Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Little Humor Goes A Long Way


    Like most people, my life is not inherently fascinating to others. I'm no Jane Goodall. Working with chimpanzees, interesting. Picking up dry cleaning, not that interesting. Neither is refinancing your home, colonoscopies, or a new diet. But these things can be sources of humor...
     ...One, it helps me put my life into perspective. And two, I don't drag other people down with me...
    I think of my father, a master at this technique, signing mortgage papers on a house several years ago. The house was in Florida (cause that's the law) and the signing day was Halloween. Many workplaces encourage employees to dress in costume. This is a business practice I don't understand. Unless your workplace is Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, please come to the office in your regular clothes. Anyway, my father is at this bank, signing the papers for a hefty mortgage, and the loan officer is dressed as Raggedy Ann. Red wig, white face, big black shoes. You can imagine the scene. Mr. Dolan, please sign here to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I, Raggedy Ann, will witness your signature....
   About once a week, I smile when I think of my father doing business with Raggedy Ann. Postpartum depression, dead gerbils, home mortgages -- it's all what you make of it. And I think people have the obligation to make the best of it...
   It sounds so obvious to say that a sense of humor is important. Sentiments like that are the stuff of bumper stickers and inspirational stories in Reader's Digest. "Have a sense of humor about life!" Thanks, that's a big help. Will do. But it's one of those cliches that's true. Using your sense of humor as a guide makes life more of everything -- enjoyable, uplifting, and most of all, tolerable.

                    -- Lian Dolan, from Satellite Sisters' UnCommon Senses

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