Everyone has fantasies. You’re lying if you say you don’t.
Some are kinky, I’m sure. Some are wild or exotic or adventurous. Some include bubbles or Cool Whip or both. Some involve a little hut on stilts in the middle of Motu Tapu in the South Pacific. There’s a pretty broad range. But they’re all more or less figments of our wishful thinking.
And that’s the thing about fantasies, they’re really just the activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. Most of us rarely have the chance to live them out. We just spend our time dreaming about them. Because that’s the fun of a fantasy.
Now obviously I’m speaking as a mom here because that’s my gig. It’s still my primary job. And although my kids are old enough now that they’re completely self-sufficient, I’m still very much on the clock as a parent every day. But rest assured, whatever stage you’re at with your kids, all of us have fantasies. Oh, do we have fantasies! Only most of them are probably not at all what you’d expect.
See, the funny thing is, I’ve found that some of the biggest fantasizers out there are parents, more specifically the stay-at-home moms and dads who spend their days and nights raising their kids. To them, fantasizing is a vital lifeline that connects them back to reality. It keeps them sane.
I know it’s fair to assume that all moms walk around all day fantasizing that Cleopatra-on-the-Nile scene where we’re being fanned and fed grapes. But the truth is, most of us dream about our kids color-coding all their shirts and disinfecting their own toilet bowls without being asked. Or that our husbands willingly ask (no, beg) to watch the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives marathon. Or that we find a random pedicure gift card lying in the parking lot at the market. Because those fantasies would be more realistic.
As far as I’m concerned, though, I think that the crux of all mom fantasies centers around the same thing. I think, on some level, most of us daydream about that one thing we never get. Time. Alone. Just raw, empty, uncluttered time all to ourselves. And that’s exactly what I got last weekend.
I had the rare opportunity to live out my mommy fantasy when my entire family took off in different directions and left me home. Alone. For two-and-a-half days. One kid went skiing, the other went back to college, and Dave was away on business. It was the perfect little trifecta of timing. The kind that’s never happened to me in all these years.
In my head, I had a long and impressive list of things I couldn’t wait to do. I was gonna bust every move I could think of. First, I was gonna crank me some Bob Seger and recreate the Risky Business underwear dance scene. I mean, you gotta, right?
After that, I was going to sleep in every day. Late. I was going to make it to every yoga class on the schedule. I was gonna let the laundry pile up, not make the bed for two whole days, and not touch the dishwasher. I was gonna eat a tub of Funfetti frosting straight from the can. I was finally gonna get that tattoo that no one knew I wanted. I was gonna binge-watch some cheesy TV series. I was gonna shop and drink wine and have my girlfriends over. I was gonna hit it hard.
Or at least that’s how I imagined it in my head until my fifty-plus hours of freedom were there, staring me in the face.
Let’s just say that the way it all played out in real life was slightly different than in my fantasy.
The reality of my weekend went something like this… A quick trip to LL Bean to make a return, followed by a spontaneous swing by Treadwell’s for a large raspberry sorbet drenched in sprinkles, and ending with a cozy night on the couch in my jammies watching my New England Patriots advance to the AFC championship game. Things always seem more glamorous in my head.
I had had offers to go to my sister-in-law’s and to a friend’s, but to be honest, when the moment came, I felt compelled to just enjoy the solitude of my house since I so rarely get it all to myself. I was sound asleep, thumb in my mouth, before eleven.
And although my intention was to sleep in and let everything around me go to hell for two days, I didn’t quite follow through with my mini rebellion. Each day I got up before six, paid bills, went to the gym, did laundry and reconciled the bank statements. I wrote a little, did a few house projects, and had Baileys and coffee in front of the fire on Sunday morning. I actually spent the day in Spandex and slippers listening to the Harry Connick, Jr. station on Pandora and sipping Crystal Light. (I know, I’m an animal.)
Ever notice how the anticipation of something is often better than the thing itself? Well, that’s kind of what I discovered when my fantasy came true. It’s good to dream, though. And we should never stop.
Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItIsWhatItIsColumn. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.