I think my days would go much better if they were accompanied by rock music.
My life would be so much more energized, so much more captivating if it took place inside a music video. With some Grammy-winning vocals and a little bit of soft-focus camera work, my life would seem, I don't know, much more glamorous.
Hey, it works for the Orioles. Have you ever seen the between-innings videos of their players? With Bruce Springsteen playing over a carefully edited highlight film, the Orioles' video production department can make a .214 hitter look like he's ready for the baseball Hall of Fame.
I know it could work for me. Smooth-as-silk VH-1 VJ Ken Taylor would introduce the different segments of my day. "Be right back atcha with Susan's new video, 'Six Kids in the House on a Snow Day.' "
The music would be arranged by Quincy Jones, choreography by Paula Abdul, Stevie Nicks on lead vocals, Kenny G doing the bridge. I can almost hear it in my head.
No rap, no funk, no hip-hop. Nothing too surreal. Nobody naked. No Madonna. After all, I'd want my kids to see this. Not MTV style. I'm too old and too white-bread for that. I'm more of a VH-1 kind of person. The kind of girl you might find on the Easy Listening channel on your radio dial.
Not only would my life look better cast in a music video, but I also would look better. That's me, lean and barefoot, in cutoff jeans and a shirt tied off at the midriff, swinging on a rope swing in the orchard -- not unlike Mariah Carey in "Dream Lover." My hair is thick and blond and blowing softly in the breeze. Children chain daisies at my feet, my makeup is perfect as I sing, "I Just Love Being Their Mom."
Or that is me, a black leather jacket falling off my bare shoulders, black jeans that look like they've been painted on me. (I'm thinking Cher here.) Black-gloved hands grab the microphone by the throat as I rasp out the vocals to "Save That Kind of Talk for the Playground, Buster."
It wouldn't even have to be my material. I could lip-sync my way through any number of rock tunes.
I would just need the music to charge me up and the knowledge that millions of people and a panel from the American Music Awards were watching to get me through life.
That's me, hiking up and down the stairs in my white Keds, carrying armfuls of laundry -- or pounding clumsily through another step aerobics class -- while ZZ Top sings, "She's got legs, and she knows how to use them."
That's me, trolling the aisles in the grocery store, dressed in old sweats and looking like the wrath of God -- miserable and bored as I purchase the same 18 things my family eats every week. How much better would it go if 12 male dancers, bare-chested and in leathers, suddenly jumped out of nowhere and boogied behind me?
After school, as I fight not to stuff myself with the snacks that children all around me are consuming, k. d. lang could sing to me, "Constant Craving." We'd both rake our fingers through our hair while the music played.
It would be so much easier to be patient with my children, to appreciate them for the age they are, if we were all riding on the back of that truck with Rod Stewart while he sings, "Forever Young."
And I would be so much more enthusiastic, so much less splintered, in my multiple roles as journalist, wife, mother and head of the Birthday Book Club at school if Whitney Houston could be singing, "I'm Every Woman" to me all day.
Maybe Meat Loaf is right, maybe rock 'n' roll dreams can come true. For all my teen-age years and my twentysomethings, rock 'n' roll defined my life. With a little imagination, and Martin Scorsese directing, it can again.
I can hear it now. The end of a testy day and my children stomp through the lyrics of Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done for Me Lately." An angry exchange of words is followed by a tearful reconciliation as Eric Clapton plays "Tears in Heaven, Unplugged."
Exhausted, I fall into bed. The rain on my windows, I drift off to sleep to a little something by Sade.
I don't know. This might not work. My husband, Mr. Talk Radio, would never watch. He'd miss my whole life, unless I was in a Rush Limbaugh video. My daughter wouldn't watch, either, unless Janet Jackson played me.
And my-life-as-a-rock-video has one, very big drawback. It would only last 3 1/2 minutes.