Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why did the blogger cross the road?

Scintilla prompt Day 5: Show a part of your nature that you feel you've lost. Can you get it
back? Would it be worth it?

Truthfully, most of the parts of my nature that I've lost have been ushered out the door with a cheerful good riddance. Not that I've been able to shed these things entirely - anxiety, I mean, and perfectionism, and morbid self-consciousness and self-doubt - but they're around in much less of a big ugly capacity than they used to be. And that kicks major ass.

I think I'd rather talk about a part of my nature that I'm happy not to have lost, no matter how the world sometimes seems determined to steamroll it out of me - a certain skewed, some would say screwy, sense of humour.

I don't understand humourless people. By this I don't mean that I don't like them (I usually don't, but that's not what I mean in this particular instance) - I mean I literally can not understand them. How do you get through a day in this Kafka-esque adventure called life without seeing the funny side? I mean, come on - half the people in the world don't have enough to eat and the other half think a Twinkie is an edible substance. A teacher's starting salary is barely enough to live on, and Eddie Murphy made millions playing a bunch of fat farting people of various genders. You can die from walking, driving, flying, taking care of an elephant and not getting out of the way when it craps, eating too much stuff, not eating enough stuff, by fire, by water, by earth, by sun, and any day now it will likely be proven that reading too many blogs is fatal to lab mice (in which case -- SORRY!) How do you not laugh?

This quality, in fact, played a big part in turfing out the anxiety and self-consciousness. Four months after I had Angus, I was taking a Dance-fit aerobics class with a friend I'd met in playgroup. I got there one night and there was no one in the hall. I looked in the gym and there were people working out, so I thought I was late and rushed to the back and tried to join in unobtrusively. About two minutes in, I realized that this felt a lot more like a cool-down than a warm-up, and I caught the instructor's eye and called out "I'm totally in the wrong class, aren't I?" I was. I howled with laughter. I went back out and my friend was just arriving. Not only did I tell her what had happened, when the rest of the class got there and she demanded that I tell them also, I did. A few years before, I would have slunk home in humiliation and never gone back again.



At one point my doctor suggested I see a psychiatrist in addition to taking medication for my depression and anxiety. The psychiatrist's office was in the basement of the same building my doctor was in. As we went down the stairs and started toward his office, we passed rooms that were still unfinished, with bricks and dust and various sorts of debris lying around. I said "old bomb shelter?" He looked at me very seriously and said "No. Just an unfinished basement." You can imagine how long that therapeutic relationship lasted. My doctor, on the other hand, gets me. I walk into her office and I said "this is the kind of cancer I have this week" and she laughs (hear THAT, honey? SHE finds my rampant hypochondriacal tendencies CHARMING!)

When I was doing wedding preparation with my Mom, we started talking about what we should do for favours. I decided I would paint miniature plant pots to make candle holders, and as for what to put inside, my Mom said "just think of something that represents you", so I said "you mean like nuts?" She didn't love it, but I went with pistachios and everyone thought it was great. Oh, the tags read "Nuts to you from Matt and Allison". Add to this the fact that I had neglected to make clear to the wedding invitation printer that, although his official first name is Robert, he goes by Matt. So I gave them the written-out text for the inside of the card, forgetting that the outside of the card featured the bride's and groom's first names. So, yeah. Everyone knows him by Matt, and I sent out invitations that have people going "Allison's getting married - to some guy named Robert???". What do non-giggly people do when they pull crap like this? 



I know, I know - humour's all well and good but you can't use it as a shield, sometimes you just have to feel your feelings, etc. etc. It works for us. I knew I'd brought the right kid home when I asked two-year-old Angus what he wanted for breakfast and he waved his hand in the air magesterially and yelled "fettucine!". And when Eve was doing a project where she had to put three things in a box that represented her family, she put in a baseball, a book, and a funny picture to represent 'bad jokes!' Not the worst legacy, I think.

11 comments:

harriet glynn said...

WORD! I always feel like a freak for finding things hilarious. And it's gotten worse, I'm starting to be totally unable to take anything seriously (what a terrible sentence). I figure it's a good way to go out, not that I'm going just this yet.

Patti said...

Yes, a toast to Humour (and we'll just ignore her lesser sisters Fear and Neurosis 'cuz they're bitches).

Laughing has saved my ass more times than I can count. I always say that if you can amuse yourself and have nice hair you'll go far. Most of us are halfway there and I'd rather hang out with the bad-hair crow, ya know?

Also, you need to tell Susan if your doctor is accepting new patients.

Mary Lynn said...

When I meet someone with no sense of humour I find it hard to resist attempting to crack jokes with them. even when I know it's just not going to work.

I know I could not survive working where I do without a sense of humour. It's what keeps me going when thinkgs get completely ludicrous.

The Host said...

God, right? When faced with a moment when I have to choose laugh or cry, I invariably choose laugh. Which is often inappropriate, but fuck it. Life is too short for propriety all the time.

Pam said...

Sometimes I think humour is the only thing I got going for me. Thank GOD you find the same things funny! I'm with Mary Lynn and really want to make the poor pitiful humourless folk laugh, or at least mock them for my own amusement.

Nicole said...

I'm totally laughing. NUTS! For a wedding favour - that's awesome. I also love that you got married to Robert. Hey, that could totally work in a spicing up your marriage kind of way. "Who do you want to be, Matt or ROBERT." The first time I typed that I actually wrote Roger. That would be even better. Just start calling Matt Roger, see if he likes it. Does this make sense? NO? I need more coffee.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

You are so right. Noticing the ridiculous has pulled me through more times than I can count. And the blank look from the people who don't get it? Just one more thing to laugh about later ; )

Amanda said...

Oh my God, you HAVE to have a sense of humor - I agree; how do people get by without one?

Crack You Whip said...

I had an ex-boyfriend who broke up with me because I was too funny...go figure.

Some people just don't get life. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

cheesefairy said...

I forgot there were people without senses of humour until I started chatting with one of the dads at my son's soccer games. That man had no sense of humour. None. Like, generally, men are pretty good. It's the women I encounter who might not share the *same* sense of humour as me, but whatever. I am also always in the same jeans: get over it, folks. But this guy! He was just a cold fish! And I, well, I go for the joke. ALways. Unless it's my kid and will just make him mad. then I bite my lip.

You are wonderful, spreading your nuts all over the Internet for us. Bless ya.

Betsy B. Honest said...

When I think of you, I think of your sense of humour which is what I love about you.

My husband goes by his middle name too. It's only weird when a customs agent or police man asks him his name and he panics and begins with, "What do you mean?:

You always make me laugh.