Posted by: deadmousediaries | April 10, 2010

Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Fabulous -another true story from Mitchell Kyd

I had managed to get my entire family out the door by 7 a.m.  and my husband and my son were both wearing ties. What’s more, there were no distant relatives or dead bodies involved so the moment oozed excitement. Our primary objective was an early morning breakfast celebration and when that ended at 9 a.m., it left a lot of diem to carpe. We needed to script an adventure.

For a moment, we discussed the idea of tracking down the nearest rent-a-kid store and handpicking a few precocious toddlers we could rename Suri, or MoonPie or Elliomaginary.  Our plan was to deck them out like the Laurens– Ralph and Hutton– then spray them down in Dolce and Gabbana and parade them until the paparazzi would find us.  But that would have taken time and my guys will only tolerate a tiny noose around their necks for a very short period.

Besides, even without adopting other kids for a day, our little family was already quite something in the collective.  A large women with purple hair, crazy jewelry and bold ruana made a rather startling statement all on its own but when I was joined by my beautiful daughter in her tailored jacket and black pumps, we looked like two elements in need of an entourage.

My husband is always handsome when he slips on a jacket but it was my son who caused the stares and catapulted us into the Lifestyles of the Fabulous for a day.  A tall and serious-looking guy to start, he was wearing black shoes and slacks, a pin-stripped jacket and black overcoat. When we stepped out of the car for a quick errand,  he had his sunglasses on and one ear bud from his IPOD still firmly implanted. His offbeat sense of humor told him instantly that he should be following us a few steps behind, ever tight-lipped, ever vigilant.  Jacta alea est.

The plan evolved. We stopped at the dollar store, bought a disposable camera and drove to a tourist town 25 miles away. Katy and I stepped out of the car into a fabulous fantasy;  the entourage followed.

We discovered that it takes little more than hutzpah to bluff your way into celebrity status as we visited little shops, peered into bistro windows and made deliberate eye contact with people on the street.  On occasion, we stopped at a scenic spot and asked a stranger to take our photo, our son excluded.  He maintained his distance and appeared to keep a watchful eye up and down the street, hands clasped lightly in front of him in that disciplined “ready” position.

Inside stores, Katy punched up imaginary reminders on her phone and announced that my agent had just called and we needed to move up the book signing or that my interview had been moved to Friday.  When we walked past the streetside windows of the restaurants, I enjoyed the diner’s glances at the two of us but had the most fun stepping out of the frame to look back and catch the second looks as they picked up on our personal body-guard following three steps later. That’s when the tongues went waggin’ in speculation.

In the end, it was our middle-class values and cheap shoes that were our undoing.  It seemed impossible for us not to engage shopkeepers in honest conversation or to be genuinely interested in the talents of local artisans whose work was on display. Doug and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with the volunteers in the “vintage” dress shop who proudly reported that their store had raised enough funds to buy four patient transport vans for the local hospital.  Hardly the stuff of Hollywood legends but very much like the Mitchells:  it appears you just can’t fake – or hide – an interest in people.

By the time we had walked two blocks in both directions, the fashionable black pumps were rubbing blisters and my beautiful ruana had become a high-maintenance over-heater.  My husband and son had already had about as much dress-up fun as they could endure for one day so our body-guard guided us into the car before we sped away from the scene.

We had just written another crazy chapter for the Mitchell family album that ranks right up there with badger meatloaf and the spaghetti pot wars.  On the way home, we stopped at the hardware store and later, for ice cream.  It was another pretty good day in the lifestyles of the middle class and fabulous.

Copyright 2010. Mitchell Kyd. All rights reserved.



  1. Oh, How I loved this entry! A relative of mine said when her daughter was younger, she felt she should make memories for her. One night after the daughter was in bed she remembered that it was her cabbage patch doll’s birthday. So the mother got the daughter awake & the husband, went to McDonald’s and held a birthday party for the doll! You sure are making memories for your children!!!

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