Oh, you guys said some lovely things about my sketch-paintings. Thank you! My heart is warmed. Now I have Hot Heart Syndrome. The doctor said I'll be okay, as long as I'm not startled or upset, ever.
So listen, I would love to illustrate whatever, but I can't draw anything that isn't right in front of me. This is my terrible secret. Seriously, I have no visual memory. I can't even really picture what an elephant looks like right now, much less draw it. (It's gray! And…and looks like a briefcase! Wait, no, that's wrong. Four Ionic columns and a cloud?!) If I were to illustrate, I'd need to see everything I needed to represent. This could get tricky for, say, a children's book. "Listen, I'm glad you want me to illustrate Mr. Wubs and the Tricky Mubbles, but unless you get them all to my apartment and force them to stand still, I really can't do business with you. Yes, the Mubbles too. I understand they're tricky. Not my problem."
Changing the subject awkwardly: On Christmas day, my parents gave me a pair of warm mittens. They are adorable, in addition to being warm. (It was not the only gift from them. My parents are nothing if not overly generous.)
ANYWAY, after we were done gifting, my mom said, "By the way, the mittens came with a hat, but I think there's something wrong with it." She showed me the hat, which appeared to be perfectly acceptable and something I would happily place on my head.
But then I tried it on:
"You see?" she said. "I don't know why it looks so goofy."
"I can't see," I said. "I'm so confused. Everything is dark. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME." I stumbled around and my mom laughed a whole lot. I suspect this was a Christmas gift to her.
And then my sister walked in and said, "Yeah, you have it on backwards. Also, don't tie it, oh my god."
This reminded me of this one summer in college when I worked as a bank teller, and I was terrible at it, just awful, and a fellow teller said to me, helpfully, "There are different kinds of smarts. You have book smarts. You just don't have…life smarts."
It took me this long to discover that I also don't have hat smarts. At least in this case I can blame my mom.