The most special things are the things that don't really belong anywhere but here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Recently, I went with my parents to the American Idol Concert. I know what you’re thinking: you wish you were that cool. The actual concert was great. I was thoroughly entertained, delighted, and I bought a shirt so I could wear their faces on me while I slept. But it was leaving the concert that inspired this latest blog post.
Imagine being with every single one of these people in a tube.
I don’t know if any of you have ever been to the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, but there’s a tube that connects the Arena to the parking garage. When we left the arena, we were standing outside the tube barely moving for about 15 minutes because there were so many Idol worshipers, and then we were inside the tube barely moving for about a half hour. I’m not one for claustrophobia, but I had to mentally sing “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks to keep myself from passing out. There was hardly any air, and if someone were to get sick or fall over, there would be no place to fall, except on each other. What made this especially nerve-wracking was the fact that the audience was primarily old people; there were far more octogenarians whipping out their phones to record Scotty McCreery than there were screaming teenage girls. I was just waiting for disaster to strike, but somehow it never did, and we all made it back to our cars.

This experience made me think of many things. It made me think of national disasters when people really are stuck in tubes with no air because of tornadoes or floods. It made me think of that scene in Atonement where everyone is in the subway station while the bombs are going off and it floods and they all drown. It made me think of other really sad things, like hostage situations where people go a long time without water. It also made me think of hamsters.

I never owned a hamster. I always wanted one. I always wondered if hamsters had fun crawling through their tubes. I wondered if they ever got dizzy running on those little wheels, or if they were ever like, um, how come I’m not getting anywhere? A few months ago, me and one of my best friends were talking about domesticated animals, as best friends do. I told her that if I could be any animal, I would be a cat. They can move really fast, jump on things, and be with people when they want or hide from people when they want. My friend told me she would like to be a lizard because lizards just sit in a tank and stare. At first I found this a perplexing answer, but then I understood.
Our lives aren't that different, lizard.
I actually spend a lot of time sitting and staring. I think people spend too much time doing things these days, or at least thinking that they should doing things. I'm a teacher and I work part-time, so there are big chunks of the year where I’m kind of just sitting around, thinking that I should be out in the world and that there is something unnatural about my life. But then one day, I thought about the 1800’s and about how many females spent all their time in their parent’s houses reading books and fanning themselves and wearing fancy dresses, just waiting around for a suitor to come to the door and marry them. Then I thought, well THOSE chicks weren’t doing anything, and there were THOUSANDS of them. Maybe people have always lived this way, it just depends on the circumstances you were born into, so then it’s not unnatural at all, and maybe this isn’t even the first time I’ve done this.
Our lives aren't that different, 1800's ladies.

Back in March, I had an astrology reading. The astrologist told me that I had lived over 300 lives and that in most of them I was female. She told me I was a part of the Christian Crusades and then reassured me that many people were and that I shouldn’t feel bad (I guess she mistook my laughter for discomfort). She also told me that I composed music in several lives and worked for the theatre. She said it was part of my quest in this life to be more open minded and less rigid, because in so many of my lives I had been a strict Christian. She asked me if I was too set in my beliefs. I told her that the older I got, the more I realized I didn’t know anything. She said that I had to believe in something. I was a little irritated, because of course I believe in things. Who doesn’t?

These are five things I believe for sure:

1) If you wake up really early and think, “It’s too early to get up, I should go back to bed” it’s always a mistake. Then you will oversleep and be just as tired as you would have been had you just gotten up at 5:34 AM.

2) As cold as it sounds, if someone just won’t stop talking to you and you’ve tried to end the conversation nicely and they can’t take a hint, the best thing to do is just avoid eye contact and say nothing. Sorry, Grandma.

3) My squeaky, fart-sounding shoes are just karma for the time in fifth grade when I really did fart and told my friend Stephanie that it was my shoe.

4) I believe that if my desk chair isn’t pushed in toward the desk at night, that a ghost will sit in it, and I do NOT like it when things watch me sleep.

5) Doughnuts are always a good idea.

Mmm. Doughnuts. When I was little, after church, we used to go to Dunkin Doughnuts and I would get a chocolate glazed doughnut with sprinkles on top. Remember those old Dunkin Doughnuts commercials with the fat guy in the tan uniform? No?

The other day, I stumbled upon commercials from the 80’s for Rainbow Brite. They used to be able to just say, “Oh, she has a star on her face! Pretty dress!” and the doll was sold. Now it’s like, “She speaks five languages and poops iPods and you get twelve FREE downloads of Shrek and all the Toy Story movies which play on a screen on her face but you have to plug her into the computer every twelve hours because she’s made of the cheapest plastic and she’ll melt but you CAN’T return her for that reason because then you will lose your privilege to a FREE screening of High School Musical 12 if you are chosen at random.” I’m telling you, when I have kids, they’re going to have good, high-quality toys, old fashioned stuff made out of wood. They’re going to play with ducks you pull on strings and dolls made out of bean sacks with yarn for hair. They will NOT be corrupted by today’s world!

I also think it’s really important for children to have pets. I remember watching Oprah years ago and Dr. Phil was on, and he said it wasn’t a good idea for children to be responsible for pets because they really just needed to worry about their own “need tanks.” I don’t think kids should be TOO responsible for pets. It’s not like I’d be like, “Hey Timmy, looks like Sparky’s on his way out. Why don’t you pull him in your wagon to the vet so he can get put down?” But if the animal were something small, like a hamster, and you only had to put little pellets in his bowl and give him water, then I think it would be okay. But I am NOT cleaning those tubes.
(It's really great when pets do some of the work, too.)

Obviously, the questions I want you to answer after reading this post are clear. Have you ever been stuck in a public area with little to no air? If you could be any domesticated animal, what would it be and why? What five things do you believe for sure? Do you think my 1800’s lady theory is valid or just an excuse to be lazy? Aren’t toys today stupid? And will you buy me a doughnut?

Until next time, America.


  1. Actually, when you were talking about being in the tunnel, all I could think of was "What if there were an emergency?!" I can't really think of being stuck in a situation like that,thankfully.

    And as a domesticated animal? I'd like to be a cat also. Lots of freedom, yet someone always has food and water ready for you.

    I'd answer more, but it's almost time for work, and I'm being too much of a procrastinator. I blame your blog!

    Thank you.

  2. At first thought, I would like to be a cat. Obviously, because cats sleep like 85% of the day in patches of sunlight and eat for like 10% of the day and terrorize their families for the other 5% of the day. These things all sound brilliant. But when I think about it more, I think about how Sothlice has an inflamed bladder and until we learned there was an alternative, I had to wrap him up in a towel and squeeze anti-anxiety meds down his throat while he screamed and squirmed. I know that I would not like to have any of those things happen to me no matter how much I got to eat and sleep and annoy people. So I think that upon further consideration, I would like to be a goldfish. You have absolutely no responsibility. You get to swim all day. People feed you colorful little flakes. Sometimes you get fed so much that you die--and I can't think of a better way to go than overeating.

    This answer was probably longer than you anticipated, so I will only answer one more question. Come visit and I will buy you a dozen donuts!