• Meg Pasz

Hot Flash

I had a near death experience this morning. Not enough to see the white light and be asked by a man with a long beard (of course we're asked to believe an old man decides our fate) whether I want to stay or leave the Earth, but I certainly almost died. In my robe.

Anyone who knows me would find it very appropriate that I would die in my robe.

I was making the second breakfast of the morning for my kids. One breakfast is completely insufficient now; post-COVID, two forms of each meal is required and a new glass for each sip of water. All debris from these meals are then scattered throughout the house for a middle-aged lady in her robe to clean up. Today, I wore my favorite robe. Its fluffy, cloud-like, and designed with well-crafted lines that made me still look relatively attractive - not Chrissy Teigan baking sticky buns in a robe attractive, but I didn't look like Shrek.

I was innocently stirring oatmeal when the sleeve of that robe caught fire and flames began to travel across my chest and down the front and back of the robe. Flames. Orange, hot flames. On my person. This is the moment when one realizes they have no idea what to do - not only in the event of a fire, but in the event of a fire on your own body. I thought about flinging mysef in the 34 ft. of snow in the yard, but weighed whether potentially submerging my face in dog poop would be worse than burning alive.

I decided to scream.

I screamed bloody murder, took off the robe and slammed it repeatedly on the kitchen floor. Eventually, the flames disappeared, leaving my favorite robe - arguably one Chrissy Teigan would wear - resembling a roasted marshmallow.

I couldn't wait to tell my family that I escaped death this morning. I imagined the love I would feel; the sheer thought of their mother and wife burning alive in her favorite robe would change the entire course of their lives. They would only use one dish a week from now on; they would only eat one breakfast, one lunch. One dinner. I would be enveloped in love and appreciation and they would all vote to hire a chef to make the oatmeal, just to keep me safe from harm for eternity.

They laughed. All three of them. With their satisfied, full bellies from eating multiple home-cooked meals a day, just laughed and laughed about the thought of me almost ascending into the white light in my robe. The kids announced they would share it for "Good News" at school. The husband expressed concern about the condition of the floor, after a flaming hot robe was slammed on it.

I share this experience with you not only to save millions of lives of those making oatmeal, but to illustrate the plight of motherhood in a pandemic. Let this be a lesson; find the symbolism in what could have been the last day of my life. Stop cleaning up cups and plates with melted cheese from last Wednesday. Instead, fan the flames of your passion. Start a non-profit for those burned while making second breakfasts. Walk around your neighborhood and confiscate all the smelly robes from tired mothers and replace them with silky, inflammable frocks that Chrissy Teigan would wear.

Visualize life post-robe and become the person you're meant to be.

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