laura packardDo you ever feel invisible?

            Me, I feel this way all the time.  Especially at night, when I’m brushing my teeth and washing my face in tree pose while balancing a giant scrunchie on top of my head. See, this is about the time my husband, being a guy and all who always has to finish first, turns off the lights in the bathroom while I’m still standing at the sink. 

            I also have the same feeling after giving the kids their twice daily “talking to.”  I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m always unsuccessfully trying to lay out some ground rules. You know, the basics: try not to kill the dog by feeding him chicken bones; stop using Mom’s MAC Da Bling cream eye shadow when you can’t find the White Out; and don’t throw your dirty laundry down the laundry chute, remember, because that’s where the litter box is.

            “Do you understand what I’m asking?  It’s not so hard, is it?” I’m practically on my knees begging at this point.   “Maybe if you listen to me, we might be able to coexist until college after all.”


            Birds twitter.

            Crickets chirp.

            And I’m pretty sure nuns, somewhere, probably weep.

            “Hello?  Have ya’ll heard a word I’ve said?” I yell. “Please answer, me!”

            “I dunno,” is what finally comes out of the mouth of my youngest while looking over and around my head in disgust but with a curious and sudden intensity. Darn, why can’t I remember to turn off Lifetime’s True Tori at a time like this?

            “Ummm, let me think.” My eldest starts to rub her temples.  God love her, at least she’s trying.  “I think she said something about not throwing chicken bones into the litter box and we better start learning how to make our own bread.”

            I give up.  I guess I’m a phantom ghost of sorts, floating around the house packing lunch boxes, crafting the ocean floor out of skittles and a box of Duncan Hines cake mix (vanilla), ironing golf shirts, sewing miniature buttons onto who knows what, sorting trash, folding towels, scouring pots, and diligently chipping the crusted-up tooth paste off the sink with an ice pick and a hammer while everyone else sleeps. 

            Not to mention, if you get up in the early morning hours because you can’t sleep, you will have apparently walked right through me like the apparition I’ve become. I mean, who else would possibly fathom getting up on purpose from a warm bed before the crack of dawn to put out the gallon of fat free milk, a box of Eggo’s Thick & Fluffy and a bottle of Aunt Jemima Butter Lite? They couldn’t possibly be of this world, of that I’m sure, right?

            But, you know, if I am some sort of housekeeping supernatural spirit after all, I might as well harness my powers while I still have them. So, the other night while I was doing the “phantom” laundry, I figured I’d see if I could make my husband’s boxers and undershirts disappear and maybe I’d have a little time of my own to squeeze in and down an episode of How to Get Away with Murder and a sleeve of Ritz crackers slathered in Nutella.  Now, I’m certainly no Houdini, but what the hay, so I quickly tossed all the ones with holes in them into the trash. And wouldn’t you know it, viola, it worked like a charm.  They all vanished, just like that. No more boxers and tees so I added another sleeve, of crackers that is, and cracked open (well, pushed a button to begin) the new humor book I just downloaded on my Kindle called What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings – and Life. Trust me, for straight up fiction, it’s a real hoot.

            But what if I can find a way to apply my power of invisibility for my own benefit every day of the week?  This thought went through my head as I asked my husband for the 57th time where the 40 watt light bulbs were hidden while he just sat there blowing up a mutant alien on the flat screen with a rocket launcher just to make sure it was dead.

            I did briefly entertain the idea that I could now run out of the house in the morning without getting out of my pajamas-slash-yoga pants, not putting on a bra or brushing my hair let alone freeing it from my giant neon schrunchie.  I’d drop the kids off at school, pop into the pharmacy for a box of OTC Singulair, run to the grocery for a gallon of OJ, a jumbo stack of Charmin and a package of fudge covered Oreos, all the while going totally undetected.  But it suddenly dawned on me that I do this all the time. And I know this because people still politely wave, mumble, “hey, Laura,” before quickly staring down at their feet in a hasty retreat.  Looks like I have a ways to go to perfect that particular paranormal skill set.

            So in the meantime, I guess I will try and utilize my otherworldly powers to find out who’s causing such mischief and chaos around my house, because my children and/or husband certainly aren’t owning up to any of it.  Somehow, we’ve been invaded by a merry band of gremlins because as soon as I turn my head for just a sec, they spring out from the woodwork to create a Jackson Pollack out of out of Fruity Pebbles on my breakfast room table, make a Hansel & Gretel like trail on the floor out of soggy towels and perform some bizarre ritual performance art piece involving all the clothes out of my closet. 

            Sorry for the rant, folks. I guess since Halloween is just around the corner, I’ve become a little obsessed with ghosts, goblins, and gremlins.  Just don’t get my husband started on witches or anything that rhymes with them.  It seems I just laid into him for closing the door to the garage, locking it, then turning off the lights only to leave me there alone, in the dark, wrapped only in a towel while holding onto a dozen rolls of two-ply toilet tissue someone in the house was yelling for.

            Now, go forth and make some merry mischief of your own. Happy All Hallows’ Eve, y’all!


Laura Packard recently moved to Beaufort from Saint Simons Island, GA where she still pens a humor column for Coastal Illustrated/Brunswick News. She has brought along her 2 daughters, 3 dogs, 4 cats and one husband. They sometimes let her write.