Outside of the obvious, such as parenting, meditation, and assembling Ikea furniture, there are a couple other skills that make my list:
1) Screen protector application.
If you own a highly priced but cheaply made smartphone, and are slightly resentful and paranoid about it, as I am, you may have tried to place a sceen protector over its fragile face. And if so, you may have learned that it requires more than sheer will and basic common sense. You may have wasted several screen protector sheets, scraping over each one with the reserves of your patience, convinced that you will eventually conquer the stubborn, deceptively resilient bubbles underneath. Understand this: You will not. The bubbles will win. Best to leave this to One of the Chosen Few who actually have this superpower. They are often the least appreciated clerks in the AT&T stores. Be prepared to ask very nicely, to kiss up, and to tolerate the smug and sometimes self-righteous attitude that comes along with such magical superskills. It’s well worth it.
2) Avocado whispering.
Unlike the banana, the avocado is a deceptive and fickle fruit. As soon as you think you have the science down (waiting til it’s slightly soft, then waiting an additional 11. 25 hours, if you want my unskilled opinion), it changes the rules on you. The avocado is especially sensitive to light and temperature, and possibly to moon phases as well. Try to get to know your avocado. Coddle it; value it; be respectful. When you slice into it (or slaughter/sacrifice, as it sometimes feels), you may find it’s already started its slow death inside.
3) Sharing good news.
Okay, so say you haven’t saved the world from spinning off its axis. Heck, you haven’t saved anyone from anything. In fact, you just vaccuumed up a spider! You’re actually contributing to the demise of the world, if you think about it. BUT. You do have good news. You don’t want to brag about it or anything, but you do sort of want mariachis and pinatas, at the very least a special champagne toast. That CNN crawl wouldn’t do any damage either. You want to people to throw confetti, maybe break out a few dance moves, but how do you keep tact and dignity in balance, while you have this shameless need for attention? How do you…..OKAY, TO HECK WITH ALL OF THIS!! MY SECOND BOOK JUST SOLD!!!!! I HAVE ANOTHER BOOK DEAL!!!! I AM SKIPPING AND SKIPPING MORE AND I JUST DID A CARTWHEEL DID YOU SEE IT!!!?
I hope so. Because I didn’t trip or anything.
Anyway, here’s the Publisher’s Marketplace announcement: Author of FETCHING Kiera Stewart’s HOW TO BREAK A HEART, in which a 13-year-old girl who’s been dumped almost as many times as the characters on the telenovellas she loves tries to turn the tables and learn to be a heartbreaker herself, again to Abby Ranger at Disney-Hyperion, by Holly Root at Waxman Literary Agency (World English).