I have, for most of my adult life, avoided Math. I don’t compare prices in stores based on how much each ounce of food costs. I don’t keep track of my checking account.
Sure, at work, I was a budget master. Excel did the math part. I just bought things. That I can do.
But tomorrow I have to start a math class. In fact, I have to take two math classes before I can take an actual math class that fulfills this stupid obligation for math credits. Let me ask you this, cosmic void – to write a book and become a history teacher… why in God’s name do I have to take a math class?
I am absolutely terrified about tomorrow. For real, scared shitless. I’ve done a whole bunch of things in my life that I’ve been nervous about. I’ve moved, I’ve changed jobs, I am changing careers, I am trying to write a book… none of these scare me as much as math.
Here’s the deal.
#1 I can’t do arithmetic. Swear to God, this girl cannot add, subtract, multiply or divide. I just can’t do it. I’ve never been able to do it. When I took the SAT a million years ago… I was almost perfect on the verbal part of it. On the math, I was almost retarded. I think I got the points for my name on the math part. When I was a kid and trying to learn my multiplication tables, my dad would do flash cards with me. When I missed one, he’d hit me upside the head. Not making this up. I mean, he wasn’t like beating me or anything. It was just a little smack. Even with the threat of physical harm I still could not do them. Even knowing that I was about to get smacked couldn’t help me remember what the hell 9×6 was. Shit, as I write this I realize I don’t know what 9×6 is, even now.
I can think about numbers as patterns, averages, and percentages… but I can’t do the math to tell you exactly what those numbers are. I can tell you what they are going to do but not what they are.
I am totally positive that tomorrow… I am going to have to do arithmetic. I am having a panic attack just thinking about it. Never mind that it will be 900 degrees tomorrow, that is not why I’ll be sweating through my clothes. Nope, I’ll be drenched because someone is going to expect me to do math. Oh God, I am so sick to my stomach just thinking about it.
#2 If I can’t do arithmetic, what in God’s name makes anyone think I can do it with letters. It doesn’t even make sense to me why there are letters in math. For real, why? I get the concept of 1 letter being in a problem. If you have 3 of 4 pieces of information, you should be able to figure out what x is. But … someone has to explain to me how there can be multiple letters in math. For real, square root of x-y blah, blah, blah…. It makes NO sense to me. Whoever dreamt up this kind of math is a total asshole.
Seriously, think about the kind of total dickhead it takes to think up math equations with a bunch of letters and shit. Even Matt Damon was a dickhead in Good Will Hunting. Sure, he could do all sorts of fancy math but he was an asshole. For real, I can just picture Einstein or whoever thought up this crap sitting in some dark room, all alone, angry that he is still a virgin at 35 years old and deciding the way he’d get back at the world was to make up some shit that made no sense. Then make people study it for years to come. It’s not my fault that he couldn’t get laid. Why am I paying for it now?
I am a storyteller. Not a story problem solver. I like to describe things and exaggerate. I do not care if a train leaves the station going a certain speed…when it will arrive at the next destination? You know why I don’t care about that. Because I don’t need to do math to figure it out. I just need the printed schedule that all train stations provide. Either the schedule or an employee to tell me. I don’t need to do math to figure it out.
All I want to do is tell you a story and hope that you feel the emotion, the excitement of what I am sharing. None of that happens in math. I simply don’t understand why I have to do this. I can walk into a room of strangers and make friends. I can make people laugh. I can make people feel comfortable in new surroundings. I can throw a mean party. I can make delicious bourbon drinks. I can make babies stop crying. I make people feel comfortable with their craziness.
I cannot do math.