Today is the third day of the April A to Z Challenge. During this month I will be writing blog posts every day (with breaks on all Sundays except this one) about the topic “Sh*t I Say” starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet. This is one crazy project, y’all.
Can You Imagine?
The problem is: yes, I can imagine.
I have a very vivid and detailed imagination. This serves me well in certain situations. Creative writing for example. I won a $50 savings bond in second grade for an essay I wrote – the certificate said I won for “creativity.” I have no idea what the essay was about. I wish I had kept it.
My imagination is also very practical. I can close my eyes and imagine an event ahead of time and plan ahead for any pitfalls or circumstances that might need preparation. This is a crucial skill for an entertainment producer and I developed this talent over my years in video and TV.
When planning my wedding I got so frenzied with the overwhelming task that one day I literally did that: I closed my eyes and imagined what it would be like to be a guest at my own wedding. I visualized receiving the invitation and RSVP’ing, getting the out-of-town visitor packet in the mail, arriving at the hotel, the wedding, the reception, etc. And while I did that I wrote down every last thing that the bride would have to arrange ahead of time to make that vision happen – down to the smallest detail. I clearly remember writing “clear goose poop” on the list. The lawn where we had our wedding was on a riverside and it was a popular gathering-place for geese. When we made a site visit the grass was littered with their poop. I was not about to get married on a field of goose poop, so I worked the task of clearing it into the contract with the venue.
Where my imagination is less useful is when it concocts cockamamie visions of say, my own death, or the fate that can befall my children if I don’t do a perfect job of mothering them. All mothers have gone through the no-man’s-land of sleep deprivation and helplessness with their infants. If any mother tells you she didn’t experience that, she is lying.
She is LYING.
During those moments when I felt distraught and isolated, my overactive imagination could spin me into a frenzy. Sleep is often the antidote.
So it is telling, then, that one of my most uttered phrases when listening to a person tell a story, or telling one myself, I punctuate the tale by saying “Can you imagine?!” Like so:
“Oh my god Justine won the lottery. She scored $15,335 and she left her husband and took the kids to Monterey. Can you imagine?!”
Friend: I wish I could spend a week at a spa in Hawaii with a massage every day. (Sigh.)
Me: Can you imagine?
(silence while we both do exactly that: imagine)