I was flipping through the want ads in the newspaper wondering if there might be a job for someone with my special talents and skills. I couldn’t believe my eyes; there it was in bold print: “The ultimate career for the extraordinary individual who wants more than a job.” Yes! Didn’t I take a simple PTA bake sale and turn it into a gourmet, tasting luncheon, talent show and silent auction? Wasn’t I the one who created a 500- page cookbook of the recipes and sold it in the grocery store parking lots for weeks?
“This is a unique career that demands an adventurous spirit — a way of life that will challenge the deepest resources of your intelligence, self-reliance and responsibility.” Wasn’t I also the one who volunteered to chaperone a teen church retreat fully aware that 50 percent of them were in love and the other 50 percent were looking for it? In three days, did I ever close my eyes once?
“A forceful personality” — Business jargon for a pushy mother. No problem.
“Superior intellectual ability” — There are few challenges in life more intellectually demanding than trying to outsmart a teenager. First, you are outnumbered. All of their friends are also conspiring against you. No matter how absurd the request, everyone else’s parent has already said yes. “Mom, the heavy metal group, Blood and Guts, is coming to town and I think I’d like to become their groupie, have their name tattooed on my forehead and follow them around the country. You don’t mind, do you? All my friends are going and their parents are even giving them cash for bail.” See how tricky they are?
“Toughness of mind” — How many ways are there to say “no?” Among my personal favorites are “no” through a slammed door, “no” while surround by a dozen of her dearest friends, “no” at 2 a.m., and again at 3 a.m. “No” when the question is rephrased and it is evident that the only person cruel enough in this world to deny such a request is a fiendish mom whose only goal is to make sure her daughter does not have any fun.
“And a high degree of integrity” — Integrity is when you really want something that you know you are not supposed to have like coconut pie. And even though you do not see one single person in the entire restaurant that you know, you order the fruit cup instead. That’s integrity.
“It takes special skills and professional discipline to produce results” — At 3 p.m. on Halloween, your son decides that instead of wearing his Darth Vader costume, he wants to be a mummy. You shred two perfectly good bed sheets and spend an hour and a half wrapping him up, and when he looks like he might really be a mummy, he tells you he has to go to the bathroom. Then you spend another 30 minutes unwrapping him so he can. And because you are his mother you do not scream and say, “I’m not wrapping you up again. You can just be Darth Vader or stay home!” You patiently find a sheet end and start over.
“The CIA is an equal opportunity employer.” I can see it all now. Special Agent Blanco apprehended the dangerous international spy, armed only with her collapsible umbrella, as she had left her fountain pen/gun in her other purse. Local authorities had hoped to meet with her to learn the details of the amazing capture. Unfortunately, Ms. Blanco had to drive ballet carpool and was forced to cancel the meeting.
England’s prime minister has announced that a special medal will be presented to her in recognition of her accomplishment. That ceremony will be scheduled as soon as the dates are finalized for the Little League playoffs. When questioned about her heroic behavior in the face of imminent danger, Blanco replied, “It was nothing. Now the time I took nine 12-year-old boys to Six Flags, that was scary.”