During the typical day at work during the summer, you know, the time when schools decide to turn our kids loose on the streets to fend for themselves and bug their parents all day, my kids will call me on the phone several times. And this can elicit one of many possible reactions from me.
Reaction 1: What the hell do they want NOW?
Reaction 2: I should be nice. Maybe this particular phone call is about something more substantial than whether or not I can stop to get new shade of fingernail polish on my way home.
Reaction 3: What if something is wrong? Crap, now I HAVE to answer the damn phone.
And so, for the fiftieth time that day, I answered the phone. “Yes, Micaela? How may I help you this time?”
And here’s what I got in response, which, if I must admit, left me speechless for several moments.
“Mom, I need something.” (Cue emergency sirens.)
“Oooohhhh-kay. What do you need?” At this point, my eyes were actually rolling so far back into my head that I’m pretty sure I looked like something out of the Exorcist.
“Ok, like, I really, really need for you to get me Leonardo DiCaprio’s address.”
(Momentary pause as I reflect on where I might have gone wrong and how my daughter has now become a creepy stalker.)
Let me just interject and add that whenever presented with a request by my 13-year-old daughter, I have learned to respond with absolute calmness, allowing no inflection into my voice, lest she become agitated at my lack of appropriate response to her current emergency. Oh yeah, and don’t make eye contact—they can see that as a sign of aggression.
So, I responded with a general, “Hmmm” before adding, “what do you need that for?”
“Well, I can’t write to him if I don’t have his address!”
This seemed logical enough so I promised to get right on that task. I told her in my abundance of spare time, I would attempt to find his address, thus making me an accomplice to her new-found stalking hobby.
As I was getting ready to hang up the phone, however, she kept talking. “Well, I need one more thing.”
I wanted to guess out loud. Could it be a lock of Leo’s hair? His last candy bar wrapper? What could she possibly need?
Another “Hmmm…” from me, and she felt that opened the door to her next request.
“I need a color picture of Rose.”
“The girl from Titanic?”
She let out a big ‘duh’ sigh and answered, “Yesssss.”
Ok, so I had to know. “Why do you need THAT?” (I know, I know. I messed up and let inflection into my voice, which prompted another sigh and a likely eye-roll on her end of the phone.)
And here’s her answer.
“Because,” sigh, gum smack, “I can’t dye my hair the right shade of red unless I have a picture of her.”
Ok. Um. We have now escalated from stalker to freaky celeb-obsessed fan with a quasi emotional attachment to a fictional character.
Hey, wait a minute, I’m pretty sure that’s how I felt about Ricky Martin when I was her age. Ok, I guess she might still be within the realm of normal. Barely.