As most of you know by now, Mr. Handsome gave me Photoshop CS4 Extended for Christmas. It's been one of my favourite gifts among many. And the most frustrating. I also got some great earrings, an electric blanket, and a new winter coat. None of those has created any frustration whatsoever for me. Honest.

Am I the only one who has found Photoshop extremely difficult and mind-warping? Please tell me I'm not, because I sure do feel that way. I'll tell you why.

Mr. Handsome also (and very thoughtfully, I might add) gave me a copy of Photoshop CS4 Extended for Dummies, by Peter Bauer. I guess you can say he knows me well.

HA! Not well enough, I retort!

What do you mean, you may be saying? Please let me explain something to you. And you must believe me when I tell you this. No matter how much I go over what I've read about Photoshop in my very own Photoshop For Dummies book, no matter how many damn times I peruse its pages, going over word for word on how to take the freaking red eye out of the stupid photograph of the even more stupid dog (note the growing frustration), I cannot for the ever-lovin' life of me figure. it. out. And it's driving me batty. I look like the Grinch on a very bad acid trip.

Everytime I try to do something really really basic with a photo, it doesn't work. And I am following the directions in the book to a T. I'm good at following directions. Just ask Mr. Handsome. I'm much better following directions than giving them. Just ask Mr. Handsome. Go ahead. Ask him. Remind him of the time we were going to Toronto, and he wanted directions to Highway 401, and I very specifically told him to follow this street that turned into one highway which eventually led to Highway 401. "Are you sure?" he asked more than once. And, of course, being the self-assured and adamantly thick person that I am, I angrily replied, "Yes, I'm sure. What do you mean, 'am I sure'? What are you implying with that question?" And I got very very angry and had to take twice as many Valium and two more shots of vodka and have a very long nap before I could calm down and finally admit I was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. So wrong, in fact, that we had to backtrack an entire hour-and-some to get on the correct highway leading to Highway 401. Did I say I was wrong?

I won't even go into the time we went to Montreal, or Washington, D.C., or when we were in British Columbia and ended up in the States. All I can say is I was navigating, and it took us three hours to get back through customs and to Mr. Handsome's granddad's place, where our plate-sized steaks were getting cold and his three Labs were eyeing them and drooling and were none too happy when we finally showed up.

Let's just say I've grown and matured since then and accept that navigation is not my strength.

So, like I was saying before I went off on a rather steep tangent and drove off the side of a cliff and into Hawaii, I follow directions much better than giving them. OK, I've said it. Can we move on? Thank you.

When Mr. Handsome so kindly gave me Photoshop for Dummies, I was so ecstatic, I almost ripped my clothes off and ran through the streets. Don't worry, I didn't. My kids stopped me just in time. I would have bruised my knees anyway, what with my sagging breasts flapping wildly against them as I made my way down the icy street with the wind blowing through my nethers. Why I was so happy was this: I thought to myself, 'I will finally be able to actually do something with this goddammed piece of shit and stop getting more and more aggravated with every breath.' After all, anyone can get through this program with a book called Photoshop for Dummies in front of them, can't they? I know the Sex For Dummies book sure came in handy for me way back when. But I digress yet again.

So, I'm going through the book, and the more I try and follow directions, the worse things get. I am now at the point where, for some reason, I can't open the damn program up. Well, that's not actually true. I can open it, but it then closes again, or something, because all I know is I'm sitting there with a blank screen and tufts of my hair in my hands. Not only that, but the damn 'n' key on my computer is sticking, and sometimes I have to hit it 10 times to make the letter actually appear, and that alone is enough to send me over the edge and into Never Never Land with an old People magazine and a Bailey's with a tad of coffee in it.

I don't know what I did, if I did anything, to make this latest thing happen, but it is going to kill me, I tell you. I do not do well when I can't figure something out, or it doesn't work for me pretty much right away. Let's just say I don't have Mother Theresa's patience. I can feel my ulcer boiling inside of me, ripening to explode.

After trying for probably a lot longer than I am ever willing to admit here or anywhere until 100 years after I die, I finally told Mr. Handsome I was having some trouble with the program. And then, I ultimately told him, as calmly as I could, that I was having trouble following the directions in the book he had given me.

