poltergeist-1982I’m a pretty practical person, not prone to whimsy. I don’t really understand, much less believe in, things I cannot lay hands on. I wouldn’t consider myself terribly emotional, I’m not spiritual. I’m sort of a meat-and-potatoes person from the standpoint of the soul.

I’m not a believer in matters of religion. (All my Catholic school friends reading this are thinking “Awww, I’ll miss Linda when she’s burning in Hell with Satan and I’m up there eating chocolate truffles with Jesus. She was really nice. Too bad she didn’t bet on the right team.”)

Historically, I have not held any belief in the supernatural at all.

Seriously – I would take my sleeping bag and sleep right on top of an Indian Burial Ground cuddling with Craig T. Nelson using a black cat as my pillow just to prove to you I’m not a believer in any of this stuff.

Well, until now.

The older I get, the more strange phenomena I become aware of, and given that there is no earthly explanation for it, then by process of elimination, I have decided to embrace the supernatural as the only possible answer.

Let me explain.

When in the car driving to work in the morning or home from work in the evening, my brain is in tip-top rocket-science sharp-acuity mode. I am organized and on the ball. I remember about the field trip form that my daughter, Jadyn, needs sent in, about setting up a meeting with Mary Pederson before my New York trip, about putting the basketball registration dates on the calendar, to call about CYC cards and the orthodontist. I remember that there are some really old dill potatoes in the back of the fridge that need to get pitched, that I promised Becky I’d come by and pick up some Girl Scout paperwork, and that I need to call Abby’s mom to see if she can spend the night because I promised my daughter, Raena.

I remember that I should print that Eckard’s coupon for apple-picking this weekend, that I need to order the Dove Creamy Body Wash from Amazon because all Dove products are 15% off, that I need to remind my husband to return the ladder he borrowed to Terry. I remind myself to charge my camera battery, to put soccer uniforms in the washer, to fill out the Scholastic book order form, to call my older daughter, Amber, and tell her her credit card came in the mail, and to make dentist appointments for everyone.

I make a mental To Do list for house stuff. Have the kids take all the shoes from the front hall up to their closets, water the only live plant in the whole house before it dies again, take the stuff in the upstairs hallway and put it in the donate pile, put a new battery in the clock on the patio, make Raena clean up her My Little Pony mess from the front porch, clean the loose change out of the cup-holder in the Camry.

While in the car, I remember a million things that need to be done once I’m no longer in the car.

I even think to myself “Hey, maybe I’d be better at my job if I just drove around all day remembering all the stuff I need to do!” I’m brilliant – I come up with these great ideas. Remind me to tell you about the No-Muck-Duck sometime. But then I realize if I’m in the car all day thinking about the stuff I need to do, there would be absolutely nobody to do the stuff I need to do. That’s a pretty big glitch in the plan.

And here is where it gets spooky. I mean, if you’re home alone now, turn on the lights and lock the doors. I don’t want you to get too scared, but this is the part where I prove there are supernatural goings-on, phenomena that we cannot see or hear but are there and messing with us.

Ready? Do you have your Snuggie on? Have you closed the shades?

I think there is an invisible paranormal force field around my house and my office because, see, I do all this brilliant, clear-headed, organized thinking in the car and then I pull into my driveway at home, ready to conquer the world, ready to do all that needs doing, ready to be efficient and organized and caught up. I walk in the front door and suddenly I can’t even remember my own name. I stand there all slack-jawed with drool leaking out the left side of my mouth and I forget what I was supposed to do.

“Uh.” I say. Because it’s really about all I can say, “Uh.”

My husband, bless his heart, leads me over to my corner of the sofa where the laptop sits and since my brain cells are all dead or, just stunned maybe, I can only manage to do what all the other idiots like me are doing right now – surf the ‘net.

(Hi, Idiots!!)

By the time I remember all those other things I have to do, both my legs and my right butt check are sound asleep and I cannot move from the sofa. Only my nimble fingers can still function. So here I am, sharing my tale of woe with you.

These supernatural beings are messing with my sanity. I don’t know what they want. Should I burn incense? Pray? I was thinking of sacrificing a virgin, but then who would wash the dishes and feed the dog?

How can I be so brilliant and organized and efficient in the car and then have it all just disappear the moment I step out? The only possible explanation is a supernatural one.

I’m at a loss for how to end this note. Seriously. I had it all figured out in the car – it was brilliant and funny and brimming with satisfying closure. But then I walked through the force field and now all I can do is drool.

Thankfully, it’s nearly bed time.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I hope and pray my mind I’ll keep
If I forget all when I wake
I guess I’ll be the same ol’ flake

God bless Liesel and Frederic and Louisa and Brigetta and Marta and Gretel, and oh – what’s his name. Oh, well, God bless what’s-his-name.



Originally published on Facebook in 2009