Never all that keen on Christmas, for a start it usually involves instructions you are supposed to read. I never do read them which means that I spend the rest of my life knowing I am only using said item to 5% of its capacity, which is incredibly irritating. So far, I have failed to read the instructions for
*a little handheld organiser thingy which meant I couldn't ever get it set up properly. It sits half in and half out of its box on the top of my shelf a constant reproach.
*every mobile phone I ever had. These phones are apparently so clever they can make dinner for you then email a picture of it to your best friend who's on a diet just to make her feel bad. This means I am about the only person in the whole world who uses her phone to ring people rather than write messages, surf the net, take photos, record music and play video-games when stuck on trains.
*iTunes. I have just about managed to download a TV show, but it is locked in my notebook when I want it in my laptop. I have the same problem with the digital camera and getting photographs out of it and onto the computer.
*the new Wii the children got for Christmas. This could get embarassing - tonight I tried to turn it off because my sons were squabbling over it(when I say "squabbling", the big one was lying on top of the little one while the little one screamed and went purple) and I couldn't, which undermined my parental authority somewhat.
Why don't I read the instructions? Why, when I am faced with a small closely printed booklet, or even worse, a large glossy manual, do I toss it over my shoulder saying "I'm sure I'll pick it up as I go along." Of course I don't. In the same way, I don't pick up Swahili or the basic principles of electrical engineering - why would you? That's why they write the manuals - for idiots like me who need them. And I really do know that I should read them, but some boredom siren kicks in, drowns out common sense, and I think "No, life's too short even to skim these Frequently Asked Questions or this Troubleshooting section, I'll see how I get on." I hope Barak Obama is the sort of guy when he gets a new Teasmade at Christmas, takes it carefully out of the box, puts it to one side, reaches in and pulls out the manual, then reads it word for word. If he's like me, we're doomed.