In the midst of turmoil, one often has the urge to lighten life’s mood with sarcasm or something akin to wit.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how my sister and I spent an entire day climbing, only to discover that we had accidentally climbed the wrong mountain (this discovery was made after we reached the summit). I did not write that when we reached the top—tired, grumpy, and discouraged as we were—we decided to let out the string of profanities that, on a normal day, we would never admit to thinking. After all, we were on a 13,995ft mountain; no one could hear us; and why are curse words bad, anyway?
Another time, I arrived home late in the evening and went on a search for Corrie and Lauren, the two sisters who were usually awake at that hour. I found them in Corrie’s room. Corrie was cleaning her room (often a sign that things are not right in the world). She was crying and Lauren was attempting to comfort her, or at least be an ear to vent to. I climbed on her bed that was covered with the bedspread that no one was allowed to sit on and, instead of offering the big sister advice or encouragement that was usually expected at such moments, I advised her to “eat chocolate and die.”
At such times as these, death by chocolate seems like a good solution to all of life’s problems.
Last night, Lauren spent the night in my room. We talked about serious things at first. We also cried a little. Our conversation eventually drifted to our appearances. Lauren informed me how a guy-friend of hers had discovered she was insecure about her height (she is 5’10”) and other things. He, instead of making fun of her, wisely made positive jokes about her appearance. This increased her respect for him as well as made her feel good.
As we lay on my bed, I mulled this over. I have always called Lauren my Very Own Friendly Giant. I wondered if this was considered a positive or negative joke. I then realized that I should follow this fellow’s example of being encouraging about her insecurities, rather than making fun of them. At which point I decided to give this whole “positive joking” thing a try. So I told her, in the most encouraging voice I could muster, “You are a really great friendly giant.”
She laughed, but this was followed with an admonition to work on my positive joking skills.
Sometimes in life, you just need a little pick-me-up. Like chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream, or a cup of coffee with lots of cream and sugar, or a chick flick with lots of cheesy lines.
I once saw a greeting card that had this old lady on the front. She was wearing tons of make-up, had her hands on her hips, and was wearing an angry expression. You open the card and it reads, “Some days are just a total waste of make-up.”
I must find this card and send it to a friend who is having a rough week…