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What to do when no one in this house will play with you



Play Jacks. If one falls down the vent you can still smell the ball.

Line up your dolls and play guardian ad litem.

Make a toilet potion using cleaning stuff in the bathroom cupboard. Talk in the mirror about how a years supply of Glade makes a lovely parting gift. Squint your eyes and pretend you have freckles like Veronica at camp. Everyone calls her V. Remember to tell everyone at school to start calling you V, since she doesn’t go to your school anyway so same diff.

Make up a commercial in the mirror for Natural Nature Drink which used to be known as water.

When someone knocks on the bathroom and screams WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE GET OUT OF THERE go in your bedroom and imagine your funeral until you cry for real. Run to your bedroom mirror to see if you cry beautiful like Sue Ellen on Dallas. Pretend to take off earrings and talk on the phone. Add more stickers to your mirror.

When you get forced to go outside, play 7-up against the house. You can add moves to make it accelerated advanced. Come back inside and invite everyone to come see your accelerated advanced 7-up moves or hear you sing Dumb Dog Why Are You Following Me from Annie the movie version. When no one comes, you can still crouch down just like Aileen Quinn in the movie and act out Dumb Dog Why Are Your Following Me using your Dumb Disney trash can.

Do a Chef Tell cooking show, but don’t throw the applesauce in the air with one bowl and try to catch it in the other bowl, unless you want to get charged your allowance again. Instead make Deviled Eggs—a fancy snack for people who like things like Deviled Eggs. Take a boiled egg and cut it in half and sprinkle paprika on it. Knock on Dan and Amy and Rachel’s doors and ask if they’d like a Deviled Egg or Natural Nature Drink.

When everyone screams GO AWAY, go back to your own room and think about how you can get on Star Search if no one will even give you a ride to Hebrew School. Maybe you should go on Puttin On The Hitz instead so you don’t have to worry about your voice going out of control. Your step-Grandpa is a dentist to the stars, so maybe he can help your career. Don’t forget about the eggs again or you will get charged allowance.

Go cupboard searching in the kitchen. One time you found an entire bag of Holiday Mix candy. It was gross but it was still candy.

Read your Dynamites again. Read your Hot Dogs again. Peel your wallpaper some, but only a little so you won’t get busted. Fall asleep and dream of a land that is less boring where people let you in their rooms for infinity.


24 comments… add one

  • The Empress August 21, 2012, 7:57 am

    I am so happy when Grade School and Middle School Columnists pop into Ann Imig’s life.

    Of all the characters Ann can summon: these are some of my favorites. I feel like I know them, and I’ve missed them.

    They make me wax nostalgic.

    *here’s my confession on what I did when no one was around: (I still can’t believe there was a time where I was somehow without a body 5 feet away) In my pre-literate days, I found a *candy bar* in my Abuela’s room. Yum Yum, unwrapped the foil and ate an entire bar of Ex-lax.

  • Becky August 21, 2012, 8:00 am

    Oh you sweet youngest child. I’d play with you. For infinity.

    Taking off the earring to talk on the phone, classic Sue Ellen move. Love it.

  • Anonymous August 21, 2012, 8:21 am

    I love this. I was the youngest also. I made “perfume ” out of peony petals. Mixed with water and for some reason, vinegar. It smelled awful. Molly

  • Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog August 21, 2012, 8:27 am

    Holy hell, this made me laugh so hard this morning! I must admit that I MAY have done a FEW of these items at one time or another. But Not recently! I SWEAR TO GOD. Especially not the peeling of wallpaper. I would NEVER do THAT….

  • L-Diggitty August 21, 2012, 10:02 am

    Awwwww… this is the cutest thing ever. What a vivid flashback into those long, long afternoons as a child! When I would get REALLY bored, I sit at my desk and draw while singing made-up, super-emotional songs to myself. I was a wannabe diva/artist!

  • gradydoctor August 21, 2012, 10:19 am

    Dang. I LOVE these posts. And “Puttin on the Hitz?” OM-expletive-G! How did you remember that? Hilarious.

