Sunday, May 7, 2006

May 7, 2006: Being Someone Else

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Yesterday Duncan was walking around in the driveway, having an animated conversation with himself. When he looked up at the kitchen window and saw that I was watching him, he called to me: “Mama! I’m someone else!”

He wasn’t anyone in particular, even though he was dressed, as usual, in some sort of a costume. He was just “someone else.” For a five-year-old, it’s so easy to be someone else—and to admit to wanting to be someone else. There have been many times in my adult life when I have been someone else. The summer that I was a telemarketer for the Shriners Circus, I was most certainly someone else. I spent 6 hours each day with folks who were salt-of-the-earth East Tennessee, and me, a bona fide Yankee. But I forgot who I was those hours. Forgot I was a college-educated New Yorker. I was just another girl making phone calls, trying to work up to the Rogersville room, because those folks regularly made $50 pledges.

I was someone else the year Jesse was a first grader in public school. I pretended to be a PTA mom. I attended a few meetings and acted quite interested in the plans for the School Fun Fest or some such thing. Just for awhile I was that someone else, that shiny, happy PTA mom. (I was a much better Shriners gal than a PTA member.)

Those are just a couple of “someone else’s” I’ve been. I can’t even imagine being those people, or that I even was “those people” for a time. There are other someone else’s I’d love to be for awhile. I’d love to be a farm wife, have a big orchard and drive a tractor. I’d love to be a prolific writer, holed up in my writing studio that looks out over the ocean or the one that’s nestled in the mountains. I’d love to be someone who has enough money to travel regularly. I’d love to teach at the from which I graduated. I’d love to be able to sing magnificently, to play guitar and sing at open hoots whenever the mood caught me.

But when it gets right down to it, those times I was “someone else” stick out like a bad hairdo. I’m so glad that I don’t wait tables at Shoneys anymore. I’m so blessed to wake up in the morning and see what’s happening in my own small world. What birds are visiting, what flowers have bloomed, who Duncan will be today.

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