I think that I have been slowly losing my sense of humor ever since my children left home and I want to reclaim my funny bone. I needed my sense of humor to raise those children. And I relied on my sense of humor when they first left home and were beginning to make their way in the world. But now that my youngest is a senior in college and all three of them are doing well in their independent adult lives, I am not finding as much to laugh about. My children kept me so amused.
When my daughter dropped her cell phone into a vat of boiling spaghetti and when her brother’s frat brothers spilled beer all over his cell phone, and when my youngest put his iPhone in his back pocket having forgotten that he didn’t have a back pocket (the bottom of the pocket was no longer attached to the pants) so that the phone fell out and disappeared into the depths of Oakland, I just laughed. It was funny to me, and not worth getting upset about. I told my daughter to wait for her phone to dry out and it did and then it worked again (although her calls were in Italian – HA). I told my son to wait for his phone to dry out and it did and then it worked again (although it had a terrible hangover – HA HA). I told my youngest his iPhone days were over and he should go pick out a nice cheap Go Phone with no internet capability. And he did. He said he was about ready to be done with a phone that got the internet anyway – too distracting. (And Ron chewed out the thug in Oakland who found the phone under a bush and called us to see if we would pay him $60 to return it. To be honest, that phone was so old that it was barely working anyway even before it slipped out of the non-pocket.)
For many years I have had to exercise superhuman creativity to manage our finances so that we could send our children to college and hang on to our house and occasionally take a modest vacation. And in the past, the contortions I had to do and the brilliant weird fiscal acrobatics and the bizarre hurdles that fate placed before me to challenge my fiscal genius, all of these were funny to me. So why am I so anxious lately? Why do I worry about the same stuff that I found ridiculously amusing just a couple of years ago? Is the amusement center of my brain shrinking?
I want to be able to throw my arms up in the air and say “oh well” like I did when we pulled into the parking lot at Marine World USA and our daughter shouted from the back seat “Mom, where are my shoes?” and I realized that she had gotten in the car two hours prior at the Ranch with no shoes on her feet. No problem. Ron went into the gift shop and bought a pair of flip-flops for $28 and they let my daughter into the park. I want to be able to laugh my head off like I did when we were driving down off McNab Ranch in the van, on our way to the Oakland airport for a two-week family vacation, and Akili called from the back seat, “Mom, am I packed?” I want to think that it’s the most hilarious thing I have ever heard when Sudi announces “I don’t like fruit.” And he doesn’t. He eats almost no fruit. Should that concern me? No. It should be something to laugh about.
I have decided that I am taking myself and my life way too seriously lately. I need to lighten up. The absurdity of life is simply not tolerable any other way. I think it’s time for me to watch Galaxy Quest again. That would be a good way to start implementing my new resolve to revive my sense of humor. Bring it on Tech Sergeant Chen.