5. The Dream of a Semiorganized Sock Drawer
My dream concerning the sock drawer used to be the time-honored classic: the dream of matching socks. But that, life has shown me, is not a small dream. That is a big fat nightmare, and the only way to achieve it is to throw out all your socks every month and buy new ones.
Let us begin with all the socks we own in our modern age: thick, cozy ones for boots, fluffy ones for slouching around the house, low-cut ones for tennis shoes, pantyhose ones for work slacks, not to mention actual pantyhose and tights. I will admit it right here; I wore a mitten on my foot once when it got all tangled up in that pile of wildly confused hosiery. Considering such extensive variety, the new, far more realistic dream is wearing two mismatched socks of the same type. How to achieve it? The $4 fabric boxes at Target and Ikea that you can squish inside your top drawer. Each box serves as the home for a particular kind of sock. In the morning, direct your hand to the appropriate box, grab two, put them on and walk out of the house on a rainy day knowing that you will not be wearing one cozy winter knee-high on one foot and one thin summer anklet on the other. You will be wearing two knee-highs in wildly different colors, both of which will keep your feet warm as you splash though puddles in your galoshes.
6. The Dream of Not Screaming
There are so many absolutely justified places to scream. Some examples: when you have no Internet even though the Wi-Fi signal has three full bars, and the woman at the cable company insists you do have Internet because you have three full bars. Or when the refrigerator breaks and you call the repairman, and he repairs the fridge for $250 by pushing the "on" button hidden in the back. Or when your 3-year-old boy watches another 3-year-old boy go pee-pee standing up at camp and then comes homes and pees on the walls, in the sink and on the light fixtures.
Screaming in these cases is understandable and fairly easy to accomplish. But it terrifies people. It causes them to cry or hang up or run away from you, guaranteeing that they will not help you or, after a certain point, even like you.
Which is why most of us forbid ourselves from screaming, fail at this goal and then feel bad—over and over. A lower-volume life, however, is very possible, provided you use a small piece of wisdom given to me by the ancients (okay, my mother). Tell yourself you can scream...but that you must drink a glass of water first. Thankfully, we do not carry portable sinks in our purses. So when you are red-hot, poker-smoking mad, you will have to go find a faucet and a glass, fill that glass, drink it down—trying not to let the cool, refreshing, calm-inducing beverage affect you in any way—and then return to you place of origin to scream. At which point, you will find the scream is usually dead (sorry) in the water.
Next: How you can inspire a song of your own