It May be Easy for You but It Isn’t for Me!

itssoeasyPlease allow me a short but important rant.

I hate it when people tell me that something is easy to do – when it may be easy for them, but isn’t for me.

I dislike having to ask my math-savvy husband for help with percentages. How to calculate a percentage was apparently taught in 4th grade arithmetic and I like to think I was out sick all that year, but I wasn’t.

JP, what is 18% of 2,000?”

And he responds, “That’s easy.

Aaaaargh, for you maybe, but not for me.

I also have difficulty with anything remotely mechanical. When I ask my 20-something son, “Remind me again, how do I send a video from my iPhone?”

He will sigh and say, “Mom, that’s so easy.”

Maybe for him but never for me.

In my law firm days I had a mental block when it came to drafting insurance provisions in radio station event agreements (that sounds boring even as I write it but things can go awry among the overly-creative.)

So I would walk down the hall to a colleague, “Mark, can you give me that model insurance language again?”

Inevitably he would reply, “Sure, but that’s so easy.”

If it was so easy, then why was I asking him?

Of course, there many things that do come easily to me. I’m well read and have a huge vocabulary.  I’m a champion google researcher and a natural at twitter. I’m known for my ability to find a typo on a menu within 20 seconds (“gilled” shrimp, anyone?). I type fast and think even more quickly. I am also very modest.

Perhaps I am more sensitive as I get older to having my ability gaps pointed out? Or do all of us, at any age, get a tad prickly when it comes to things we just can’t master?

I do try to be patient with others who have these same kinds of ability gaps.

Someone in my family (no names here) wasn’t sure if when you boil water for pasta, you should start with cold or hot water. Sigh. I didn’t say a word.

And while it is easy for me start up Roku, get to Netflix and find a movie to watch, someone else in my family continues to remain confounded by that process, no matter how many times it is explained.

There is also someone I see regularly (say every night when he comes home from work) who is still unclear as to how to make a comment on a Facebook post.

Remind me, where do I post the comment?” this person regularly asks me. This is someone who has a very high intellect, is proficient in several languages, and a whiz at car repairs but even he doesn’t find everything so easy.

So the next time you spot me struggling to use that stupid self-check out scanner at the CVS, feel free to offer to help.

But please don’t tell me – It’s so easy” – or I might write about you in my Blog. That’s so easy for me to do.

















Filed under Adult Kids, Blogging, Communications, Family, Law firm life, Reading, Relationships, Social Media, Women

11 responses to “It May be Easy for You but It Isn’t for Me!

  1. Jacques Pavle

    I resemble that remark!


  2. Devonia Cochran

    DITTO !! Lol


  3. I wholeheartedly agree. I’m more than willing to help with things I do well and go out of my way to not be condescending, which is exactly what saying ‘it’s easy’ is whether the sayer realizes it or not. Very often, I find that when I ask for help, I don’t get the same consideration in return. Frankly I think some people need more ego strokes than others and I try to view these situations that way. Still… it stings and makes me less willing to ask.


  4. greg

    Hi Dear Cousin Nancy,
    I have a suggestion. Not in a mean way, I suggest that you solicit suggestions for topics for your blog. (Does that defeat the purpose of having a blog?) Love, Greg


  5. “But… it’s so easy!”
    Yeah.. for you. And do you want me shooting that comment back in your face when you need to write a 20 page research paper in a week? Or handle a classroom of frustrated 3-year old. Or craft an entire story from out of mid-air?”

    I love when people are ready to help out — but when they dismissively say “it’s so easy”…ugh. I do admit, however, that I have used the phrase “It’s really fairly easy” or “It’s not that hard” when I see someone making something harder than it is — but I’m only going to say that if I’m willing to back it up with helping walk them through it to show them how it can be easier (and that’s not to mean that it’s easy to REMEMBER how to do it… remembering things is never easy)


  6. Jules

    The older I get the less I care about asking for help, thankfully. I can see it as the yin and yang of our make-up. Words have also come easily to me and I have made a career of them. I see the typo before I read the word. Poor grammar upsets me ( and a statement like that almost guarantees an error in my comment!). However, numbers and everything to do with them may as well be in Urdu for all the sense they make to me. I used to be embarrassed about that. When working as a journalist on a daily paper I would make furtive phone calls to my dad, a maths whiz, to calculate percentages for me! Now, I simply say I do not understand math and ask for help openly. My husband and I have learned in the past 33 years that instead of competing we do best when we complement. He has amazing skills in my blank areas, I check his emails for spelling and grammar and set up all the technology in the house. He knows when to prune the roses and service the cars and how to cook a spectacular dinner for unexpected guests. I know how to keep the house pristine in the fewest possible steps and choose furniture and deal with insurance companies and banks. He builds beautiful furniture and grows magnificent vegetables. Each of us will say ‘it’s easy’ when the other gives thanks for some task done. Not to condescend to the other, we genuinely appreciate the other’s skills. While there is much about growing older that I am struggling to accept, one of the joys is no longer caring what people think and saying “I don’t know, please help”.


  7. I know exactly what you mean. Some words sting even when they are not intended to. Darn!


  8. Well said, Nancy! Every time I hear that ‘It’s so easy’, I just take it as that person’s opportunity to brag. What other purpose does it serve? It’s not encouraging and it certainly doesn’t sound humble to me. So, yes, bravo for saying it! 😀


  9. Great rant! I hear my oldest say that to his siblings about certain schools things and it makes me so mad!! “Oh, that was so easy!” Sure, easy to say that know from the fourth grade, huh?

    Anyway, love the Facebook comment struggle. It’s a real thing. People don’t get it. The nice thing is that certain friends think my internet know how makes me a genius and of course I know it just makes it clear I spend too much time online!


  10. Love this post!
    I just got Dragon Nuance as I’m finding it easier to talk than to type right now. But I’m so scared of downloading it!



  11. T39

    In my classroom my students knew the word “easy” was a no-no. What seems easy for you may not feel the same for others and there will be times when you are struggling whle others breeze through.


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