Shortcomings and Flaws: 2017

Years ago a reader 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 my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

After refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011, and continuing in 2012201320142015, and 2016.  


Here is the revised list for 2017. I’ve added three items (the last two) and removed four.
The total number now stands at 36. 

The four that I removed, after careful consultation with several parties (including Elysha) are: 

  • I have difficulty being agreeable even when the outcome means nothing to me but a great deal to someone else.
  • I often lack tact, particularly in circumstances in which tact is especially important.
  • I cannot load a dishwasher effectively.
  • Field of Dreams makes me cry every time without fail.

This last one still applies but after much rebuke from readers is no longer considered a shortcoming or flaw. 

A couple suggestions offered to me that were not added to the list:

  • I can seem unapproachable at times (perhaps because I'm so busy). 
  • I use the word "despicable" too often. 

I questioned many people about seeming unapproachable and could not find any agreement. In fact, it was stressed to me that I am very approachable, and with the number of times I am brought into someone's confidence, I think this is true.

Yes, I use despicable often, but Trump is in office, and it's exceedingly fitting. I don't see it as a shortcoming or flaw. 

If you have a suggestion for a flaw or shortcoming that you do not see on the list, please feel free to submit it for review.

Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

1. I have a limited, albeit expanding palate (though I would like to stress that this is not by choice).

2. I am a below average golfer.

3. It is hard for me to sympathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand, do not think are worthy of sympathy, and/or are suffering with difficulties that I would have avoided entirely.

4. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would have done instead.

5. When it comes to argument and debate, I often 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.

6. I do many things for the sake of spite.

7. I have an unreasonable fear of needles.

8. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.

9. Bees kill me dead.

10. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.

11. I lack adequate compassion and empathy for adults who are not  resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.

12. I can form strong opinions about things that I possess a limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

13. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.

14. I would rarely change the sheets on my bed if not for my wife.

15. I eat ice cream too quickly.

16. I procrastinate when it comes to tasks that require the use of the telephone.

17. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.

18. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline.

19. I take little pleasure in walking.

20. Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.

21. I drink too much Diet Coke.

22. My hatred for meetings of almost any kind cause me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist.

23. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control the clutter myself.

24. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.

25. I think less of people who nap.

26. I lack patience when it comes to assisting people with technology.

27. I am easily annoyed by the earnestness of adults.

28. I don't spend enough time with my best friend.

29. I have a difficult time respecting someone's accomplishments if they benefited from economic privilege in their life.

30. I believe that there are right and wrong ways of parenting. 

31. I love saying, "I told you so" so freaking much.

32. I wear my wireless headphones way too much.

33. I consistently screw up my wife's laundry regardless of how careful I think I am.  

34. My blog entries contain far too many typos, despite my loathing of typos. 

35. I leave my credit card at restaurants far too often.

36. I don't ride my bicycle - alone and with my kids - nearly enough.