March 14, 2014

daydream a little dream

Source: Pinterest

When I read Mindy Kaling's memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns), one part spoke to me more than any other. It's the section when she explains how she motivates herself to work by pretending her husband has been murdered and she's out for revenge, or something like it. Earlier this season on The Mindy Project, she uses rescuing Michael Fassbender from an earthquake as the inspiration to keep working out.

Who wouldn't find saving Fassy motivation to pump iron?

A couple of months later, I read Brea Brown's Daydreamer. Libby, the main character, often finds herself building a fantasy life with anyone from Colin Firth to Jude, the sexy new architect in her office. By the time she finds herself actually getting to know Jude, she's already built-up a completely different outcome in her head.

These bits would have made me laugh on their own, because they're funny. But what struck me most is how much I felt like I was looking in a mirror. Like Mindy and Libby, sometimes my imagination elaborately gets away from me when I'm stuck doing the mundane. We single ladies have to improvise.

Source: Queue Talent

It started while I was living in Carbondale, Ill., for a newspaper internship during summer 2008. This was the first time I'd been on my own. When you don't have anyone there to talk with at the end of the night, you're your own best friend. While I washed my underwear in the bathtub (did I mention I was on an internship and earning an intern's salary?), sometimes I'd imagine laughing about this later on a date with someone like Justin Timberlake or Robbie Williams, my major celebrity crushes at the time.
"Justin, I had to twist the water out of my underwear before hanging them on any available surface in the motel room -- from the shower curtain rod, on my dresser top, everywhere. You would have laughed at me."

"Can you believe how common I used to be, Robbie? Washing my own knickers."
(In this version of the fantasy, I became an ex-pat and moved to a charming estate in the British countryside with my international pop star boyfriend.)
More than five years later, I still get lost in these fantasies. They strike at any time and usually involve me being rescued in a completely anti-feminist, damsel-in-distress kind of way. The me who nearly minored in women's studies during college shakes her head. But the middle school me who used to borrow romance novels from her friends gets it. She understands that a girl can be swept off her feet without giving up her independence.

She'd understand how even the simplest, most mundane of tasks can trigger a mental vacation starring one of my favorite leading men. Each is more elaborate than the last.

Making My First Cup of Coffee
I stumble out of the bedroom. Eyes barely open, fingers grasping for a light switch I make it to the kitchen without tripping over either of the cats.

Coffee. I need coffee.

I fumble for a coffee filter and stub my toe on the refrigerator door. "Damn it."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt arrives in the kitchen moments later and flips on the light switch. "I told you I'd make coffee."

"I can get it," I insist. "I'm up."

In one swift movement, he takes the bag of coffee beans and gently grasps me by the shoulders and turns me out of the room. "Go back to bed. I'll bring you a cup. And some oatmeal."

Who am I to argue with a little chivalry this early in the morning? Besides, he's better at brewing coffee.

Cleaning the Kitchen
It's early on a Sunday morning, and I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors. I've gone far too long without tidying up, and I need to stop living like I'm in college.
How do I let them get this bad? A ball of cat fur rolls by and I have my answer. I adore Jane and Bingley, but they sure make it hard to keep a clean house. Then I find a chunk of white sweet potato from one of my latest culinary adventures. I suppose I can't blame the mess entirely on them.
Brad Richards/Aaron Rodgers (depending on the season) gapes at me from the doorway. I freeze mid-motion. Oh, God. I must look terrible. He recovers before I do.
"You know I appreciate how independent you are." He crouches down next to me. "It's part of why I'm crazy about you."
"But I think it's time you let me hire a maid service."
"I don't need a maid."
"No," he agrees. "You don't, but I'd feel better about being away so much if I knew you were busy working on your next novel instead of scrubbing floors."
He makes an excellent point. He holds out a hand, and after a beat, I give him the sponge. He stands and extends his other hand to help me rise to my feet. I hate feeling like I need someone to do my work for me, but I despise cleaning.

