In my case, the word mostly comes from the three-year-old child who never wants anything, but needs everything. For a snack, she needs cheddar bunnies. She needs to watch the same Phineas and Ferb episode over and over and over and over. Tonight she needed me to hang myself backwards off the bed so she could slide down me like she was on the playground.
Every single need ends up life or death with her. Suggest that she not slide down onto my neck just because she needs to "practice her sliding," and it's a ten decibel scream. With her reaction, you would think that I just told her that Santa Claus actually hates her or Mickey Mouse had only 10 weeks to live. Abraham Maslow developeda hierarchy of needs, and unless my psychology professor lied to me, "pouncing on the dog" wasn't on the list. According to the Princess, though, it is right between breathing and shelter.
I've been told that the child will eventually outgrow these irrational needs. However, now I'm attune to the word "need" and I see irrational needs all around me. I did an informal, unscientific assessment of what people need me to do last week, and I have to say, the hope of developing a more sophisticated set of needs doesn't look promising.
Here's just a few things people needed me to do:
- I need to read this book: Unless it's a book about getting thinner, younger and richer without getting my fat ass off the couch, I'm pretty sure I don't need to read it. The only reason you want me to read the book is so I can agree with you on how good/bad it really is. Basically, you need me to read the book to validate your opinion.
- I need to buy this product: I usually only watch commercial TV during sporting events, mainly because I can get most of what I want (bad 80's sitcoms) on Netflix. With the Superbowl and Winter Olympics on this month, there's a lot of things I now know that I need to buy. Or do the companies need me to buy their crap so they still have profits?
- I need to see what x political party is doing to America: I'm happy humming Funky Town to myself in a perfectly spherical bubble of ignorance. America is not the most divided it's ever been -- that's the Civil War. One person cannot burn down the ENTIRE country. And as far as I know, most people are too busy working to worry about who's screwing who. It's really the politicians who need me to pay attention so they can get my vote.
- I need to get on board: OK, Mom. I don't even know what method of conveyance I'm supposed to get on. A luxury liner? I'm down with that. A garbage barge? I think I'll pass. Why don't you give me a little more information of what you actually want from me? When I hear this, usually it means that someone me to shut up and let them do whatever they want.
- I need to take out the garbage: Yeah, this one's true. It stinks and I think that it tried to eat the dog earlier today. I already had the garbage standoff with the Queen early in our marriage, and she's content to stack cans and boxes on the counter until it reaches the sky. So if I want a clean house, I have to take it out.
And right now, I need to end this post so I can get some sleep. So I will.