    You forgot to include taping the radio with your cassette player. And writing books on notebook paper folded in half with a staple down the side. Complete with illustrations.

  • Cheryl August 21, 2012, 7:11 pm

    That picture, oy.

    Your imagination/memory and storytelling are fantastic. You make that stuff so real, even an old 70s kid can relate.

  • Andrea August 21, 2012, 7:14 pm

    Oh I just love it! I feel prouder than ever to admit the hours spent standing on a chair in my bedroom singing John Denver tunes…when I got tired of the Mary Poppins soundtrack that is! Love the sniffing the jacks ball part!

  • Amy August 21, 2012, 10:45 pm

    Like, whoa. This is the first time I’ve read your grade school columnist writing, but I was so engrossed I had to read a few more. Takes me back. When my older siblings would banish me I’d go pretend I was a member of The Bloodhound Gang from 3-2-1 Contact. Whenever there’s trouble, we’re there on the double…

  • Stephanie Precourt August 22, 2012, 2:47 am

    Love love love it.


  • Heather EO August 22, 2012, 6:00 am

    What Stephan said. I grinned through the whole thing only bc I had tobtry not to wake anyone with my laughs.

  • Heather EO August 22, 2012, 6:01 am


  • Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac August 22, 2012, 7:19 am

    “Same diff”…ha! How do you remember all that?? Also, why doesn’t anyone take off their earrings for phone calls anymore?

  • Lisa Page Rosenberg August 22, 2012, 8:07 am

    “…think about how you can get on Star Search if no one will even give you a ride to Hebrew School.”
    You are rad.

  • Julie August 22, 2012, 10:27 am

    “It was gross but it was still candy” is pretty much my life’s motto.

    And I love things like Deviled eggs. Plus actual Deviled eggs.


    I wouldn’t have told you to go away. Or screamed it, either.

  • Wendi August 23, 2012, 9:15 am

    I love these posts so damn much.

  • Kate Coveny Hood August 24, 2012, 9:37 am

    I love “Pretend to take off earrings and talk on the phone.” I used to think that grownups were supposed to do that (glamorous one, I mean – not like my mother). Now I am a grownup and have never removed an earring to talk on the phone. This may mean that I’m not glamorous…

  • Fragrant Liar August 24, 2012, 3:48 pm

    I like your “to do” list much better than my own. Plus, I want to be called V, for all kinds of reasons, none of which would sound anything less than pervy here. Also, I always thought Sue Ellen cried real pretty too.

  • One Crafty Mother August 25, 2012, 8:45 am

    OMG. This brings me back. How do you not only remember all this stuff but write JUST LIKE I THOUGHT. ‘Cause it’s all about me, of course.

    And Dynamite magazine. Egads, I had pages and pages from that magazine and Teen Beat taped all over my wall.

    You’ll like this one, too – yesterday my 6 year old son asked me if everyone was a “Diva” when I was younger. I asked him why he wanted to know this, and he said “because I saw a picture of you and a bunch of your friends from when you were a teenager and you all had really puffy hair and a LOT of makeup”.

  • Dusty earth mother August 25, 2012, 7:00 pm

    I smelled a ball while I was reading this.

  • Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him August 25, 2012, 9:13 pm

    Pretend to take your earrings off and talk on the phone. God, I did that so many times. You know, when I wasn’t pretending to smoke with pretzel sticks.

  • SUEB0B August 26, 2012, 7:43 am

    Make up fashion outfits from your closets and stuff you borrow from your parents. A dress over pants with a tie on as a belt is what they’re going to be showing on the runways next year.

  • Lady Jennie August 27, 2012, 8:42 am

    Or when you do have people to play with, get grossed out when your brothers make (real or imagined) farting noises into the tape-recorder. Act out Helen Keller with your little sister and make her be Helen. Slap her across the face for real when she gets difficult.

  • Anna See September 4, 2012, 9:10 pm

    I loved your reporting! I would add think about the Little Match Girl until you cry, look through your parents’ underwear drawers, hang out in the coat closet underneath all the coats, try to find all the jelly beans you hid last year from your sister. Hint: look in your Madame Alexander dolls’ bloomers.

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