In honor of my amazing sister and all those times that there’s nothing left to do but throw back your head and laugh… I love you, Angie!!
>Weird (by Becky)
January 2, 2007 in Uncategorized, Where I’ve Been with 4 Comments
>I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to notice how my life constantly teeters on the edge of the ridiculous. Does that ever happen to you? I try my hardest to be a civilized, respectable, cordial woman; but the absurd is ever-present, always lurking just below the surface, reminding me that high class is just out of my reach. As a young girl, even as a newlywed I had wonderful visions of a clean, civilized life where I would have well behaved children, a well-kept home, a well-maintained figure, and a well-known career. Of course, I would have an attractive husband, I would be well-spoken and well-read. I would engage in intelligent conversation, be witty and charming, and go around doing grown up civilized things like having meetings, going to lunch with friends, shopping, cooking wonderful dinners, and driving a clean smelling car. And you know, that is actually how I picture myself most of the time. I ignore the laundry piles, pizza boxes, crumbs, and elastic waistbands; and picture myself just one step away from achieving my dream. I would be happy in my deluded concept of reality, except the most random things pop up to keep me aware that though I have some aspects of my dream in the bag, other parts of my life would make great displays in Ripley’s Believe it or Not museums.
Case in point: Friday, my sister and I were sitting at a restaurant. We had taken my brother to the airport and were enjoying a nice civilized lunch, savoring time together while I’m in my hometown for a visit. We were looking forward to seeing a movie together later in the evening. We were laughing, joking, and engaging in grown-up conversation. For a few moments, we had it! We WERE the dream. Two intelligent, attractive, classy women lunching together like civilized adults. My sleek, civilized cellular phone rang, and I answered. My husband was on the other end ready to lower the boom of the absurd. “I have some news you need to know,” he said. He proceeded to inform me that my daughter had spent the day before we left town with a friend who now has head lice. Immediately, I shifted from high-class adult to red-neck, white trash queen of the ridiculous, ready to fight off the constant barrage of random craziness my life continues to throw at me. Our intelligent conversation shifted from the politically correct use of the word “thin” referring to Mary in a sermon, (how did he know she was thin anyway?) to how many packs of lice treatment kits we would need to treat all the people at mom and dad’s house. (We figured two packs would do it.) Then we lost all couth as we hooted about how our movie plans were now “Nixed.” (As all the moms out there will know, Nix is a brand of lice treatment shampoo.) We were getting punchy and people were starting to stare. I don’t know, I just somehow never imagine myself at lunch with another intelligent adult, strategizing about the fastest, most preventative way to treat ten people for head lice, then laughing my head off about it. Sure, I might pass up movie plans for a better offer, but certainly, it never occurred to me that I’d sacrifice my movie plans to form a head lice treatment assembly line. Sorry, but head lice eradication was never a part of the dream.
There I was as my dream self, having a perfectly normal lunch, and it quickly descended into the ridiculous. The evening only got more absurd. We drove home, making a pit stop at the drug store for the lice shampoo, and began the treatment. It was starting to seem normal. No one had any sign of the bugs, but we weren’t taking chances. We got into a good groove shampooing one kid while the next kid was rinsing and the next combing out. We were spraying furniture and stripping beds. Again, the phone rings. This time my sister picked it up and got the news that my nephew had gone to the back of our property on his four wheeler and was stuck. We had just discovered him missing when it came his turn for the shampoo. We continued carrying out the lice treatment while now trying to calm our parents down and find a kid who just buried his four wheeler. Somebody showed up to pull out the four wheeler, (around our neighborhood there are plenty of good ole boys with 4×4’s just waiting for a chance like that) we stripped the muddy kid and put him in the shower as last to be treated for lice. By that time, we had lost all vision of the dream. We allowed life to spiral all the way down to utterly absurd. We loaded up everybody and went down to Jerry’s Restaurant (which isn’t actually called Jerry’s, but the guy who owns it is Jerry) for the Friday night fish fry. We took up a whole room in the place and gave at least one waitress a night to remember. We yelled out stuff no one ever plans to say, like “Get your mouth off the back of that chair,” and “Siddown! This room ain’t a race track!”
So much for high class living. Isn’t it funny how we have a concept of the way life should be? Like my life should look like an episode of Masterpiece Theatre, when in reality it’s more like a marathon of Roseanne. For some reason I keep holding to the dream. Maybe it pacifies me to pretend I can have a civilized life. Maybe it just keeps me sane to have a glimpse of high class adulthood once in a while. I don’t know. I considered it tonight in deep thought as I drove home listening to my kids sing their own original composition “Worms are Weird.” Rest assured, kids, it’s not just the worms that are weird!!
Truth is, that though I never dreamed of preventing lice, saving an ATV, and shutting down a local greasy spoon all in one night, the ridiculous things in my life bring the most laughter and fun. If not for the completely random junk like that, I might never throw back my head and laugh embarrassingly loud. I might never come close to wetting my pants or throwing up because I’ve laughed so hard. I might not have memories of some crazy but special times shared with my family and friends. Maybe it’s time to alter my dream. Maybe it’s time to embrace the stupidity of my life and cherish it for the smile-inducing wonder that it is. Or maybe I’m just weird.by