When you were a kid there were probably many occasions when you were tasked to draw your dream house. I distinctly remember being in a sunny CCD classroom overlooking the lawn with the St Mary statue and sketching an ideal dwelling of grand proportion. I still don’t understand the relationship between Jesus and having a golden garage for my Lamborghini Countach, but I do know that His banner over me is love. I also know that I did not, in fact, grow up to marry Ricky Schroder as planned, but such is hindsight. sigh.
When you’re a kid you think a lot about being a grown-up and all the things you will have and do. Playing M.A.S.H. was a a tremendous exercise in casting into the unknown, as was using a paper fortune teller*. All your options were there on the desk. These games presented what you might work for and also proffered a cautionary tale. There was chance and choice. In some aspects you got lucky and in others you lost. Heavy stuff. By the way, be wary of the girl who gets to live in a mansion in Hawaii with Kirk Cameron: she isn’t playing fair.
My dream house, like yours, had a swimming pool, a movie theater, a bowling alley and a ginormous bathroom with a jacuzzi. We all watched the Price is Right, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and Richie Rich, and we knew all the trappings. It was the 80′s after all and there was nothing remotely gauche about the display. My peers, I am sad to say are the people who have brought the program Cribs into the zeitgeist. We wanted to marry Alex P. Keaton or Edward Stratton III or Governor Gatling from Benson and live out our quiet desperation wearing shoulder pads made of silk.
My blueprint always, always included a dance studio. I loved to dance. I loved to dance even though I was chubby and shy. I tapped in the kitchen and did splits in the outfield during softball. I walked with my feet turned out and studied anorexia in pre-teen fiction. I had to dance, or I would die. I knew from Fame and A Chorus Line that when you could be alone in a dance studio you could work out all your aggression and be exactly who you were. The room would require a wall made of mirrors and a ballet bar. I knew I would also probably need a hot pink boombox and and a water fountain that actually dispensed Hawaiian Punch. It was simple enough, especially compared to the Room of a Thousand Pillows and Dinosaur Roller Coaster Water Park. And it was all mine. No butter smelling siblings allowed.
Well, folks, I’m 29 years old and I am happy to report that I don’t live in a shack with 37 children. Nor do I live in a penthouse apartment with Conrad Baines. sigh. C’est la vie. The bowling alley thing I’m letting go of and I am finally resigned to never owning a pony named Samantha with raven colored hair, but I do have a room in which to dance and it is all my very own. I am content; a dream has been realized.
* also, cootie catcher.