I love roller coasters. They have their ups and downs though.
Oh, I’m so sorry for using a dad joke, since you know, I’m a dad. Besides, you should be used to them around here. If you don’t like them, you’re free to read another really crappy blog that talks about feelings or someone’s family or whatever. I didn’t force you to come here and read every post with my marketing and bullying. I mean you totally have a choice between this exceptional, two-time Freshly Pressed award-winning blog, with its fresh-as-a-warm-bagel-in-the-morning content, and clear, concise, consistent branding. Or you could read some rando blog that just reposts stale memes. Totally your choice.
The difference between this blog and the terrible meme blog is the difference between Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump and your local junior high school kid in theater because he needs the credit to graduate. Speaking of Tom Hanks and not that junior high kid that had to do a theater credit in order to graduate, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a celebrity. Not that I would want to be one, but just kind of curious. Maybe I could do one of those body swap movies with a celebrity for a week to see how horrible it would be. But only if I’m guaranteed to get my bitterly boring life back after the week.
How would it be to step outside of your house and be recognized constantly, mobbed for your autograph, and told you were the greatest, even though you are only the 17th greatest?
The thing is, I did have celebrity status once, on a much smaller scale.
When I was a young father, I had some kids. I would walk in the door after work and before I could even put down my bag, keys and wallet down onto the credenza thingy, these tiny groupies would grab my legs and insist that I spend time with them before dinner. It was pretty annoying.
They would ask me to play with them, give them attention, change their diaper, make them some food, and play games with them. It’s like they had no sense of awareness that I just had to spend 8 hours paying attention to people (co-workers, customers) just like them, except older and more demanding because they spent money on us, or needed me to work a shift for them. Some people are just big babies, I swear.
This proceeded for years, until something crazy happened. They had a birthday. In one 24-hour period between their 11 year and 364th day, and their 12 years and zero days, they went from adoring fans to my biggest critic. People warned me of the phenomenon of the pre-teen, but they should have known that I’m not very good at listening.
For two years, each of my biggest critics on their prospective 12-14 years, became my biggest trolls. They would make comments on my Instalife and FaceFather accounts that would make real trolls blush.
Stuff like, “I hated your performance on my grounding! Zero stars!” and “Embarrassing performance on talking to that boy I thought was cute! Now he will never talk to me again, and now I’m never going to talk to you again. You are a rotten tomato!”
“You are moving us from Seattle to Utah! I hate that and I hate you! Ironically, this was your least moving performance ever!”
But as any PR firm would say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” At least the 12-14 demographics were still yelling at me, which is at least a form of communication. What happened in the next phase, is something that I don’t think anyone could prepare for.
It was in this phase that I realized that I was a washed-up has-been. I was no longer an in-house celebrity.
It happened the other day. I walked into my house and there was no ticker tape parade. My wife and daughter were sitting on the couch, looking at something on their Ipad. I decided to close the door loudly to see if my presence was acknowledged. Nothing. Made a comment. Dead air. Okay, surely if I ask them a question, they will have to answer it right? You would think so, but no. As Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.”
I wondered if I had accidentally flipped on an invisibility cloak. They literally didn’t look up at me, answer my question and even act as if I had walked in the door. I realized that I’m deep into the celebrity phase of has-been. It’s now official that nobody cares about the in-house celebrity that went to work, earned some money, and wants someone to make a negative comment about him, just so he will know that he exists.
It finally dawned on me. I am wearing an invisibility cloak. I got sad for about a millisecond, until I remembered that I’ve always wanted invisibility. In that case, I can lay on the couch and do nothing. I can play video games with my headphones on, and eat snacks without consequence.
On my first full day of invisibility, I got comfortable, grabbed some chips and my phone, lied on the couch, and started scrolling my phone while watching TV. Anonymity restored!
But then my invisibility cloak must have fallen off, because my wife looked up from her Ipad, and said, “Oh, you’re home. I need you to move some stuff in the garage. And we need to go to the grocery store, and return the video to Redbox and then we need to start dinner, and after dinner, I need you to look at the boy’s homework.”
Frick. I guess I need the cloak to have a better fastener. If only I could find it…
Bitter Invisibility Cloak Ben