Shortcomings and Flaws: 2011

A reader recently accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

He wrote:

Again, outrageous. You say that your against materialistic and you mentioned in a recent Jersey Shore post that you think of these cast members as "materialistic, egomaniacal douchebags" Yet, in this post, you suggest that your favorite number for a salary would be the biggest one available.. What I think is you talk #%$&@ about materialistic and wealthy folks but in reality, you are simply jealous! And egotistical, look at all these posts on here. They all are your own opinion and don't take into consideration any other sides or thoughts. I think you have the biggest egos out there!

I pointed out to the reader that the desire to pay off student loans, the mortgage, and other debts while simultaneously saving for my child’s future education and any other family emergency hardly amounts to materialism.

I pointed out to this reader that I drive a Subaru that is twelve years old. I do not own a piece of clothing with a name brand except for sneakers. I wear no jewelry other than my $70 wedding band. I played golf for the first three years with used clubs. We shop at consignment shops and accept hand-me-downs all the time. Most of the furniture in our home was given to us by friends.

Hardly signs of materialism. 

Coincidentally, a friend who has known me for fourteen years recently said that other than her own son, she has never met someone who cared less about money and the accumulation of things than me.

I have many flaws, but materialism is not one of them.  

In order to illustrate the point, I offered to share my flaws with this reader in a future post, and that time has come.    

As promised, the following is a list of my shortcomings.  It was generated primarily by my best friend of 25 years, my wife and me, though a few other friends contributed ideas as well. 

All items on the list were suggested by at least one person and agreed upon by another.

Three items were suggested and then rejected based upon the feedback of my panel.

Feel free to suggest other flaws and shortcomings for this list.  I’m sure we missed a few.     

Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

  1. I cannot be agreeable even when the outcome means nothing to me but means a great deal to someone else.
  2. I have a limited palate (though I would like to stress that this is not by choice).
  3. I lack tact, particularly in circumstances in which tact is especially important.
  4. I am a below average golfer.
  5. It is difficult for me to sympathize with situations that I do not understand, do not think are worthy of sympathy and reflect situations that I would have avoided.   
  6. Along similar lines, I cannot put myself in other people's shoes.  Instead of attempting to envision a person’s life experience, I operate as myself within the other person’s shoe, pointing out why they acted foolishly and what I would have done instead.
  7. When it comes to argument and debate, I lack restraint. I will use everything in my arsenal in order to win, even if this means hurting the other person’s feelings in the process. 
  8. I do many things for the sake of spite.
  9. I have an unreasonable fear of needles.
  10. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.