I think one of the scariest parts of my marriage, for Andy, is the knowledge that I am always four seconds from being ready and willing to move to a commune.
I blame my parents. There are entire photo albums of me laying on patchwork quilts on the grass next to five or six other babies, or being cradled and snuggled by different sets of strange long haired couples smoking joints. I spent a good part of my youth assuming I had been abducted and purchased from a traveling hippie stolen baby ring, but later learned, that’s just how my parents’ friends were back then.
They had friends, and their friends had babies, and they just all loved each other so they hung out all the time and wore tight jeans and grew long mustaches and partied.
Is it weird when I’m out in public with my parents and they ecstatically drag me over to the equally confused thirty year old in the frozen food aisle of Kroger, and re-introduce us as the friends we once were, and then we both awkwardly stare at each other holding our iphones? Yeah. It kinda fucking is.
This is Erin, Mark’s daughter. Do you remember her?
No, um. Sorry, I-
Sure you do, you used to spend summers together playing on the bank of that pond, you know, the abandoned one we had cookouts at every year when you were little?
It used to be an agricultural fertilizer mill or something?
Do I need to be genetically tested for something!?
It was a simpler time. It’s why the “earlybird” instagram filter even exists. And, I miss it sometimes.
Especially on days like today, when I text Andy all, it’s summer solstice! I’m making a maypole! A giant phallus for our front yard to celebrate the longest day of the year! Also I started my period! I’m a Goddess shedding her spring lining! Yay Summer!
It’s like I’m selectively pagan.
It usually ends abruptly when my herb garden dies (check) and my underboob gets too sticky (check check).
Andy wouldn’t fare well on a commune, at least not at first. He’s an indoor kid, so aside from growing a Bon Iver beard, his hippie skills are limited. He also hates chickens, and I feel like they are a commune deal breaker.
What no chickens? This isn’t a commune, it’s a subdivision, stop thatching your lawn, Gibbons, you’re embarrassing us.
Endless eggs means endless quiche… and cupcakes… and eggnog… and… eggs? That’s a lifestyle I can get behind.
It’s in moments of great stress or life obligations that I find myself hiding under the clothes in my closet, emailing him real estate listings to house my imaginary village of semi-off-the-gridders.
We can take our friends and other chill people, and like, move into our own little community, and live off the land, and raise each other’s kids, and sell goods for money, and play instruments around fires for fun, but still totally have wifi!
It’s the perfect dream.
We could even have a menstrual hut, because I feel like those should make a comeback. A safe haven for women who need to spend 3-10 days secluded in a heavily air conditioned environment, filled with Funyuns, Taco Bell and Colin Firth movies. We could bring back the happy period. The secret isn’t Midol or white jeans, it’s food additives and sedatives and cycle aligned friends.
I know it sounds orgy-friendly, but it doesn’t have to be. Plus with so many friends at arms reach, you can even pawn your kids off for thirty minutes or so, so you can have sex without having to stop half way through, explaining what penetration means and then finishing standing up in the half bath.
Yeah, so I don’t have the mental or emotional capacity to homeschool, but maybe someone in our commune will like kids and possess qualities like patience or empathy or daytime sobriety, and we can pay them in eggs to do that for us. It takes a village.
A village of people who want to hang out all the time, strive toward a common good, and split a mortgage and wireless internet bill.
You think about it while I look up less group-sex/cult sounding words for “commune” to put on the flyer.