I subscribe to Writer's Digest, a magazine for writers. It gives some great advice to established writers and aspiring writers alike. We also get the benefit of on-line mini-workshops and assignments designed to get the writer's creative juices flowing. Occasionally they give you a prompt to write about. Sometimes I feel like I’m in elementary school taking North Carolina State’s 4th Grade Writing Test. If you live in North Carolina and have had a 4th grade student in the last twenty years, you will know what I’m talking about. I remember those prompts well as I tutored a number of students over the years in writing.
This was my writing prompt for today: Pretend you have won a contest and the prize is having the day off from life tomorrow. Someone else is going to step in and be you. Your substitute has already been briefed on the basics: your routine, where you work, your schedule, your general lifestyle and responsibilities. He or she will take care of it all. However, your stand-in doesn't know your idiosyncrasies, your quirks, your foibles, your eccentricities. You need to fill the substitute in on the peculiar details: Since you're going to be me tomorrow, you'll need to know the following…
Note to my substitute for the day
Dear Mrs. Fill-in,
Since you are going to be me tomorrow, you need to know the following:
I assume that you will wake up in my bed tomorrow morning since you will be substituting for me for an entire twenty-four hour period. You need to know that I do not sleep with my husband – I sleep upstairs in the bedroom with the white down comforter and frilly pillowcases. And I would tell you this even if I did sleep with my husband because I would rather you not sleep with him. I’m a little jealous – I’m sure you understand. I snore, so if you do sleep with him, please snore loudly. This will keep him from catching on to the fact that I’m taking a day off from life. He’s retired also, so it’s going to be pretty hard to fool him as he tends to shadow me all day.
Coffee, ahhh! I drink my coffee black and if anyone stands in my way of getting my coffee first, his day is ruined. Don’t worry, he will expect that and will sometimes bring me a cup before I get out of bed. My mood is lifted once I finish the second cup.
You have been given my normal schedule for the day, but I must warn you that I’m not much for keeping schedules. As you can see, I am scheduled to do laundry at 9 a.m.; however, sometimes I can’t help taking a peek at Facebook before laundry and don’t get started until 10 or so. I shouldn’t have told you that because I really need for you to finish all the laundry. By the way, I fold my towels in thirds – they stack in my linen closet better that way. Don't worry about folding the fitted sheets - life's too short. But please iron my husband’s t-shirts while you’re at it – he will love me for it.
For lunch, my refrigerator is pretty well stocked, but hopefully you are on a diet also because it’s pretty much stocked with salad trimmings and low fat yogurt. My husband is on a diet too so please make sure he gets only the good carbs – we only eat whole grains. He will try to sneak something over on you so be very vigilant. He can have sugar –free jello with whipped cream on top. He will expect you to slap his hand if he gets a little heavy on the whipped cream.
As you can see by my schedule, my afternoon is filled up. My on-line business needs to be maintained and I hope you know how to price the things you will be listing. I may leave a few notes beside my computer. When you go to the bus stop to pick up my sweet granddaughter, please be on time. She’ll panic if I’m not there. Take some good reading material because sometimes the bus is late. My teenage granddaughter is dropped off at my house at 4 p.m. Please don’t humor her sulking behavior – I know, she’s a teenager for crying out loud, but she will come to expect it. Simply say, “Your behavior is not acceptable – shape up or I’ll make you go out and play with Grandpa”. It works everytime.
All in all, my days are pretty terrific. I love my life and I’m not sure why I entered the contest in the first place. It sounded so nice – having someone fill in for me for an entire day. Now I’m not so sure. You could really upset the apple cart if you don’t get it right and if I had your phone number I would call you to cancel. But – what harm could you do in a day? And as for me, I’ll be floating around out there in outer space – I hope I can refrain from watching you all day. Hmmph! And don’t forget – do not sleep with my husband. He’s old, but he’s mine.
p.s. I really do sleep with my husband but I'm hoping you don't read this part until the day is over.