November 9, 2008

Brad and Angelina are talking about adopting another child. What about me? I was thinking the other day about how great it would be if I could be adopted. I know there are plenty of unwanted children in the world, but there are a lot of unwanted grown-ups too. How old is too old to be adopted? No forms, no waiting, and I'm already paid for. Think of all the money it saves on school fees, medical expenses, and clothing allowance - although I'm still open to being taken shopping.

I'm not sure Brad and Angelina would be the best family for me though. Maybe as a foster family - for a few months - so that I could travel on the private plane to Africa and Asia and stay in a few ch√Ęteau's. But then I'd have to move on. Their lifestyle is too exciting.

I'm looking for a family with low expectations. A family where there's no pressure to be cheerful. Especially around the holidays or in social situations. I wouldn't mind having a brother or sister but they couldn't be too successful otherwise I'd get depressed. Or, they could be successful but in something completely non-threatening while at the same time, useful. For instance, I wouldn't mind having a sibling who was a leading neurologist. Or head of upgrades at Virgin Atlantic.

I'd also need a family that doesn't like picnics or parades. I'm not good at small talk and I don't enjoy outings. If my new family had a beach house, that would be okay as long as they didn't expect me to go there in August and let me use it in the winter when no one was around.

If it was a family that was adventurous, I could adapt. If they wanted to go sailing, I'd wave to them from the shore. Everyone needs that person in the family - the one who stays home. I'd be the cheerleader from the sidelines. Unless it was too cold. Or too hot. And without the cheerleading.

I told my friend Sophie I'd like to be adopted and she asked what I had to offer a family. I hadn't thought of that. Discussions on existential angst?

Free of charge. If they were ever worried about a disease or an infection, I'd be happy to Google the symptoms or speculate with them about a diagnosis.

For an older childless couple, I'd be better than nothing. I could check in every so often and make sure no one died. Then if one of them died, I could help with the funeral.

"I wouldn't mind being adopted," Sophie said. "Provided it was by a family of underachievers. That way they'd think I was brilliant no matter what I accomplished."

When I asked her what she had to offer a family she replied without hesitation.

"Not much."

But then, after thinking it through, she said, "I could offer them a place to stay in New York." As long as it was a small family and they weren't too tall. She has low ceilings.

I pointed out that at least she knows how to knit. That's a coveted skill. Why would anyone adopt a baby when you they could get a quiet, 40-year old who has a microwave oven and an ability to make scarves? If a granny adopted her, they could sit at home and knit all day. With the cats.

The upside about being adopted as an adult is that my new parents wouldn't have to worry about whether or not I'd want to meet my biological parents. The downside for me would be I could see myself becoming really attached and then they'd decide it's not working out. And ask for a refund. But given my track record, at least they wouldn't have had to cover the cost of a wedding.