I feel vaguely optimistic about this week, like perhaps I will be able to handle the single parenting with incapacitated and drugged out husband thing a bit better than last week. Maybe it seems like I have my little Beatrice back. She isn't demanding things simply to hurl them back at my head anymore, and while my husband is mostly on the nod, he is now mostly able to use the potty by himself. The snow has melted enough that my garden gnome is now exposed in my backyard, and I have been back to wearing a vest rather than a full winter coat. I am ignoring the calls for massive amounts of rain and mixed wintry weather tonight. We are just going with optimistic and sunny.
At any rate, last night when laying in bed, I was reminded of my early years in college when I spent inordinate amounts of time doing, well, nothing. Eight cups of coffee and cards for three hours in the middle of the day? It is mind-boggling now to think about all that free time. Even before I had a child, I reminisced on that time with a sense of awe and bewilderment. My friends and I met every morning in a cafe and raced the crossword puzzle, and played cribbage for HOURS. Somehow we worked, but I have no recollection of how or why that happened. We had jobs in cafes and restaurants, and took half-assed classes. Somehow I managed Summa Cum Laude whilst cooking at a vegetarian restaurant, spending hours whittling my time away playing chess and drinking beer at Dirty Frank's every night. Ah, youth.
One favorite topic of conversation of mine at the time was the "Empress of the World" conversation, in which I would invent random edicts I would decree if crowned Empress of the World. Oh, this conversation usually disintegrated after, you know, a few hours, but until then, it sure is fun.
My first decree would be that one could not eat in a restaurant if one did not work in a restaurant. Perhaps there would be a mandatory period of time where people worked in a restaurant, and like the Culinary Institute of America, you would HAVE to do a week or two waiting tables, whether you were a chef or not. Another decree I would make is that professional sports teams needed to be made of people who were local to the area. You couldn't BUY a winning team. I just think "What's the point of watching the Philadelphia Sixers if they are made up of people from not Philadelphia?" Even as I am cheering for the AIs--Andre Iguodala and Allen Iverson. Wouldn't it be great if every sports hero was also a hometown hero? It would be like the micro-Olympics. And it would force teams to deal with superstars and mediocrity, just like high school. It would be a more interesting game, in my humble opinion.
There would be a lot of edicts surrounding driving, but not least of which is that each person would have their name and number on their car. There would be a database of bad driving with various degrees of embarassing public humiliation for lousy, stupid driving. Perhaps it would be just a driving number, because we don't want stalking beautiful women to happen. I would work that out with my advisers. But the point is: people that are anonymous and unaccountable for their rude behavior are more reckless and dangerous on the road than those who can be seen. I read that in the book Traffic, which is an incredibly fascinating book. (On an unrelated note, did you know that traffic signs/lights actually increase danger in an intersection?) People in dark-tinted-windowed cars drive more carelessly. And the worst drivers in this country, or I should say people that kill themselves or others most frequently--men in huge Ford F-150 trucks. Because they don't meet the eyes of other drivers. Humanize the machine. That is all I'm saying.
Alright, so for the beginning of this week of new beginnings and optimism, I am asking you: what would your edict be if you were crowned Empress (or Emperor) of the World?
I will randomize the comments and pick a winner for something needle-felted. (I need to start relaxing and needle-felting again.) If you have won before, you can still enter. I don't care. If you want to give it to someone else, fine by me. If you want to enter fifteen times, go for it. This is about being Empress/Emperor of the World, you can do whatever the eff you want. The only edict is that you come up with some law for your reign. Here are the things you can win. (Scroll down on that post. )
Good luck, Empress.