I signed up for the White Picket Fence version of life.

Yep, when the Universe, God, the Powers that Be were handing out lives, I jumped in the White Picket Fence line.

Sure, there was the Cross the Himalayas on a Yak line, the Live off the Land Raising Cattle line, the High-Powered Top-Executive line, and several others I couldn’t quite make out from where I was standing.

I jumped right in that White Picket Fence line with the other dreamers. Everyone looked so nice: hair coiffed, clothes pressed, makeup perfect, teeth shiny. And the fences… Ah, the fences. They looked so bright and shiny with glowing white brilliance from where I stood.

“They’re not going to assign us mini-vans, are they?” I asked the person in front of me. “I really can’t do mini-vans. I’m allergic to them — break out in hives every time. Maybe, I should try the yak line. I’m not allergic to yaks.”

“No, I think we get to choose the vehicle,” she said. “But, the fence has to be white and picket. Besides, yaks are so… furry and smelly.”

The line inched forward. I began imagining my life: College. Big wedding. Loving, doting husband. Two gorgeous, intelligent kids. Nice house in the suburbs. Two cars. A cat. Maybe, a dog. Ah… the perfect life of merriment and happiness. Oh sure, there would be challenges, like where the kids should go to school or what color curtains to pick out, but I could get through it. I knew I could. With the perfect husband who loved me, I could handle even the most daunting of challenges, like whether we should have hard wood floors or carpet.

It was my turn. I was assigned White Picket Fence life #3479832-9.

“I don’t understand,” I said. The White Picket Fence rested in my hands, but didn’t look quite as bright and shiny as the ones I thought I saw when I was at the back of the line. “Why am I getting a fence with all these scratches and dings?”

“You’ll find out,” they said.


The line moved fast. There wasn’t time for a lot of questions. Hundreds, thousands, of others stood behind me waiting for their fences. I was sent on my way.

“Have faith,” the Life Handlers yelled to me.


I didn’t realize my White Picket Fence life #3479832-9 contained the code for divorce, insane ex, affairs, out of control teenage son, fear, gut-wrenching emotional pain, financial challenges, alcoholism, endless court dates, elderly dog with bowel control problems, hair-ball puking cat…

Why didn’t I get in the yak line? I think I would have looked really good on a yak in the Himalayas. Next time, I’m going to read the fine print:

A white picket fence is no guarantee of a perfect life. And neither is a yak.