I like to look for the funny side of everything. Part of it comes from loving to share a good story, and who doesn’t love a funny story? The other comes from having worked alone for a significant portion of five years (except for during the summer), and you have to find your amusement somewhere. To switch up the saying on trees falling in the forest, “If Rachel falls down with a crash, when she’s in a building by herself (and survives), does she still laugh?”. Why, yes, she does.
Some people think I’m overly serious, which means they’re obviously not around me enough to know better. Some people may think I take everything too lightly, which isn’t true at all. I take many things very seriously, but in the right situation, I still want to lighten the atmosphere, and keep everyone from diving too far into the dumps. But I certainly know which situations are too serious for even that, don’t worry.
You’ve all heard it said that, “I know this is terrible, now, but later, we’ll laugh about it”. I will often laugh about it, at the time, but if I don’t, you can guarantee that I will later. If you could hear my friend Imogen and I related our adventure on Magnetic Island, and how everything that could go wrong DID go wrong, you will know that we didn’t enjoy it at the time. Not one bit. However, after we arrived at that restaurant, starving to death, and begged them to feed us… I think we were laughing hysterically, at that point. While we continued to shovel food into our faces. Hey, it happens.
But who could not start to find that story funny, knowing that while we were attempting to snorkel, there was a goanna (type of monitor lizard) or possum or some other critter stealing food out of our backpacks? Knowing that when we were kayaking at sunset, I was wailing about how she could always see the turtles, but I swear to you, the turtles dived under the water when I looked in their direction. Stupid turtles. Or our kayaking instructor offering us a glass of sparkling grape juice, but when I asked what it was, he said it was wine. I was so tired, I thought he was being serious, unable to recognize the sarcasm. So, I told him I didn’t want any, of course.
More recently, I had a cold, and even when I was blowing half my body weight out of my nose (or least, that’s what it felt like), I was able to notice the hilarious parts of it. Mainly, I had almost lost my voice, which made me sound like a high-pitched frog. Of course, historically (or hysterically), I don’t usually stop talking when I lose my voice. Because my croaking always makes people laugh… or their reactions to it makes ME laugh. Once upon a time, I lost my voice after yelling my head off on some roller coasters, at Cedar Point. I kept our van-load of kids in stitches, for the rest of the trip. I’ll admit, I did sound like some boys do when their voices are changing.
Not everyone else agrees with this idea, of finding the side-effects of my illness to be entertaining. One grad student had a cold at the same time as I did, and when I commented on the hilarity of it, his reaction was “being sick is ENTERTAINING?!?”. I’m afraid he thought I was nuts, or that my sense of humor is, well… sick. Oh, well.
I have mentioned before that I am not a klutz, and it’s true! But I have a bad habit of sharing stories about clumsy incidents, and sharing them all at once, so it gives the impression that I really AM a klutz. I tend to fall, occasionally, not because I’m clumsy, but because my ankles like to “turn”. I try very hard to be careful on stairs… and then, I’ll turn my ankle (painfully, I might add), and take a big spill.
The last time I did that, I did some some serious damage to my knees, falling down my front steps. But what I thought was funny was that while everyone in my neighborhood usually knew what I was up to (fishbowl living, you know), nobody saw me fall. Amazing.
And when I got in a fender-bender with a large truck, there was nothing funny about being rammed from behind, while at a complete stop. There was nothing entertaining about worrying that my summer staff girls might have been injured, seriously, if the spare tire on the back of my CRV hadn’t prevented it. Most of us were in complete shock, in tears, and suffered from stiff muscles (from jerking against our seat belts, in the collision) for a few days, afterwards.
It was only some time later that I realized that having bumped my boss’s car, in the process, it meant that I would never live it down. Oh, don’t worry, our insurance paid for everything, and now, you’d barely know anything ever happened to my car. But having everyone come out of it unscathed meant that we could joke, with impunity, about how I was the one that dared dent his car. The nerve of me. : )
But remember, while I will laugh at myself, I will make certain that everyone is alright, before I laugh at someone else almost injuring themselves. One time, my 2nd-in-command housekeeper, a good friend of mine, accidentally zapped herself with a power outlet. I don’t know how it happened, because she wasn’t being careless. But the shock of it really did set her back for a while, and I would never think that such a thing was funny. Especially knowing that her boyfriend might be really upset with me for allowing her to get hurt. Now, she laughed about it later, but I would still make sure my girls were cautious with pulling plugs from outlets, for some time afterwards.
Again, please don’t think I’m unfeeling or incapable of seeing someone else’s pain. That’s why if I’m laughing, usually it means something happened to me, and it struck me as hilarious. If something happens to someone else, I will be much more concerned about the other’s well-being. If you fall, or do something where you COULD have hurt yourself, I will be worried for you, and never a laugh will you hear. I mean that. I’m not a “laugh first, check-to-see-if-you’re-ok second” type of person.
When I started this post, I think I had some more funny tales to tell… but now I’ve forgotten them. Remember, there’s almost always a funny side, to every situation, you just have to look for it. And maybe having a good laugh will make your day just a little bit brighter.