Last night I treated my sons to a delicious meal at the Hong Kong Buffet. When the waitress brought us the ticket and our fortune cookies, Josh grabbed one and looked at me in horror.
“I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t open it. I’ll put it back.” And he pulled his hands away. It was too late. He had already touched it.
See, we have this “thing” in my family. I ALWAYS get to pick the first cookie. I choose my fortune. Michael ALWAYS gets the last cookie. His fortune chooses him. Whoever’s left gets what’s in the middle.
But since Josh had already touched it, I told him to take it. I chose another one, and Michael’s cookie chose him.
Michael’s cookie said he needed some relaxation time. My cookie told me to pursue my long-term goal, and Josh’s cookie predicted mystery and romance.
“Hey, these cookies went to the wrong people. I think Michael needs the mystery romance cookie.”
Michael balked at Josh’s words. He’s is in that “in-between world” of not knowing whether he should run to or from girls.
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. We don’t put much stock into these “fortunes,” but we have a lot of fun with them—Michael, usually more than others. He likes to add the words “in the bathroom” to everyone’s fortune.
Try it. It’s fun—even though it’s obnoxiously juvenile. I always scold him when he says it at the restaurant, but on the inside I’m laughing.
I told Josh I believed his cookie was meant for him because the word romance didn’t necessarily mean “huggy, huggy, kissy, kissy.” And both of us proceeded to explain to Michael that romance also referred to adventure in a King Arthur kind of way.
I like to think both of my children are adventurous and romantic. When they were little, they became so caught up in their imaginations I had a hard time pulling them back to reality.
For eight years Josh was an only child, so he invented imaginary brothers and a sister—Kinder, Mark, and Folla. They road atop our van along with his imaginary uncle from England.
Josh went through a Batman phase. Even when it wasn’t Halloween, he used to dress like the superhero. I remember taking him into a Shoney’s in Knoxville. He signed autographs for the waiters and waitresses—as THE Batman.
He also created his own detective agency and made me print business cards for him.
Michael, on the other hand, has always been creative but in a different way. He’s always had Josh, so he didn’t need imaginary siblings. I could buy him expensive gifts at holidays, but there has always been one gift that enthralls him—pencil erasers, as long as they come in two colors so that he can create intricate battles between opposing teams or armies.
Isn’t that weird?
Michael also wants a golf cart more than anything else in the world. Who knows what he plans to do with it. For years he has pleaded with me. When Old Stone Fort shut down its golf course, Michael begged to go there so he could ask a park ranger for one of the golf carts.
Not going to happen.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days of my childhood. As only child, I spend nearly all of my waking moments in another world. It was okay back then. When you’re a kid, you can imagine all you want, and nobody thinks you’re weird.
I loved horses, so my mother’s brooms became my mighty steeds. My golden banana seat bike transformed into a palomino. I spent weekends at my grandparents’ hiding in the bathroom with my cousin Robin, my partner in crime, and we spent hours mixing Jergan’s lotion, Comet cleanser and other cleaning supplies into magical potions. Were we scientists or actresses in commercials? I don’t remember. We just had fun.
Sometimes I find myself drifting off into my imaginary world again, even as adult. When Josh read his fortune at the Hong Kong Buffet, I found myself drifting off again. I had a plan.
Josh is a journalism major and sometimes falls into media opportunities. There is a possibility he might work a major awards show in the near future. A possibility.
Sometimes these workers drive the celebrities to their appointments. If I recall correctly, one Steven Tyler showed up at last year’s event. Who’s to say he won’t come back this year?
So here’s the plan, man:
Josh finds a way to grab golf cart duty. He looks for Steven Tyler. He drives Steven Tyler in the golf cart, but he doesn’t stop at the awards show. He brings him to our house. (I don’t know what we’ll do with him once we get him—I don’t want to keep him. I just want to borrow him for autograph or a picture. Maybe a song.)
If the plan works out, not only will I get to meet Steven Tyler, but Michael will get his golf cart. Josh will probably go to jail, but hey…he’s the one who grabbed the first cookie.
And it’s MY imagination.
Oh well. I guess I can just “dream on.”