do a little painting, a bit of carving. Frame their own pictures. Repair anything that breaks. They are never worried about anything because they know exactly what to do.

apple pie

These are the woman who breezily raises two children after dad leaves while working full-time and never do they seem overwhelmed or even tired. The men build corporations, sell them, build another one — and don’t know why you can’t do the same.

It’s so easy.

They throw great dinner parties and the food is delicious. The dishes match or are charmingly casual yet coördinated to look casual in a fashion magazine sort of way. But you know they are supposed to look that way and no matter how hard you try, your version of “casual” just looks … well … casual.

Because that look takes work and an “eye.” It’s an art form.

stove and kitchen counter

When you ask about that wonderful pie crust, they say “Oh, it’s nothing. Just a bit of butter and flour. A bit of sugar. Cut everything up with a couple of butter knives, roll it out, and there you are.” If you are lucky, you get a demonstration and it does look easy.

You go home, get all the ingredients together and give it a try. Which results in an unusable lump of muck which ultimately, you toss in the trash.

After which you buy a pie crust or better yet, buy the whole pie. Because it isn’t so easy. Not for you, anyway.

Modest, humble people who do brilliant stuff about which they are completely offhand. They seem baffled why you would think any of it is a big deal. Apparently, it isn’t. To them.

To you, it would be a minor miracle if you could accomplish one little piece of it. Yet they will always say “But it’s so easy. Anyone could do it.”

Anyone except me. I can’t do it.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all plus a big helping of cynicism.

21 thoughts on “BUT ANYONE COULD DO IT … Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. my mother made lovely flakey piecrust. I have the recipe. I used to MAKE the same kind of crust, and now I can’t. I blame menopause.

    I have her recipe for baking powder biscuits, hers were lovely and tall and light. I used to make them too, now they just lie there in the oven and sulk, little brown knurbs. I blame menopause.

    Meatloaf. Hers was wonderful. Mine tastes funny. Same recipe.

    I do, however, make bread to die for, and gravy even she had to admit was better than hers.
    Maybe I’ll try piecrust again. I mean it’s been DECADES since menopause, right.


  2. I use to have a catering company with our younger son, so he’s an excellent chef and I’m a pretty good pastry chef and I can make mean pie. It is hard work, don’t let anyone tell you any different.


  3. It’s interesting that we all envy other people’s talents whilst sometimes ignoring our own. You’re not alone, though. I only wish I had time to try out a perfect pie crust, but these days I’m drowning in Latin vocab and literature I’m studying for my degree, so little else gets a look in. Still, it’s blogs like yours that keep me going and give me some light relief!


    1. When I was young, I did my best to be super mom, super worker, super duper. At some point, I tried to leap a tall building, broke both shins and decided to give it up in favor of reading a book. But for about two decades, I was super … and then, I fell down and couldn’t get back up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a very thought-provoking story, Marilyn, and symbolic on many levels. It would make a great post. I’m still at the stage of trying to be a super mum, a super student and super at everything else too, but am getting to a stage now where I just feel super burnt-out! I’ve got a huge exam coming up soon, and I’d like to do super-well in that, but I’m beginning to think I’ll just do my best and hope for a decent result.


  4. Oh this made me laugh…. I see you, I see you clearly!
    Oh the irony you softly buttered into this post, the subtle baking and browning of these super women and your ‚just so‘ breaking their teeth after their 100th ‚it‘s so easy-anybody could do it‘ …… 😉

    Yesterday, I took a long overdue micro-mini-cruise of one hour on the river Limmat & a bit of Lake Zurich in a small low boat, when we were hit by a fierce wind storm – everybody was screaming with joy and some fear …. So, my friend told me laughingly that the other day, a film maker in the family, told her that it‘s so difficult to find ‚real‘ actresses nowadays because they all but ‚lost their faculty of showing facial expressions ((botox etc))….. We decided that we might not be actresses but have still a full set of facial expressions – and you forgot to mention that: They also have no wrinkles…. but it‘s so easy. Anybody does it 😉


      1. Of course – it’s just kind of funny that now even the film-people comment on it!!!! All those ‘artists’ did their treatment to be in films….


  5. No, me neither, my cooking never turns out like the pictures in the book, my house never looks just so and nor do I. I don’t know how these people do it either. But as Pat says, we blog, and not everyone can do that and keep it up for several years without a break too.


    1. I think we all have a picture in our minds of how it’s supposed to look — our house, I mean. It doesn’t include the dust or the rhododendrons that withered and died during the winter, or the trees that fell down in the wind storm. Or the rot next to the door that you can’t afford to fix.


      1. At one time when I dreamed of lottery wins buying a nice house was always part of it. Somewhere over the past decade and a half that fantasy turned in to improving the one I have so I guess I must love it.


    1. I have a friend who literally had her husband leave. She worked full time, raised both kids, got both of them through college, cooks like a pro, and can make a pie crust to die for. But to be fair, she can’t write. She does take pretty good pictures.

      Liked by 2 people

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