What’s Your Superhero Power?

by Katy on January 1, 2009 · 18 comments

Illustration by Jessica Wolk-Stanley

Illustration by Jessica Wolk-Stanley


 I just got back from visiting my sister Jessica in Seattle, which was a lot of fun. We wandered around area museums, watched stupid library movies, and cooked and ate a number of delicious meals. Even though I’ve known her for 40 years, there’s always something new to learn about her. 

For example:

During the day, she’s a mild manner illustrator and self-proclaimed stuck-at-home-mom, but at night she’s Lid Girl. You read that right. My sister Jessica has the super-power ability to match up thrift store pot and pan lids, to the pots and pans she has at home.

This may not sound impressive to you, but she has tempered glass lids for all her cast iron pans that make me burn with envy. Whenever I use my cast iron skillets, I end up splattering oil all over my stove top. Which is a gross mess. I don’t like gross messes.

This made me think — what is my super power? I’ve already shared how I am impressively good at finding spare change. For which I am dubbed  Coin-Girl.  I also possess the ability to create a meal out of seemingly unrelated food-stuffs, which I call a dirt and buttons meal. (I strongly hope this doesn’t this make me Dirt-and-Buttons-Girl.)

I have always been ridiculously good at stretching my money. I like to get the absolute very best value for my dollar. (This has been completely unrelated to income fluctuations.)

So I called my mother Susan up this morning to find out what her super-power was. Her first response is that she’s really good at finding a good parking space, which she attributes to her parking angel. Gag. No thanks. 

“No mom, that’s just stupid. What’s the one thing you’re really good at without having to try?”

“Well. . . people are always telling me their complete life stories.” (My mother is a retired reporter, so this came in very handy in her day.)

Okay. I’ll accept that.

My ten-year-old son says his super-power is drawing things, although his big brother says it’s “annoying people.” I say it’s the drawing thing, which he is frighteningly skilled at.

My 13-year-old wouldn’t answer the question, but I’ll say his super-power is to grow really beautiful hair. This may sound odd, but he has the hair that grown-up women would kill for. It’s platinum blonde, thick, glossy and curls at the ends. He grew it long a few years ago and donated it to Locks of Love. I would like for him to donate again, but he is currently enjoying having his long hair to himself.

We all have things we’re just naturally good at, which is part of what makes us individuals. Our strengths are what help us weather the storms in life, whether they be financial or otherwise.

So . . . what’s your super-power? Please share your secret alter-ego in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

Coin-Girl, Dirt-and-Buttons-Girl and The Non-Consumer Advocate

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline January 2, 2009 at 12:51 am

I can spread confusion with abandon


thenonconsumeradvocate January 2, 2009 at 12:54 am

Caroline — I LOVE that!

The Non-Consumer Advocate


Lise January 2, 2009 at 1:39 am

I have a friend who can tell in advance if an animal is going to “do its business” on your head, which is very useful at the lorikeet exhibit at the zoo.


Dana January 2, 2009 at 6:44 am

Interesting post….

I’d say mine is being able to make things out of other things. For example, I can make dresses for my girls out of bedsheets from Goodwill, purses from old jackets, etc. Up-cycling is what they call it. I can see creative possiblities in lots of things.



Jinger January 2, 2009 at 7:00 am

Never giving up in the face of adversity…although, many times, it would have been much easier just to run the other way.


Julie January 2, 2009 at 7:19 am

I can tell what time it is, accurate to within a few minutes, even if I haven’t seen a clock for hours. (And I don’t wear a watch.) My husband says I have an “internal chronometer” like the android Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
My husband has that parking thing, like your Mom. He calls it “magic parking luck”—the perfect spot just opens up. That’s one of the reasons I married him.


mindfulmama January 2, 2009 at 9:52 am

I have the amazing power to find things (socks, homework, pens, pencils, library books, wallets, etc), dubbing me: “Mom, finder of all things lost”.


Mountain Mama January 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I’m good at finding a place for everything. Sometimes I feel like “Tetris Girl.”


Magdalena January 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I can identify ingredients in a prepared dish, which means I can usually go home and make it myself. Unfortunately, most prepared food these days is salt and sugar. Yuk.

I have a gift for languages, in a sort of loose way. I’m never very good at the formal grammar and conjugations, but I seem to have a talent for understanding, which my mother also had. Lingo-Girl?


Emily January 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I have an almost photographic memory for the location of public restrooms in foreign cities. This power comes in especially handy when traveling with 8 and 4 year old girls.


tangerine meg January 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I can figure out what size of drill bit to buy without having a sample screw with me.


Wendy January 3, 2009 at 3:22 am

I can memorize phone numbers, and even retain numbers from my childhood. I have never used speed-dial….it seems harder than memorizing.


Caroline January 3, 2009 at 4:22 am

My other super hero skill is that time is flexible in my world. I never have too much and no matter how ridiculous my schedule gets, i always have enough time.


Marianne January 5, 2009 at 7:08 am

My skill is that people stop and ask me questions no matter where I am (e.g., grocery store: which is the better brand, do you think? museum: do you know how to pronounce this word — oaxaca? everywhere: do you know where the bathroom is?) It happens to my mom too, so perhaps it is genetic.

My kryptonite? Driving directions, just can’t do it.


karen January 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Back in the day before I started making my own cards/notes, I had the power to find ‘ the perfect card’ for the occasion at the local Hallmark/ gift shop to the point that my mother handed off this responsibility exclusively to me. Just the right wording with the proper image; not too mushy, not too flip; ultimate sincerity. My family still comments on it to this day whether they receive a Hallmark or a handmade.
Word nerd?


Pennie January 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Not that unlike “chronometer-girl,” I have the ability to tell within 1-2 mph how fast I am traveling in the car (even when I am the passenger and cannot see the speedometer–it’s how my accuracy has been tested.).

So I guess I’m “speedo-girl.” Uh, no, definitely not like the swimwear, either…

PS In the late ’80’s I took a couple of writing classes taught by your mother, and as an extraordinary crafter of all things wordy (as are you!) to me her special gift will always be just that. 🙂

I enjoy reading your work immensely!!! Blog on.


Marianne January 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I am struggling to come up with a name for this but i can walk and read at the same time. I am a dogwalker and do not have much time to read. I saw a gentlemen walking on a side road reading a book and thought i would try it. Now i do it all the time. i have even learned which gloves to use to be able to flip pages. I rely on periferal vision and hearing to sense if cars or other people are nearby. I’ve never wandered into the street or tripped on anything and i get to read through a lot of books!


Susan Lee January 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Most of my life I’ve been famously keen at picking up a musical instrument I’ve never played and figure out a few tunes or jam along with someone else. Give me enough time and I can figure out a tune on the piano, particularly a song I know well form hearing it alot. My poor brother was trying hard to learn guitar and my Dad came home from work and said, “hmm….Glenn’s getting pretty good at that guitar up there…” – turns out, that was Susan……made for good dinner conversation. (not so much for my brother!) Glenn eventually resorted to learning Bass guitar which he is fabulous at. He would be called “wanna-be-guitar-guy”. Playing by ear is congenital, my father and uncle have it too. Would I be called “play-by-ear-anything-you-got girl”?? :-))


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