Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If I had a penny for everytime I threw a penny in a fountain and my wish didn't come true, I'd be...even

We were at Crown Center the other day and walked over to the hotel.

There, we visited the indoor waterfall. The kids all asked for coins to make a wish.

As Johnny threw his penny in the fountain, I heard him mutter, "I wish I was invisible."

I sighed. I'd wished the same thing many times. But not just for the heck of it. No, it was always in the heat of some embarassing moment:

Like when you confide to someone, "I think Bill Michaels is paranoid. He's borderline schizophrenic."

Then you turn around to make sure nobody is standing behind you. And you see that Bill Michaels is standing behind you.

But I've never wanted to be invisible just for the sake of being invisible.

When we got home, the boys crawled into bed.

Seeing his arms against the covers, Johnny said brokenheartedly, "My wish didn't come true."

"Give it time," I said.

"The first wish I ever wished for hasn't even come true yet!" he said.

"What did you wish for?"

"I can't remember."

"Then how do you know it hasn't come true?" I asked.

Truthfully, I knew for a fact that Johnny's first wish hadn't come true. He had wished for a giant robot alien. One misstep and it would have crushed our entire house. Which just shows, you should be careful what you wish for. Or not. Either way is fine.

"None of my wishes have come true," Johnny said.

Clearly, he was wishing for the wrong things.

After years of wasting pennies on wishes that didn't come true, I changed my strategy. Now, I only wish for sure bets:

I wish to pay taxes this year.

I wish that after three minutes in milk, my cereal will get soggy.

I wish that my toddler will empty every cabinet in the house while I make dinner.

Anybody can try this:

For the adolescent: I wish to have acne for seven years--at least.

For the child: I wish that my classmates will make fun of me today.

But this is a realization you have to come to on your own. For a child, the strategy is a little jaded.

What should I say to my poor child who has never had a wish come true? (And yet has more toys and snacks than past generations would have imagined.)

Lucky for him, I watch Oprah. One episode talked about The Secret, which says that if you tell the universe you want something, i.e., make a wish, and work for it everyday, then it will come true.

Assuming you're not in the middle of a war, of course. Or Somalia. The universe no speaka no thirda worlda language.

Anyway, I told Johnny, "You can't just make a wish. You also have to work for it every day. So you would have to study science in school and create a formula to make yourself invisible."

"We don't learn about being invisible in science class!" Johnny cried.

"Then what the hell are they teaching you at that school?!" I yelled.

No, I'm just joking. Rather, I said, "Well, maybe you'll learn about it in college."

"Wishes take too long to come true!" he cried.

My thoughts exactly. That's why, on really far-fetched wishes, I add a "sometime in the next billion years" clause.

So last time I made a wish, I said: "Sometime in the next billion years, I would like to pay off my credit card."

A cherub in the fountain stopped spitting water for a minute and said, "The universe asked you to make it '2 billion years.'"


Anonymous Joanie said...

Love the blog. When you think about all the times we are asked to make a wish - Blow out your birthday candles, fix your necklace clasp, eyelash on you cheek, rub the boar's nose on the Plaza, never mind that one is for good luck. Well anyway I like your strategy - wish for sure bets and you will never be disappointed.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wished for a really big belly and I got it. Then I wish for a really big butt-hock and I got it! Maybe he's not closing his eyes tight enough!

9:58 AM  

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