Jean Teasdale
A Room Of Jean's Own

Noticed lately all these books that list various things we should see or do before we earn our angel wings? I gotta say, what a brilliant idea. It just goes to show that sometimes the best ideas come out of daydreaming, because you know that whoever wrote these books was once, just like the rest of us, sitting at work bored to tears, and wondering about all the stuff they'd do if they weren't parked in a cubicle. Only difference is, they had the presence of mind to think what a great book topic it would make!

While I like to think I've already lived a rich, full, varied life—I've been married, seen Celine Dion in concert twice, I can play a mean "The Entertainer" on the recorder, and even once won an afghan at a church raffle—I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a bit…well, incomplete. So I put on my thinking cap and decided that, before I go picnic with Jesus, I want to accomplish these six goals:

Visit Hershey, PA. Now there's a no-brainer. He-llo? Chocolatetown, U.S.A., anyone? You Jeanketeers may be shocked that I've never made a pilgrimage to this choco-Mecca before, but between work, married life, and cat-sponsibilities, it's hard for me to take vacations. Going there would definitely be a dream come true. The first thing I'd do is plunge into one of those giant chocolate vats, and then roll myself in nonpareils! That is, assuming they let you do that. (To those who have visited, am I correct in assuming that it's a cross between Willy Wonka's factory and the Candy Land board game?)


Wear a pair of low-rise jeans. The last time I wore jeans with a zipper fly and a button waist, Nell Carter was the hottest thing on television, and the nation's walls were swarming with Wacky Wall Walkers! Now, don't get me wrong; elastic waistbands are still tops in my book. But lately the red marks they leave haven't been going away, and it would be nice to give good ol' denim another try. I know those high-waisted "mom jeans" have gotten a lot of ribbing lately (most notably from that hilarious hottie, Tina Fey, who I also like to think of as my comedy soul mate!), and I'd make much more of a fashion statement with the low-waisted variety. But let's face it, if I donned a pair of low-rise jeans, well, we wouldn't have a "muffin top" situation on our hands so much as a "wedding cake" one! (Sounds tasty either way, though!) So I'd either like to lose enough weight to fit into them, or get in touch with a miracle worker who designs fashion-forward and flattering jeans for large-'n'-lovelies like yours truly! (Preferably the latter!)

Befriend a dolphin. I admit this one goes back to my childhood. But don't the best dreams? Besides being very intelligent, dolphins seem super-compassionate. You hear things all the time about dolphins saving people's lives and helping disabled children. If they "harbor" (get it?) any negative opinions of humans, they keep them to themselves. I have never heard of a dolphin insulting someone's weight, for example. Anyhow, I live nowhere near the ocean, so I would probably have to wait for a trip to SeaWorld, or maybe eventually move to one of those retirement communities in Florida where friendly dolphins live in the lagoons à la Flipper. I'm not really sure what I would do with a dolphin, though. I guess just enjoy each other's presence in a laid-back, totally nonjudgmental way. And feed it small fish.

Get remarried to Hubby Rick in a hot-air balloon over the Taj Mahal. Another tall order, I know. (What can I say? I have high standards.) I realize this would be really expensive (the Taj Mahal is in India, right?). And Rick once called hot-air balloons "even gayer than ultra-lights." But come on, how romantic would this be? The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful building in the world, a monument to true love that also happens to look like a really classy jewelry box. Plus, I think it would work wonders for our marriage. True, I've been wrong before about romantic getaways with the hubby. (The less said about our 1998 Valentine's Day evening in the Last Tango in Paris Suite at the Romanticabins Motel, the better.) But I'm sure even a world-class crabby-pants like Rick would come around to it pretty quickly. In fact, he'd turn into such a lovebird, he'd grow feathers!

Save a celebrity's life. Of course, saving anyone's life is gratifying, but can you imagine saving someone famous? Besides, celebrities have given so much to us, it's only fair that someone give back to them. I'm not choosy; it can be a TV actor or even an actor who hasn't worked in a while. Maybe someday I'll resuscitate someone outside an L.A. nightclub (I took part in a Red Cross CPR course years ago), or maybe take an OD'ing reality-show star to the hospital. The pleasure would be all mine.


Quit yearning for things I can't have. This is only if I'm not able to achieve any of the above goals. Maybe you'll think this is weird, but ever thought how nice it would be to not want anything? I don't know, perhaps it's just me, but it seems like all I ever do is want things, and sometimes wanting things can kind of get me down and make me feel all anxious inside. So it occurred to me that if I could simply switch off my desires, I wouldn't feel pain for not getting what I thought I wanted, and my mind could feel all relieved and free. I know, goofy, right? But don't worry, Jeanketeers, I'm still millions of light years away from truly thinking that way, so all that above stuff still stands!

I should mention, these six aren't the only things I want to experience before I catch a ride on a heavenly cloud. I still haven't eaten an In-N-Out burger, nor have I yet found a four-leaf clover. I also haven't gone to that huge outlet store off Highway 19, either. You know, maybe I want to do that more than save a celebrity's life. (Sheesh! I better stop writing before I change my mind any further!)


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