Friday, July 25, 2014

The Bright Side of Life

If you have known me longer than five minutes, you know I like to laugh. Not only a favorite past time, it is somewhat of a trademark, prompting statements like, "I knew you were here, I could hear your laugh." For a brief period in my life, I became self-conscious of my laugh after an obviously off-balance person asked if my laugh was fake, but since then I have kicked those thoughts to the curb. Fewer and fewer people seemed to be picking up the slack of the oh-so-needed comic relief moments, so I had to step up. With the upswing in sourpusses in this society, laughter was desperately needed and an area where I could contribute. And my laugh is not fake.

So, you don't believe we need more chuckles in this world? Take a look at any comments section of an online news article and get back to me. The swiftness with which a pleasant article can be pummeled into the dirt by negative comments is alarming. A headline of "Puppy and Baby Goat Are Best Friends" can devolve into comments ranging from "That's stupid" to "I hate goats" to "Murderous infidels" in a matter of seconds, giving credence to my belief that no matter the event, an awaiting cesspool of dark people are poised to contaminate the good vibes with their contagious vitriol. After attacking the subject matter, commentators will begin attacking other commentators. 

A St. Louis neighborhood has been mystified by the sudden appearance of plastic pink flamingos around houses. The long-legged props are staked in yards under the cover of night by a person or persons as yet unidentified. While some residents get the joke, others exclaim the random act of "flocking" is nothing more than dime-store littering. Of course, the latter are the ones who get to speak on camera when the news crew arrives. It's a plastic flamingo, people, not a steaming bovine offering. Have a bit of fun and plan your own covert operation to place the wayward birds in someone else's yard. Or name the thing and give it a place of prominence in the garden. Have a little fun and recognize it as a moment for laughter, not litigation.

Even in life's most difficult moments, laughter can be discovered, offering not only a respite from the pain, but a bit of healing. I will never forget one afternoon where my cousin Scott reenacted animated tales that had our family laughing to the point of gasping for air. Always a gifted storyteller, Scott unearthed some of my favorite laughs at a time most needed -- the afternoon following my father's funeral. A favorite memory grew from one of the worst days in my life, due only to well-timed laughter.

 "The most wasted of days is one without laughter." 
-- e.e. cummings

Not without notice, an old friend of my ex-husband drifted across my path one day after years of no contact. Jack and I caught up on the here and there of our lives since we last spoke, as he was the one friend-of-the-ex who still spoke to me after Charlie* and I divorced. Jack had been busy the last years with his job as an over-the-road truck driver.

"So, do you ever see Charlie around?" Jack asked, tentatively.

"Uh, Jack," I stuttered. "Charlie passed away two years ago."

"Well that would explain why I haven't heard from him," Jack said. We paused a moment in hesitation, and then burst out laughing. 

"You know he would have laughed at that," Jack smiled.

Yes, he would have.

To round out my thought process for the week, this nugget appeared in my inbox. What a momentary feeling of utter awesomeness I felt when I read, "The Beatles now follow you on Twitter." Yeah, I'm cool like that.

Staying on the east side of the pond, the Monty Python guys know the secret to life. Always look on the bright side of life. Always, always, always. And if you don't see a bright side, turn on the lights.


*Name changed because, well, just because.

3 comments:

  1. I think you and I would get along famously! Love it....and of course... now I really want to hear your laugh. The louder and more jovial the better, I say. Keep lighting up the world, Rita :)

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    1. Hi Xan! Glad you are here, and thank you for your comments. Nothing could be better than laughing with folks until your sides hurt. :-) xoxo

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  2. You have a great laugh. Never stop laughing. Sometimes that is the only way to make it to the other side of a bad day without losing your mind :)

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