I am fairly certain that I have gone through the majority of my life in a perpetual fog. I can’t swear to that since I’ve am usually in such a state of blissful unawareness that makes it impossible to be absolutely positive about anything. But I do know that I was always the kid who said “Five” when the teacher called on me during math no matter what the question was or the one who was still doing somersaults in gym class when everyone else had moved on to jumping jacks.
Looking back at my grade school self, I picture a dopey little kid always at least three steps behind the rest of the class with a completely confused expression on my face. In my defense there was an awful lot of other stuff to think about back then—mainly cute boys and good television. Oh, and what brand of Hostess Fruit Pie to buy after school. Those truly were the good ol’ days.
Being a full time dreamer isn’t always a bad thing as I am sure I have missed out on having my feelings hurt on innumerable occasions since I was too busy daydreaming to even notice that I had just been insulted (insults tend to dawn on me around three in the morning when I wake up and ask myself “Just what did so and so mean by that comment about my hair/kids/house/dog/work ethic/etc?”) The good thing about becoming miffed at three in the morning is that it tends to wear off by five when I get up and I’m too tired to care about anything but getting a pot of hot coffee down my throat as quickly as possible.
One bad thing about being in a daze most of the time is that I usually miss out on hearing any arguments that other couples have in restaurants or grocery stores (“Did you hear what that woman with the tattoo on her shoulder called her husband?” my own husband hisses at me while I study the cantaloupe and wonder how much a vacation to Hawaii would cost). I would also make the world’s worst witness if anyone ever got carjacked in front of me. (“Um, let’s see… the perpetrator was short, I think, or maybe medium tall and he had brownish sorta blondish hair cut kind of like how Steve McQueen wore his in Bullit and possibly was wearing blue jeans or some other kind of clothing…”) The police would most likely arrest me for Complete Ineptitude.
Anyway, this dreamy existence has been a way of life for me for fifty plus years but as I get older, I am beginning to wonder just how much might have slipped past me unnoticed. Today while I was walking my husband’s dog, Rocky, we made a trek past an assisted living home in our neighborhood. As we passed the lit windows and could see the silhouettes of the patients watching television and eating breakfast, I wondered why I never saw any assisted living homes while I was growing up.
Oh, there were a few of them but they seemed geared toward very, very, VERY old people who had maybe a month or two left before going to their reward. Nowadays you can’t turn around without tripping over an assisted living home or a memory care center or a senior living complex.
What did we do with our senior citizens back then? Did they live with their children or was it possible that there were a ton of old folks’ homes (as they were quaintly called) and I simply didn’t notice? I can’t recall anyone I knew having their grandparents living with them and I can’t remember seeing any assisted living centers and I never attended any funerals–at least, I don’t think I did. So where on earth were all the old people?
I’m thinking I’ve discovered yet another plus of being a Full Time Daydreamer: it gives you a whole lot to mentally chew on when you start thinking about just what the hell you’ve missed over the past five decades.