When I was a child, I discovered a practical way to survive boring tasks. I would simply imagine myself somewhere else. While I constantly entertained myself, others were not amused.
After each Grand Adventure, I would present my treasure (with its harrowing adventure) to the kind queen. Alas, the now villainous queen would not be amused and cast me into the lowest darkest dungeon (my bedroom), which I must say was a pitiful reward for such a noble undertaking. After days of confinement (or an hour or two), I would be forced to face the Enforcer (my Dad) for The Talk. (This is a method employed by parents to try to impose Expected Rules of behavior on children. May include: Destruction of property, graffiti, defacement, and/or punishment and retribution.)
Teachers also have surprisingly little tolerance for Grand Adventures. (Unless they are on paper, spelled correctly, double spaced, and grammatically correct.) I have a lot of experience with teachers, having spent a large portion of time with my Mom and Nana, both teachers. My oldest sister also became a teacher, due largely, I think, to my contribution of being younger and therefore not very intelligent. All of my teachers (relatives or otherwise) tend to think that a vacant stare means disinterest (or a low IQ), and that the height of rudeness is to drool on the desk. Alas, no spectacular educational career for me.
As I grew older and memorized The Talk, I fooled everyone into thinking that I had quit my Grand Adventuring, when in fact I had just quit acting them out.
Surprisingly, after a childhood of ignoring, playing or avoiding housework, I am now a stay at home mom. I find that most of my time is spent cleaning up after other people. Lets face it — housework may be essential to health and well-being, but no one notices it unless it isn’t done. My Seattle friends all fear that I am, “Not living up to my Potential,” and my Oklahoma friends all wonder why I am, “Not better at it.”
Washing dishes (for the thousandth time) is Princess Me (the beautiful, kind, adored princess captured by the evil Witch.) If one dish is left dirty I will be cast into the dungeon. The ever-precarious laundry pile is my Mount Everest.
When my husband comes home, I am a femme fatale, undercover for the CIA, spying on him. I bat my eyelashes in a sultry manner, and he kindly asks what is wrong with my eye.
Later, I take my Ultimate Vacation Grand Adventure, where I am an orphaned heiress to a billion dollar diamond mine, and I am vacationing on my own private island. I work on my tan and listen to the crashing waves, as Coco the houseboy gives me a foot massage. My pigmy natives (ranging from 2-4 feet) bring me drink after drink with cute little umbrellas. Sadly, my children and husband don’t often play with me anymore. Not even the youngest will let me rest my feet on them, and they refuse to wear the cute island outfits I made.
Folks who know me probably see me as “flustered”, my hair in a bun, with tendrils escaping, and a pack of children. But I am really a noble, brave, adventurer working undercover to expose the plot of D&D (Dirt and Debris) to take over the world. And now I must go (theme music starts) — an alarm has sounded, and the room is smoky with mystery… And I can hear the kids now: “Dad, dinner’s done, the smoke alarm went off again.”
Another Grand Adventure begins…