Thursday, May 10, 2012

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?

(I was going through some posts and found several old, unpublished posts. Not like a lost and valuable manuscript, but they were fun to re-read and wonder what/how I was intending to finish them. I'm not entirely sure where I was going with them. This was meant to be a follow up to the Gimp Parade post, which I am not able to locate at this time. But here it is anyway.)

This is one of my favorite lines by Mr. Bennet. Actually, I think most of my favorite lines in Pride and Prejudice came from him. I highly recommend the BBC version of Jane Austen's book. I don't really have anything good to say about the others.

I thought this quote really summed up how I feel about dealing with our fellow parade participants. Because if you can't laugh or be laughed at, well that's too bad. You're missing a lot of fun. And looking at things from a comedic perspective can help you get through a lot.

I know, for me, when I am having a hard time or 50 thousand things have gone wrong in the last 30 sec, I pause and think "This will be so funny when I tell Shane or  Tirzah" and then I almost look forward to the next harrowing event. It's like the cherry on top. And just in that brief moment, it doesn't seem so hard. Sometimes. Sometimes it may take weeks to be able to fully appreciate the hilarity of a situation, but it will come.

Laughter is the best medicine. It lightens the mood when things are too serious. It pulls us back and gives us an entirely different perspective. And keeps us from taking ourselves to seriously and going over the edge.

And what is funnier than our, or our neighbor's, mishaps? Not much.

So many times, like the one where the kids cut up and spread apple all over the kitchen, I'd  think "Quick , where's the camera. This will be great on my blog." And sometimes I start laughing as I compose the funny story in my head. Which is kind of awkward if I'm out in  public. Like the time I "ran" in to the grocery 9 mos pregnant, tripped on the little rug and landed on all fours right in the door way. I laughed all the way to the diaper aisle and back out. I wished someone had been there to enjoy it. Shane had already pulled the car away so I just had to tell him about it when I got back and show him my skinned knee.

Even more serious events were opportunities. I guess it was so ingrained  in us siblings, it was hard not to enjoy a joke. Even at my brother's funeral. Of course there were lots of tears, but somehow slightly "inappropriate" for a funeral, phrases appeared everywhere. And so we enjoyed  respite from mourning and laughed.

When I was first diagnosed there were lots of opportunities as well. I mean come on, a stiff-legged, visually impaired teen-ager, with no sense of balance? ( I know you are laughing already, or at least I hope you are). I remember once, racing my younger sister to the piano. Somehow we both got the idea to practice and started heading for the bench at the same time.With both legs numb, it was not a graceful race- much like Frankenstein tying to sprint. Only slower. I can only imagine my  upper body moving much faster and fluidly than my concrete legs. And as she was behind me she got the full show. She collapsed in  a heap of laughter on the floor.  I kept moving, not sure what you would actually call my particular method of locomotion, and got the piano.

Then there was the time I showed up for a therapy appointment to find the door locked. And I really regretted the cup of tea I had had before leaving. A community college across the street and a police station kitty corner to my location, I felt I had not many options for relieving myself. Missing the appointment was not desirable and neither was trying to get through an hour of therapy with wet pants. It seemed there were no good options. Until I spotted the large flower pots on the front step. And not being pregnant and still being somewhat small, they seemed  the perfect screen for me. I tried not to look at any passing cars, much like a child hiding by covering his face, and started giggling at myself for being in such a situation, but also feeling resourceful for solving my predicament. It was raining and I knew the step would be washed, so I did not mention it in my session. I did mention it to my other therapist-not the one with the flower pots. She  laughed and congratulated me for getting out of a tight spot successfully and said it was a great story.

Or my second date with Shane. He took me to the symphony and I wore a cute little black dress I had bought for the occassion. I was feeling cute, the music was great and we were getting through the evening very well. At the intermission I went to the restroom, which  magically had no line and was pretty much deserted. As I was walking back into the lobby a lone lady on the pay phone( yes, it was that long ago) paused her converasation waved and called me back in saying "Excuse me miss? Your skirt is caught in your waist band!" I reached back to find that the hem had caught in my nylons, my entire backside was exposed, and I had just stepped into the crowded lobby. I immediately felt less svelte and very thankful to the woman who kept me from an extremely embarrassing event.  I didn't tell that one to Shane until much later, but you can appreciate its potential. Of course I told my sisters when I got home, who in turn recounted other date mishaps and we all laughed.

I think Shane is fine with me sharing a moment he had. He had recently interviewed for a job he wanted(which he did get) and was waiting for call back on his cell phone. Back when cell phones were still novel and  the size of small bricks.  He had one in his pocket and was walking across the Quad at the university enjoying the warm spring weather and flowering cherry trees after class feeling that all was right with the world. And probably thinking about me.  He reached his hand back to his waist and found, to his dismay, a toothbrush, sticking up like an antenna as it was trying to make a daring escape up and out his back pocket. He told me that one the same day, which was sweet. Of course I laughed.

The moral of this post is 'learn to laugh at yourself, because everyone else is so you might as well enjoy the joke too". And also, watch your back. Things might be looking pretty rosy from the front, but there is always another side.  Which fortunately works both ways for those not seemingly not so pleasant situations.      I"m pretty sure that is what my intentions were when I started it years ago.

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