This summer, my mom and dad promised to take me to Disney World to meet Mickey, Jasmine, and Cinderella. But then Mom told me Mickey died of COVID and we couldn’t go anymore. She did say I could have a funeral for him in our backyard, but she made me catch a mouse in the basement and told me to name him Mickey before she killed him with a hammer. She said it was “symbolic.”
Since we didn’t get to go to Disney World, Mom and Dad recreated It’s a Small World in my living room. This was when I learned a new word: appropriation. Mom bought the discounted sushi from Everymart down the street (the day-old sushi is half-priced!) and dressed up in a kimono and played Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the background. Dad borrowed a sombrero from a waiter he knows at Fajita Fajita and gave a mariachi band on the subway $5 to come play in our living room.
Meanwhile, to recreate Space Earth, my parents told me I couldn’t use technology for two hours. That included my laptop and TV, which was dumb. They gave me a book called What Color Is Your Parachute? and told me to decide on a career by the end of the two hours. My dad said it had to be “recession-proof” and that it couldn’t be acting, investing in a pyramid scheme, or any other profession my older brother Tom has pursued.
Finally, my parents created a small exhibit about Ronald Reagan, because there is a Disney exhibit at the Reagan library. My mom explained that invoking the name of Ronald Reagan is an argument ender for all Republicans, and no one’s allowed to say anything back if they use it. It’s kind of like when parents say “Because I said so.” In the exhibit, my dad included his high school bong, which he said demonstrates how much Nancy’s “Just Say No” campaign affected him.
And that was day one of my summer vacation.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn with her demigod-lab mix Hercules. Her humor writing has been published in Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Robot Butt, and The Haven. Follow her on Twitter: @lauritaberl.