Friday, October 15, 2010

Dollhouse Moment Day!

Tell your boss you're sorry but you're having a dollhouse moment and he should get away from you.

It's one of those moments when you're suddenly a little girl again on your knees on the bedroom carpet staring into the windows of your second-hand dollhouse wondering whether you'll ever live somewhere quite so idyllic. Wondering whether your hair will be as blond as that doll's, and whether your kitchen will be as spacious as the one you see through those windows. She's fixing a pot roast for her husband, who's out making money as a salesman. You can see her right now. You can almost touch her hair.

You reach out to touch the doll's hair, stroking your fingers against nothing. Your boss takes slow, measured steps in reverse toward his office.

"She had so many copper molds," you say. "They were shaped like fish and Christmas trees and hearts. They hung on the walls. She could have spent the rest of her life making meals with those molds."

Your boss has his hand on his doorknob by now. He'll wait for the right moment to turn the knob and slip inside. One step too soon and he'll rattle you, and you'll turn wild.

"I hated her then and I hate her now," you say. "I was a little girl who wished sadness upon her dolls. When I played with the dollhouse, I'd have her husband come home and tell her he lost his job, and that they had to sell the dollhouse. Then I'd take the dolls from the house and I'd leave the house empty for weeks. Other times the husband doll wouldn't come home. That blond doll would sit at her beautiful kitchen table and wait. I'd keep the light on while I slept, knowing that while I was dreaming in my bed, she was awake, wondering how she could have such a beautiful house and such beautiful blond hair and a husband who doesn't come home at night."

Your boss made it. He's in his office, the door locked, the phone to his ear. Your phone's going to ring in a moment.

"But now when I see it, I can't touch it. I can't make the husband stay away. I can't take them out of their beautiful house. She won. She gets to live in that house forever, and all I can do is sit behind my desk and watch."

Pick up your ringing phone and hear your boss say, "You're having a dollhouse moment. You told me to call you from a safe distance when this happened and to tell you this isn't real. Push the tip of a pen through the skin of your leg and tell me what you feel."

You do as he says. "I feel pain."

"Do you know where you are now?"

Say yes and thank him. He'll put down the script you typed for him and he'll tell you that when you come back from the bathroom in a half hour, he'll again go over today's assignments with you. Before you hang up, he'll tell you that he thinks you and he are getting better control over these moments, and that he's proud of you.

Happy Dollhouse Moment Day!