Once upon a time, it was raining, and a mom went grocery shopping. She got wet, dropped stuff, and no one cared. The next day, she went grocery shopping again. This time, she wore a coat: a new blue leopard-pattern trench coat, one which shimmered mysteriously as she moved. Into the store she walked, just as she had the day before, but today, things were different. In fact, everyone cared so much, that she would barely lift her eyebrow in the direction of the lettuce before someone ran to fetch one for her cart.
She left the store, puzzled.
When it happened again, and again, and again, she began to realize a strange truth: she had come into possession of a magical Visibility Cloak.
That woman is me, and the Cloak is hanging in my closet. And it works. Whenever I put it on, I become Visible to all. I’m no longer a tired mom who fades into the background. It’s an incredibly handy tool. I could be struggling with twelve bags spilling produce on the floor, while the Maiden ducks and runs to avoid the hailstorm of falling tomatoes, and no one will pay me a glance. But put on the Cloak–right overtop that t-shirt and jeans– and staff come running from goodness-knows-where.
I wish I could remember where the Cloak was purchased. Be it Macy’s or some shop in Diagon Alley, I’m determined to go back for more of the same. If they sell Visibility Cloaks, what other products might they stock? I’ve made my shopping list:
- Cloak of Invisibility: the old, tried-and-true staple. Hide under it when you don’t want your kid seeing you eating chocolate without offering them a taste.
- Cloak of Unhearability: a gentle, yet effective, method of allowing your child to continue throwing their public fits with minimal embarrassment to you, and minimal assault on the general public’s eardrums. Also helpful for draping over the heads of concerned strangers who wax long and eloquently on the one best way to control your child, while you nod politely, grit your teeth, and wish you could throw a cantaloupe at them.
- Princess Cape: the perfect way to disguise your surroundings. Wrap it around your daughter enroute to the doctor’s office. She won’t suspect she’s not in Cinderella’s Castle until the Fairy Godmother stabs her with a needle.
- Cloak of In-Gene-Uity: useful cover-up for when you wish to pretend that your screaming offspring belongs to that other mom over there.
- Furniture Cover: the original eyewitness protection. Shields visitors from the sight of the beat-up old sofa that you keep hanging onto because you know the second you get rid of it and buy something decent, someone will lovingly grind a cocktail of beets, ink, and blueberries into its unwashable surface.
- Mouse Trap: the name says it all. It purges the house of all things Disney.
And I can’t forget the cooking aisle:
- Essence of Chef: to be sprinkled over dinner when you’ve burned your third batch of potatoes and there aren’t enough potatoes left in the bag to attempt a fourth.
- Essence of Yum: to be liberally stirred into the gelatinous lumps remaining when Maidens pick the raisins out of the oatmeal and leave their cereal sitting in a cold, unfriendly mass until lunchtime.
- Essence of Gross: to be shaken onto Hallowe’en candy in a desperate attempt to convince children that candy tastes worse than liver.
Why don’t they make more stores like this?!