Tuesday, April 01, 2008
True Confession Tuesday
Dear reader, it's been 7 hours since I last confessed and since I have a little time, I thought I'd give you real truth reader and not the gag reel version of confession. Though honestly, the gag reel version of my life is probably more interesting and a little more angry.
Since it is April's Fools day, I'll confess to the foolish things I do, think, say, and of course, laughter, which I can never have enough of.
To the confessional--
1) I laugh at inappropriate times. I am your worst guest at a funeral or church service, and don't get me started at weddings. I am the woman who first chuckles before I ask "Are you okay?" after you've fallen off a curb. It's been passed down generations. Even my 74 year old mother laughs when my 96 year old nana stumbles and even Nana can't resist saying "Hello Grace" when a relative trips into the room. I still laugh about the time at Easter Service when my mum sang two notes in front of everyone else, and we stood there in the service shaking because both of us could hardly keep our laughter contained.
And I'm passing on this trait to my daughter. I've seen her laugh hysterically when the boy in her preschool held the mop over her teacher's head during circle time. Or when another little boy knocked over the bookcase. I always wonder "Did I teach this?" or is just part of the evil French girl in us? The one who looks over her shoulder and smiles when the nun swears, the child drops her ice cream, or we are told to be quiet, very quiet. It is at these moments, we cannot stop laughing.
2) I no longer feel (as) guilty for laughing. In grad school, I did my critical paper on the use of humor in women's poetry and I read this feminist essay that said that people in power sometimes use laughter to control other people. For example, if a male boss says something stupid in a board meeting and a woman laughs, he might say, "That's not funny," to shame her and put her in her place. (A parent may do the same thing.) However, what many people were never told as kids is *it is funny and that is why you are laughing.* Now if anyone ever says that to you ("That's not funny"), you have a response, "Of course it is or I wouldn't be laughing."
3) I enjoy finding humor in my own inadequacies and faults. I also love it when I've criticized something (in my past or recently) only find myself doing it. For example, when I was in high school I used to call one of my friend's mom "the witch doctor" (in the most loving and respectful way) because she would dump out a purseload of vitamin supplements onto the table to start her day.
There were vitamins of all shapes and sizes. Horse pills and little ones. She was a walking medicine cabinet. Now at age 39, I have become the witch doctor (what I take? B-12, magnesium, ginkgo, fish oil, and vit d in the winter.) I even have a pill holder. I am my friend's mother except with a blue weekly pill holder. I'm the freaky mom in the natural store buying "Good Mood Tonic." Or lavender oil.
4) April Fool's Day in our home is almost as celebrated as 4th of July or Thanksgiving. Last year, I scotch-taped a giant spiderweb outside my daughter's bedroom door so when she opened her door she was trapped inside (um, she was 6 --she loved it though). Today, I've already had to make it down stairs through plastic snakes, frogs and spiders while she was served Cheerios with two drops of blue food dye. When she took her first bite, the milk, the cheerios all turned this wild blue. She's also had an icepack in her bed and numerous minor heart attacks from me jumping out from behind things.
This joke-fest will last the whole day. We already have pranks set up for my husband when he returns from work as well as for my mum (who is the easiest to trick). While I play the adult in real life, there is a part of me that still lives back as the eleven year old girl in 1980 who enjoyed putting saran wrap over toilet seat and pulling the breaker so our house was without lights.
5) And while I want to be the happy mom who lets everything roll off her back, sometimes I'm the mom that hears herself saying, "I just made that bed." And I want to cringe at that part of myself. I do cringe at that part of myself.
I try not to take myself so seriously, but sometimes I do. And I guess sometimes you have to.
But not today. No, today is a day of answering our phone, "Pizza Factory." Of kick me signs and strange things in strange places. And if I find myself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I'll just kick up my magnesium, maybe take a little good mood tonic, because I'm freaky witch doctor mom who wears a crochet beret and doesn't consider it "her special hat" as my husband calls it. I've become every strange thing I saw in other moms-- scatterbrained, weird, frazzled, vitamin-happy, uncool, boring-- but I'm trying and happy, especially when people fall off chairs or lose control of their umbrellas in high winds. Just remember, I'm not laughing at you, but with you. Unless you're the president, then I'm laughing at you (or crying sadly in the corner), one or the other.
Happy April Fool's Day, poetrypeople.
Written by Kelli Russell Agodon