"You mean, the Photoshop for Dummies book I gave you?" Mr. Handsome so wittily asked me. "What do you mean, you're having trouble following directions in the Photoshop for Dummies book?" he asked, as if he didn't understand, precisely so that he could once again say, "trouble following directions" and "Photoshop for Dummies" in the same sentence.

I dropped my head and sat solemnly, waiting for Mr. Handsome to drop me like a hot potato. After all, why would someone like him, with a PhD and the brain of a genius (and really good hair) want to be with someone like me, someone who could not only not figure out which way to hold a map, but also could not understand a book written for dummies. And my hair is often really really bad. And I sometimes have bad breath, I wear the same underwear for two days in a row at times, and I have a thing about anyone touching my "stuff". Phew, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me get that out.

After much consternation and thought, Mr. Handsome's little lightbulb went on in his head. "Hey! I've got a great idea for you! Maybe you should write a book! And you could call it Photoshop for Morons. AND you could then do a whole Moron series and we'd be rich!"

Have I told you I was once a gifted student?


Travel Writer said…
I believe women are good at remembering directions because everytime me and my girl go out, she is the one who shows me the way... I think photo shop is not that much user friendly...
No offense but i feel that women takes more time to explore and get used to new gadgets...
Seeker said…
You made my day....I laughed for a good 20 minutes and am still chuckling.... i can't help you at all with your problem as i am neither a "dummy" or a "moron". I am below that standard. As far as doing things on the computer....I fall somewhere between "idiot" and "technologically challenged". If you don't believe that to be to my boyfriend...
♥georgie♥ said…
LMAO!!! I dont own photoshop of any form and I am quite certain no dummy book would help me either-
Lynette said…
I'm with "seeker" - I'm still laughing, but I'm at work and have to keep it quiet. Didn't you say you had kids - why don't you ASK them to show you how to work your stuff - that's what I do - its a little embarrassing - but it gets the job done and she doesn't really make fun of me - well just a little - but she's 18 and I'm 41 - it's the law or something, right?
Eudea-Mamia said…
I've got a fantastic idea to get your money's worth out of that book - throw it at his head!

I seriously think we live parallel lives. Believe it or not, I actually made a very good living, once upon a time, as a graphic designer. I still hated Photoshop with every fiber of my being. I know some man designed it - absolutely NOTHING is intuitive.
Shana said…
Yeah, you sure are funny. Oh, what did you say? You weren't trying to be funny? Hmmm, Really? Well, sorry about that. I did laugh.
I am good with directions, but not with computers. My 'n' key doesn't stick but if it did, you would be hearing me yell from where you live!!
Anonymous said…

I'm the same way with some stuff. Oy. We were playing poker the other weekend I was seriously having difficulty figuring out the money changes in my mind (ie; someone put in 400 and I had already put in 40, how much more did I have to put in to call??).

I was all, 'forgive me, I'm a nanny, my hardest question each day is 2+2!!!!'.

Love that my degree is just growing dust.....

Hope you get it figured out!
Chatabox Girl said…
Photoshop is hard until you have mastered the basics. The best way I learnt was to get an image and google what I wanted to do with it. eg "retouching a photo in photoshop 7"

Most of the links will give you step by step directions to get great photos!

once you have done a few you will know it off by heart. :)

Youtube is good too, but sometimes they dont give directions so it can get confusing!
The Dotterel said…
If it's any consolation I've got it on a PC and on a Mac and can't use either. Really.
I'd buy it... I live my life my those books!!
nikkicrumpet said…
Well you just convinced me to not push my hubby to let my buy photo shop...I was pretty sure I'd have trouble figuring it I'm sure I would just get frustrated...I'm such a dork when it comes to stuff like that! You are not alone!
Shupe said…
you think Photoshop is hard- Try REVIT
It's what I have to use for work! I seriously would DIE without the forum rooms and pages written out to help out the lame and retarded- ME!
My suggestion is some websites with video's you can follow along. Sometimes you just have to have someone LEAD you along! I know there has to be a ton of them online.
If Revit has it- PHotoshop MUST!
take a breather- and relax.........all in good time darling!
Elaine said…
I bet the 'moron series' would make a good seller on e-bay :)
Anonymous said…
Well, I thought I wanted Photoshop until I read this. Now I don't know what to do!

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