"Are you wearing that?" he asked.
Not exactly the question you want to hear from your four year old. Especially after he just came into the living room wearing a Chiefs jersey and his one-year-old brother's khaki slacks and said, "Look, I found a new pair of shorts."
"Does this not look good?" I asked him.
"That's a thing daddy would wear," he said, pointing to my blue blouse, gray slacks and cardigan sweater.
He was right. My hot pink business suit and bonnet were at the dry cleaners, you see.
And so...I wore my reporter's uniform: gray slacks, blue shirt, black sweater. It reminds me that I am a professional and should refrain from acting like myself.
Everybody has to do that when they go to work. You don't want to come right out of the gate with your comedy routine, for instance. Even if the people are friendly. And if people are mean, you absolutely have to say, "Thank you for your help," when what you mean is, "The only way you could be a bigger pain in the neck is if you were the disease spinal meningitus."
And that's fine. That's good. And that's why I work from home. Because between choking back jokes and being painfully polite, I can search for our runaway turtle, color heroic pictures, and make cut-one noises on J.J.'s belly. The two worlds sometimes collide badly, when my cellphone rings during a poignant parenting moment. And rings and rings. All day. Which is shocking because typically people don't call me back.
But it is the best solution I can figure out at this time.
"Starfire fell into machine soup and became part machine."
Now Richie was telling me the backstories on some superheros.
"Machine soup?!" I asked, thinking, "What in the everloving hell would possess someone to cook machine soup?"
But they did, and the result was part man and part machine. You would think this would result in a guy who sounds like an automated phone messaging system. "Hello. Su. per. man. You have. 4. late. materials from. The kansas city public library."
In fact, he is just a typical man personality wise. His machine-ness simply makes him invincible. Ironic, I think. All of our machines break constantly.
Machine soup...it sounds a lot to me like an office, making man into machine. But it doesn't have to change your personality. It just makes you more efficient as a worker. I shouldn't fear going to work away from home so much. Someday, I will have to. It's just hard when people ask you what your long term goals are and the song "Paperback Writer" starts blaring in your head.
I heard on the radio that the drive to create determines an artist's success more than their IQ. But it also determines your failure in other areas, unfortunately. House cleaning. Making money. Oh how I wish I was driven to be an investment broker! Where is this machine soup and how do I fall into it?