Source: Books with BettieLee

Reading Late at Night
The words blur on the page. I shake my head and blink, but the effort does little more than make me see spots. This is what I get for staying up all night reading. But I have to finish. I only have two more chapters to go, and the heroes life is in danger. Will the feisty heroine, who happens to be the love of his life, arrive in time to save him from almost certain peril?

I have to find out, which is why I'm burning the 3 a.m. oil. Only, my damn eyes don't won't seem to work properly. Maybe I need glasses.

"What are you still doing awake?"

I glance up to find a sleepy Benedict Cumberbatch standing in the entryway. I hold up the book hoping we can make this conversation quick. Not that I don't want to have a nice long chat with him -- with that voice, who wouldn't? I just really need to finish this chapter before my eyes cross.

"You're almost finished, then?" 

I nod, blinking hard. I once again try to focus on the page to no avail. I'm about to give up when a thought occurs. Could I ask him to do this for me? Should I? It's a fantastic idea, but it feels a bit manipulative. 

Before I can say anything, he crosses the room. Lifting my legs at the edge of the couch, he sits and settles my feet on his lap. Reaching out he waits for me to hand him the book.

"You don't mind?" I ask.

"Why would I? Now," licking his thumb he turns a page, "shall I read this as Rickman or play it straight."

"Surprise me."

Making the Bed
Bed skirt tucked under my arm, I bend over to pick up a corner of my mattress. The skirt slips out, and I fumble to catch it, dropping the mattress in the process. 


I glance around, raking my brain for ideas of how to do this. I try holding the skirt between my knees. It seems to work until I reach for the fabric, but the material won't come unless I ease my grip on the mattress. I try grasping on to the skirt and the mattress simultaneously, which seems to do the trick. 

Until it's time to spread

Ryan Gosling strolls into the room, freshly showered and shirtless, towel drying his hair. Catching me in my awkward state, he shakes his head, chuckling. 

"I told you I'd help make the bed after the shower."

"I got impatient."

"So I see." He toss the towel aside and crosses his arms, giving me a pointed look. "Are you willing to admit defeat and let me help you?"

"You expect me to raise the white flag?" He nods. Possible arguments run in and out of my head. None of them would sound anything but petty. Not that I can do much thinking when he's standing there, beads of water still clinging to his shoulders. With a sigh, I step away from the bed, picking up the skirt, which has once again fallen on the floor. Waving the fabric in my hand, I thrust it at him. "You win. I need help."

He takes the linen, his fingers brushing against mine. "See, that wasn't too bad."

I shrug, trying to keep the annoyance off my face. But, like usual, he sees through the act. With a laugh, he throws an arm around my shoulder and plants a kiss on my temple.

"What do you say we make this bed so I can take you out to brunch?"

My resistance slips. Ryan always knows what to say.

I'd like to think I'm independent enough not to need a man. And I don't. I make my own coffee, scrub my own kitchen floors, read my own books and even figure out a way to put the bed skirt on the box springs. I manage, but sometimes, when I'm particularly vulnerable -- or maybe have spent a little too much time on Netflix -- these thoughts pop into my head.

Am I a crazy fan girl? I certainly hope not, but who am I kidding? We all get a little weird sometimes, right?

(I figure I can't be completely out of my mind, because I do recognize that these are fantasies and in no way, shape or form an actual possibility. That has to count for something in the ol' sanity department, ey?)

Source: Reading Rambo

In the grand scheme of things, I'd probably be as satisfied having a personal assistant or cleaning service tackle these jobs. Sure, they may not come with the good looks, charm and sexual energy my celebrity crushes ooze, but they'll still get the job done.

Until then, I'll just schedule another Netflix marathon for this weekend and let my imagination do its thang.

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  1. I love that daydreaming Libby got a shout-out in CTW. And you single girls don't have the monopoly on fantasizing about hot celebrities scrubbing your floors. In very little clothing. Or reading to you. (Your Benedict Cumberbatch fantasy nearly did me in just now.) I try to keep it real by reminding myself that Benny and Ryan probably leave the seat up on the toilet like every other guy. For some reason, it doesn't bother me when THEY do it, though...

    1. They're probably really charming about it. :) <3 you and Libby!