It’s something I’ve always dreamed of having – a superpower! I always thought how fun it would be to be invisible or to fly like Superman. But my personal favorite superpower would be to teleport (or apparate and disapparate if you’re a Harry Potter fan) – to disappear from one place and reappear somewhere else. Very useful skill.
I don’t have any of those skills, but it turns out that I do have a superpower! I have a magic force field and I discovered it a couple of weeks ago.
Stepping out of a cab in New Orleans, the doorman at our hotel greeted us with a jovial, “Welcome to the Big Easy. Where are the kids? Did you leave them home alone?” For a moment I was caught completely off-guard. I struggled between trying to come up with a witty response and fighting the urge to give the man a piece of my mind. And then Zup! Up popped my force field! I could feel it shimmering all around me, protecting me from this man’s unintentional sting. And from inside my invisible shield, I smiled and let him figure out for himself that I had no kids to leave home alone.
Then last week I went to the dentist to get a chipped tooth fixed. Because it was also the opening night of my show I told the dentist that I couldn’t have any Novocain. (Didn’t want my mouth numb on stage!) She immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was pregnant and even after I explained that I wasn’t, she continued to prattle on about babies and pregnancy and blah-blah-blah. In the chair I closed my eyes and Zup! Up went my force field again. I could hear all her baby talk dinging off my protective shell, but inside I was safe and sound.
Once upon a time I’d have been upset by either of these scenarios and more recently I would have been mad and felt the need to set these people straight, but now I just Zup! put up my force field and let it all bounce off. I know these people aren’t trying to hurt my feelings, and there’s no need for me to set them straight. They don’t need to know my story and I don’t need to try and fix them.
You can call it cowardice if you like, or denial, but I call it self-preservation. It’s peaceful inside my force field, and after the emotional drama of the past seven years, I feel I’ve earned the right to a little peace.