Today, my daughter accused me of living in my own little world. I tried explaining that I don’t get my own ROOM, much less my own WORLD, but she just rolled her eyes. For those of you without teens, this is secret code for ‘Where are the men in the little white coats and what have I done with my butterfly net?’.
It really bugs me. Oh, not that she rolled her eyes. She does that all the time. I’m bugged by the fact that she thinks this world I’m living in is of my own devising. Like I would PICK this. Face it, if I lived in my own little world, things would certainly be different.
For starters, clothing would be more compatible with my wants and needs. I would never (and I mean ever) have to wear pointy-toed or pointy-heeled shoes to look professional. In my own little world, I would pay the underwear designers triple to create a panty design that covers both halves of the great divide, AT THE SAME TIME. Stains would be en vogue and unbuttoning the slacks to breathe would be an accepted fashion statement. And don’t even get me started about pantyhose.
If I had my own little world, I’d proudly display all the awards I’ve won for inventing the four-wheel drive vacuum, the childproof parental bathroom, and the self-cleaning laundry. I’d also show off the Nobel Prize I won for curing the neurological disorder that compels a single child to dirty twelve glasses in a two-hour period. As a result, my happy, well-adjusted children would be proud of me instead of pretending I’m an odd acquaintance they haven’t figured out how to ditch.
I wouldn’t constantly be required to be in two places at once. I’d live in Soap Opera Time where one day can stretch to last a whole week. Not only that, but my newly discovered twin sister, Cynthia, who had been thought lost at sea, but only suffered from amnesia, would return and give me a much-needed week off. AND nobody in my family would notice the difference between the two of us.
I’m reasonably certain that in my own little world, the bedroom doorknob wouldn’t rattle during intimate moments. Small voices wouldn’t call through the door, “Are you okay in there?” and they definitely WOULD NOT CALL 911 if they didn’t get an immediate answer.
Telephone calls? All for me. Plus, the person on the other end would not use words like “siding,” “refinancing,” or “Do you know what your child just did?”
Grocery shopping? A snap! I would be able to identify the food I need to buy because the empty containers? They’d be missing from the shelves! Or, even better, the Corn Puffs Fairy that my children believe in would turn out to be REAL and it will be her job to magically refill the boxes the kids carefully replace in the cabinet.
I would be best friends with Mary Poppins, the New Battery Fairy, and the Elf in Charge of Hanging Up Wet Towels.
I could have my own room… my own room!
I think my daughter may have just said something. I’m not sure, though. I was off in my own little world.
This originally appeared (in slightly different form) in Today’s Woman Magazine. September 2004.