She came in, face in a permanent frown, and told me about the neighbors dating.
“You knew they were dating? Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Well…at the time I found out, I didn’t know if anyone else knew. I didn’t want to gossip.” I said while keeping my back to her, so she won’t see my smile.
“I told you, I don wanna’ be gossipin’ ‘bout our neighbor folk.” I turn to her, full on smile now.
“I knew a long time ago.” She turns her head up, physically raising her chin, as if she is better because she has known. “Everybody here knows they are dating.” She ends with a smug tone her in her voice, and slowly lowers her chin to her reading.
I just sit there, across from her, shaking my head, while looking at her.
“What the hell are you looking at? What does the smile mean?” She says, but I know she is thinking things she has told me so many times before. ‘Where do you get off judging me, you smug bitch? You are so arrogant, a know-at-all, and a hypocrite. I know more than you! I am older! I have been through more life than you have. Hmpht!’
I calmly tell her why I am smiling; ignoring all the stuff I know is dying to come out of her mouth, “I just think you could do with a dose of humor in your life. There could have been a little funny comeback, or a lighter way of saying what you said. Damn! You are so serious all the time.”
Then the whole conversation is lost in her monologue of how I have a certain quality, a humor gene, an ability unattainable to her, to find humor in things. I have some mysterious talent to choose words which can be used many ways, thus making something funny, or lighter. The final proof she has of this ability of mine: my dad could do the same thing.
That proof might hold out if I had been raised with my dad, but alas, she took that away from me. So, what I am gathering she believes is, there is some gene, something in our DNA coding, which allows one to find humor in life, and another to only be serious. Pleeze! Someone please show me this gene: I bet it is wearing a clown red nose, or a mustache and cigar.
The so serious nature of mum has been lost over the years. I can sit here and remember specific times (which at 50 isn’t all that easy any more) when she, my sister, and I would start laughing at something, then get going to the point of tears. I would always go for broke, and make my sister pee her pants. Yeah…great memories. Oh, ho hum.
There must have been some point, some event, a loss of heart which caused all the seriousness, and well, down right negativity. I have told her many times her face has permanent creases around her mouth. She asked me once to tell her exactly what her mouth looked like. I think she was thinking I would come off with something false like, oh, Sophia Loren, which didn’t happen. I always tell her to be careful what she asks for, make sure you really want the truth, especially from me. So, she asked, and the best answer I could come up with is the old men on the Muppet Show.
She was very offended. Obviously I am referring to Statler, the one in the grey suit. I have tried very hard in life to be honest and not hypocritical. In doing this, I know I will have a steady string of rotten fruit and vegetables thrown at my grave stone (if I get one!). I am sure mum will have a monthly charge from the grounds keeper for cleaning away all the food. Either that, or wild animals will gravitate to my site to eat all the food, therein shitting all over my grave. Yeah…not so cool, but hell, I will be dead, I don’t give a flying fuck.
So, I don’t believe in any magical jelly bean gene (sounded cool together, had to write it, say it aloud and see for yourself) that makes a person funny. I think, as far as my circumstance is concerned, a person has to just look for the humor, the little tiny (wee wittle) light in the discussion.
Now this is the funniest thing about this whole piece. Mum has been telling me all my life to look for the positive in life; don’t be negative; smile and good things will come to me; don’t talk about negative things; if you focus on positive things, positive things will happen. Well, what happened? She obviously hadn’t been practicing what she preached all those years because of her attitude now and her frown lines. I have been realistic, practical, lived in the moment, and now I am the one who finds the humor, laughs, and I don’t have frowny lines.
The answer is this: she lives with a life time of regrets. I am in a bad place, but I didn’t make it for myself. My body went on a mutinous spree, and now I am waiting for the doctors to set my body right. Like I have said in other posts, I was never into all those fun things which end up aging the body faster. I was on the road to going to the grave looking nice, I didn’t realize I could slide in at the last moment in a Hell’s Angel jacket, tattoos all over my body, piercings all over my body (ouch just to think of in some places), face and body of someone at least 100 years older than me. NO ONE TOLD ME!
With mum though, she has made a steady string of really bad decisions. I can safely say that most of the decisions I have seen her make have been to try and live a life she can’t afford; to find love where there is none offered; and to have what she can’t grasp. After 5 failed marriages, a felony record, much abuse (all kinds), and only leaving with what she can pack in a car, yeah, she has made some bad decisions. Now, she sits here and sees my sister and her son (mum’s grandson) messing up all over the place. She is taking blame for their crap. She has told me this year, 2014, she is going to work on letting some shit go.
She should smile again. She should laugh again. She should see beauty again.
Humor and a good way of looking at things doesn’t come to anyone without work on their part to make it so (as Cap. Picard would say). We have to challenge ourselves to see the lighter side, if it means only finding that wee bit of light, and go with that. I did it, and I worked with divorces all the time, children being taken and fought over, people arguing and hating each other, and children who needed love and homes. I am by no means perfect, no way no how, I do know this is something I have had to work at. I don’t like to see people unhappy, hurting, without love. This is why I have made the rule for my pup and I: if we can make one person smile (for me) or laugh (he does this real easy, he is just so damn cute! Gag!), we are good for the day. No gene, no special DNA, just work.
Here is one of the pup’s pics to make you smile. Now you are good for the day.