A few years ago, The Marist Poll asked Americans what super power they would most like to have. More than a quarter would like to have the ability to read people’s minds, while the same number of folks wanted to be able to do time travel. Other top picks were the ability to fly or be invisible. Apparently more men wanted to time travel while women were the ones who most wanted to read minds.
I can’t say as I particularly want any of those superpowers. I certainly don’t want to read minds, because – yikes – I am weary enough listening to my own thoughts all day. Time travel I suppose could be cool, I have occassionally thought going back in time could be fascinating as long as I knew I could get safely back to the current again. But being able to fly or be invisible? Nah.
My superpower wish dates back to when I was a young girl, and in some ways is more simple. One of my favorite TV Shows was I Dream of Jeannie. I rather desperately wanted to be able to blink and make things happen. So much so, that I would roam around the house practicing this craft – sadly to no avail. Even at a young age, I could see the convenience of this power, and to this day, it is on the top of my list of Cool Things I Wish I Could Do.
Like all super powers, it would be important to not abuse the priviledge. I promise, I wouldn’t. Well, after of course blinking enough money into my bank account to pay off all debts and never have to worry about paying bills again, and after blinking all my loved ones to good health, and lastly blinking about 10 pounds off my body, well, THEN I’d only use this power for simple good things, and I wouldn’t ask for too much. I know better than to try to solve all the world’s problems. Even Jeannie couldn’t do that in her day.
Instead, I would use my mystical nods for those times when I just need a helping hand – err, blink. When I’m running late in the morning, one eye squint could get me dressed and out the door. Too weary to tackle a sink full of dishes? Boing, done. Paying the bills and balancing the checkbook? Piece of cake without even thinking about it. Cooking dinner when I get home late and am tired, putting away laundry, popping over to visit a friend… all worthy moments for the power blink. Just think how handy this could be. In a hurry to get ready to go out? No more dealing with impatient men waiting for us, because we’d be fasther than them. Bad hair day? Blink. Gorgeous. Broken heel on your favorite shoes as you are headed out the door? Bing, fixed. Lunch stain on your blouse? Ta da, gone. Every time-consuming chore we hate could be accomplished quickly and effortlessly.
I thought of Jeannie again this evening. I had planned to go to the gym for a workout, but ended up deciding to skip it. Why? Well, it was snowing. But my decision was not based on road conditions (which weren’t too bad yet), distance (the gym is literally across the road from my work), nor even because I was low on energy. It was because I had to brush my car off. Go ahead, call me a spoiled brat, but that is one of the winter chores I hate the most… leaving work when it is cold, dark, and windy out, and having to wield the snow brush. After taking several minutes to get my car cleared, I knew that if I spent an hour or so in the gym, I would have to brush the car off all over again. And I just didn’t have it in me. Instead, I headed home and opted for a home-basement workout, which is substantially more boring, uninspiring and devoid of all motivation. So just think if I had my favorite super power. My car would have been cleared off in a second, both times, and I would have been much more enthusiastic about hitting the gym. In other words, having the FOTB (Force Of The Blink) would actually be healthy for me.
I’m willing to bet that in most cases, when given the opportunity, the majority of Real Women would give up the chance to run faster than the speed of light, or be able to lift a volkswagen, or be undetectable – all in favor of a way to make life just a bit easier. To be able to cut corners and save energy. To take just a few things off our plates.
Sure, SuperMan could leap over a building in a single bound. But Samantha Stevens could clean her house with a twitch of her nose. Which would you rather be able to do?