“The patient is an FBI agent investigating terrorism.” That’s what the doctor said as I sped along, typing a referral letter.
Wait. FBI agent? Investigating terrorism? Well, rats. Here I was thinking I was just a mother and a housewife who typed medical reports and wrote a column and edited a magazine. My resume seemed awfully full already without adding another job to the list.
Terrorism, huh? What else was it when a certain teenager cornered a sibling, brandishing a toothbrush? When said sibling found himself on his back, thrashing and squalling as the brush approached his jaws?
If you were threatened with a sound brushing with another fellow’s brush, it shattered the peace that quick and brought disunity to the community. If you were a mom and you heard that report, it behooved you to investigate. Which made you the director of the MBI (Maternal Bureau of Investigation) even if you hadn’t interviewed for that position. Well, rats.
Community unity. This was a big deal in any household. But it was critical if you were a family of six shoehorned into a 1550-square-foot house with no room to swing a cat. The attributes of peace and love got real important in such a case. Make that peace, love and lowering the toilet lid.
In a kitchen with the square footage of a hot pad, one open cupboard door was a real disruption. “How hard can this be?” I’d sighed countless times on my way past the pantry.
If you factored in the scientific angles, averaging in the laws of gravity and the mechanics of levers, it took far less force to push a door shut than it did to pull it open. Unless there was some unknown genetic syndrome at work, such as CPL (Convenient Paralysis of the Limbs), it was sheer negligence. And that was a small, but maddening pea beneath my mattress.
Between the sneakers, the LEGOs and the matchbox cars that littered the floors, it was a land mine. A broken foot waiting to happen. A test of one’s vocabulary, and it brought disunity to our tightly-packed community.
Another trouble spot was the downstairs bathroom. It was fine if you were flying solo, but if you weren’t, well, it behooved you to look lively and step sharp.
It was called The Sunday Morning Shimmy. They didn’t teach classes for it, but they should.
Forget the grace and beauty of couples gliding across vast ballroom floors in tuxes and gowns. For him? Hair neatly groomed, five o’clock shadow erased. And for her? Hair piled high with tendrils and curls.