More than a decade ago, a reader accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.
After properly refuting his charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.
Nice friends. Huh?
So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011 (the list only had 10 items that year), and continuing in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and now 2022.
I’m happy to report that although the list remains relatively long, I’m removing three items from the list this year:
I have an unreasonable fear of needles.
Though I’m no fan of needles (primarily as a result of my allergy to bee stings and a near-death experience), I’ve found strategies that allow me to manage injections in a reasonably calm way.
Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.
It no longer annoys me. Not really sure why, but I’m happy to share.
I wear my wireless headphones way too much.
I wear them constantly, but Elysha recently acknowledged that the enormous amount of content that I consume via my headphones has changed our lives in countless ways.
So it’s no longer a shortcoming. It’s now a strength.
I also tried to remove these two from the list, thinking I’d made significant progress in these areas, but Elysha emphatically said no:
It is hard for me to empathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand or difficulties that I would’ve avoided entirely.
I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting to understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would’ve done instead.
I have no additions this year, though it was suggested – somewhat in jest – that my lack of coffee and alcohol intake is a problem.
With all of that, I present:
Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws – 2022
1. I have a limited, albeit expanding palate (though I’d like to stress that my limited palate is not by choice).
2. It is hard for me to empathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand or difficulties that I would’ve avoided entirely.
3. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting to understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would’ve done instead.
4. I do many things for the sake of spite.
5. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.
6. Bees kill me dead.
7. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game that they should’ve won.
8. I lack adequate empathy for adults who are not resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.
9. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.
10. I eat ice cream too quickly.
11. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.
12. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline that strikes me as reasonable.
13. I drink too much Diet Coke.
14. My dislike for ineffective, inefficient, or poorly planned meetings causes me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist at times.
15. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control the clutter myself
16. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.
17. I lack patience when it comes to assisting people with technology.
18. I don’t spend enough time with my best friend.
19. I have a difficult time respecting or celebrating someone’s accomplishments if economic privilege, nepotism, or legacy assisted in their success in some way.
20. I believe that there are right and wrong ways of parenting.
21. I love saying, “I told you so” so freaking much.
22. My blog entries contain far too many typos, despite my loathing of typos.
23. I am far too confrontational in moments when it would be safer and wiser to avoid the confrontation entirely.