When does the funny come back?
By: E.D. Vaughn
Life has a tendency to run at super speed. Blink a few times and another birthday or holiday is knocking on the door. Every second seems to be planned or rushed in some way.
Somehow in all the insane cross-country moving, PTA, FRG meetings, dentist appointments (no, orthodo- something-er-rather) and writing, I try to spend time with my kiddo. You know, that mini-clone that sprouts like a weed even though the blood curdling screams at the doctor to take the alien out still echoes in the ear. Though a teenager, I can usually bribe her out from behind the laptop long enough for a lunch and/or hike. Maybe. Basically on that rare occasion when too scared to say she’s bored after the last time I handed her a small pair of school blunt-tipped scissors and said to cut the grass. (Let me just say the edging along the fence never looked so good)
So minding my own business and humming … even if it’s to Bullets to My Valentine… painting my nails a sparkly blue and calling the hobbit (furry sidekick or dog if preferred-but not by him) for a jog… the world stops.
Or at least my little bubble.
That unexpected bizarro that makes you stand up and really take notice. The stuff never planned for that the few dollars in savings can’t help and puts all the other crap to shame.
A sudden death. The unknown, other women testing positive. That red sock in the white laundry. All those things that are a complicated speed bump in life’s superhighway. Wait, what?
After an unexpected, sharp right exit off Divorce Ally, I look around realizing things have really changed in this part of town. A few things I’m grateful for: I don’t feel my age of *couch* *couch*; the grey hair I can color; and the couple extra pounds are melting off from all the stress (may not be the next best diet craze). The extra time not spent collecting the clothes scattered around the house is exhausted at the new gym up the road.
Even bigger bonus… the men really got hot in the last ten years or so. When did this happen?? Or have I been so focused on not tripping over the boots on the floor that I missed the memo. Not that I’m complaining by any means. I swear I could almost run off the road with some of the muscles flexing. Fine, confession, I almost ran over a fire hydrant one morning, but that’s totally beside the point. That hundred pound barbell at the gym could easily be replaced by…
So as I settle into this new life, I’m finding that most of the negative stuff clouds my vision. I don’t want to write or rarely find the time too. And when I do, things get very bloody in a hurry. This alone makes me want to cry. I’ve been known to spin stories on that drool worthy guy at Starbucks, but instead he gets ripped to shreds before getting his coffee. Really a waste of all that pretty muscle and tattoo work!
Writing has always been a huge part of my life in one way or another so stopping cold turkey causes glitches and major issues. The biggest being zero outlet and no sense of accomplishment. Ok, two. The voices have even gone quiet, or at least the voices I love to hear from (the other ones can go take a hike somewhere else). Maybe three big ones.
I also can’t remember the last time I just laughed for no rhyme or reason.
Which isn’t normally me. I love a good (or perverse) joke and adore quick whit in any story. I’ve been known to giggle for days over Mad Libs.
Remembering the movie Sex and the City, I feel like Carrie asking when something would be funny again (though a sundrenched resort does sound nice right about now). Hopefully none of my friend’s will pull a Charlotte and crap her pants to get me out of this funk. (I’ll use it as a last ditch effort though.) It will probably be my own defunkary unlocking the right code. I can envision myself tripping over my own feet into Mr. Hottie where my filter would shut off and my mouth would regurgitate something awful. If anything my embarrassment would get my friends laughing. It’s been known to happen on too many occasions to count.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait long…
No one had to lose a pair of lace anything either. It turned out a post of a friend on Facebook (a couple days after starting this rambling earlier in the month) something hit me. As subtle as a brick to the head. I don’t even know what it was about the saying, but I laughed so hard all the people at Starbucks stopped and looked, quite an accomplishment with the number of customers and staff this day at the café.
Hey, at least it wasn’t my mouth saying something stupid, at least not yet; instead, laughing uncontrollably. And loudly. So much so my daughter blushed and sunk down in her seat trying to imagine a world where she didn’t know the crazy lady across from her. (I have to give her something to go to a therapist for when she’s older or I wouldn’t be fulfilling my part of the parent’s handbook.)
I’m realizing that sometimes it’s the stupid or small things that really click (as I’m still wiping away tears). The stranger holding the door open or even a wave and smile of a teacher while picking up the kid at school– that kindness almost undoes me now. Or that cutie that smiles a table away at a coffee shop. 😉 Be sure and repay that forward to the next unsuspecting innocent needing a lift. (Ok, maybe not that guy at the gym wearing the shirt a size too small, he’s already being paid back by staring. Even if it’s in wonder of how he got said size 6x on.)
Brighten someone’s day.
Maybe it’s the necessary evil of the unexpected that puts us on a path we really need to be on. I’ve been rather philosophical since finding my laugh.
In short, I guess I’m saying don’t stress over stuff that we have no power over. Take it with a grain of salt and make some spectacular dish with it, or a story that brings back the lost voices.* Don’t let anything stand in your way of finding your next story. Get out that laptop, keyboard, pen and paper, whatever you need and let your fingers go. You might just surprise yourself.
*Dish? I think smelling the chocolate croissant heating up is messing with my stomach (and fingers) too much.