On Magic Lamps: You’re Doing It Wrong

There are a few things I take very seriously that are very silly. One of them is wishes.

When I was a child I used to become visibly irritated by that joke that people always make when genies or other divine and magnificent dream-makers are mentioned, that if given only three wishes their first wish would be for more wishes. Didn’t they understand a single thing about the way these mythical figures operated? Didn’t they know that they were defeating the entire purpose of being granted only three wishes, and not being in the least little bit clever? It was the principle of the thing that bothered me, that one person felt they should have unlimited access to whatever they could possibly want, forever. In my opinion they just didn’t know what it was to want something so bodily that you wouldn’t be able to keep yourself from making a desperate request at the first chance.

And also that in fairy tales your ass was just going to get burned for being greedy, and you really ought to know better.

Even now when it comes to things like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake or breaking the wishbone or plucking a rogue eyelash from a cheek and blowing a breath of hope across a finger or thumb, I feel that the language I use to articulate my heart’s desire is very important. I can’t leave anything to chance. As a student when I took every opportunity to ask to just graduate already, I had to be sure to specify that I graduate on time, with good grades I’d earned, and without having to jump through the hoops of fire I was sure my African American Studies professor kept in his desk. Of late when I wish for things like babies and book deals, I hope explicitly for a healthy body that can produce both, all seven pounds and one-hundred-seventy thousand words.

It’s a manic sort of thing, I know. But I’m just covering all my bases.


10 thoughts on “On Magic Lamps: You’re Doing It Wrong

    1. Jillian Kuhlmann Post author

      Oh, yes! I hadn’t even thought about the positivity element… that’s something I’ve always struggled with, ironically enough, under the guise of trying to be a realist but in actually just worrying myself over everything. Thank you for reading and enjoying!

  1. andimalex

    You’ve hit the nail on the head about asking for more wishes. The concept ALWAYS filled me with anxiety. Don’t take advantage of the system!

    But on that level, I am bad at wishing. I cannot even devise a Christmas wish list, let alone know what to demand of an all too clever genie.


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