Julie Lyles Carr: My Own Private Idaho...in Flames....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Own Private Idaho...in Flames....

"Octamom," you ask, "how does one maintain mental health and wellbeing while surrounded by numerous small children, limit-pushing pre-teens, a real-life prima donna, a zany college girl and two inbred dachshunds, all while doing mountains of laundry?"

"Well, Dear Reader," I reply, "you must learn to create your own pockets of singular existence, places in your mind where you can escape and refresh....

And if that fails, you should get on your computer and zone out....all in the name of mental health...."

The kids got a Sims computer game a few seasons back and I thought it would be medicine to my soul.  I developed my own Sims house for my own slim Sims girl.  My Sims house was a dream;  things stayed where I put them.  The kitchen stayed clean.  I could always find the phone.  The furniture was elegant, the layout picturesque.  It was a thing of beauty.

I would escape every now and then to my little Sims house, where the tables stayed dusted and the bed stayed made.  I would purchase a few trinkets every now and then.  My slim Sims girl would go to her Sims job and then return to her tidy Sims cottage.  It was a simple Sims life, as Sims' lives go.  It was therapy.

But then, it happened.

I logged on to the computer after one particularly hectic day to find my Sims house a smoldering heap of ashes.

My slim Sims girl was nowhere to be found.

"What the heck??!!!" I called out in a gentle (not) voice.  "What happened to my Sims....?"

I looked over the wreckage.  The simulated coals seemed to still be smoldering.  How had this happened?  I was so careful.  I always made sure to log out, always made sure things were current--heck, I even had purchased a fire extinguisher and had never lit the stylish fireplace just out of caution for this type of thing.   What had gone so terribly wrong?

The next morning brought answers.  Over a bowl of cereal, one of my progeny casually mentioned, "Oh, hey, Octamom, I accidentally burned down your Sims house." 


"Yeah, I was on my Sims and I went over to your Sims house and had a party and there were candles and we lit the fireplace and then everything went up in smoke because no one could find the phone to call the fire truck..."

"But, but....but how?  I had a separate log-in for my Sims.  I didn't associate with your Sims...."

"Oh, well, I changed your settings."

My own private Idaho was gone, gone in the click of a setting change.  It seemed that the kids weren't just out to destroy the real house, undoing closets, cabinets, and dressers.  Now they'd gone and meddled in the one house I was successfully keeping clean.  I was a virtual good housekeeper, but hey, in my world right now, it counts.  But now I was back to my real, dusty house and my embers of a virtual one.

Perhaps that explains my current obsession with blogging.  I post something and it generally stays there.  I put a widget in a certain place and the next time I log in, more often than not, it's right where I left it.  Now if I can just keep hiding my passwords and not mess up my HTML code too badly, I might just have a shot at mental tranquility...while I hide in the bedroom closet and post....
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