Tuesday, August 9, 2016

More Ridiculous Nonsense

There are many things I'm not good at.

I'm not good at making pancakes from scratch. Which is ridiculously unfair because my mother, my father and my brother are all effortlessly Martha Stewartish at pancake-making. But if I don't use a mix, mine are like hockey pucks.

I'm not good at chemistry, or any science for that matter. It's not that I haven't tried. Ok... I tried to understand chemistry, by the time I made it to astronomy, I was a lost cause. In my defense, when people hold class in a dark room with reclining seats, they should not expect me to stay awake.

I'm not good at anything that involves a trip to Home Depot. It's not that I'm incompetent; it's just that I spent way too many hours searching for the "right" wall sconce, counting stacks of backsplash tiles and a thousand other obnoxious tasks ten years ago during a home renovation hell, and I've never quite recovered. Also, any place that sells rat poison is simply not my natural environment.

I'm good at a few things, too.

I make a mean brownie. That's not bragging; it's just a fact.

I am good at getting my kids up at 2 am to watch shooting stars in a field across the street because somebody, somewhere posted about some massive meteor shower. Or maybe it wasn't a meteor shower. Maybe it's called something else. It doesn't really matter. What matters is we laid on our backs on an itchy blanket and looked up as tiny blinks of light shot across the sky, and (shhh, don't tell anyone I said this about anything scientific) it was sort of thrilling. For me, at least. My kids were complaining that ants were biting them and they were scared. They'll thank me later.

I'm good at...here is where I should come up with something to redeem my Home Depot phobia, but I can't. I could say that last week I took my kids and a friend to that cutesy little "First Saturday" craft project that Home Depot hosts. Which is supposed to be fun, but they actually expect us parents to help our kids make these adorable projects. Things that involves hammers and nails. First of all, giving my 7 year old a hammer is like offering fireworks to ISIS. Second, all these dads are sitting around zen-like, patiently helping their children to carefully guide the nails in correctly. Me, on the other hand? I pull up a paint bucket stool, immediately all 3 kids I've brought need me to open their craft kit, the nails go everywhere, nobody can understand the directions (and by "nobody" I mean me, because they aren't even bothering) and I start to sweat and finally blurt out, "Screw it boys, we're using the wood glue." So yeah. Not good.

But. I am sort of good at finding things funny. This may not seem like much of a skill, but it certainly makes life more entertaining. And then I tend to write ridiculous nonsense that if I'm lucky, sometimes makes people laugh. And believe me, I know it's mostly nonsense. I'm not posting any deep thoughts; I haven't had one in about ten years and there are plenty of others far better at conveying depth and important things than me.

I just like to make people laugh.

I will post silly things on Twitter, on Facebook, in instant messages to coworkers or in texts to friends. And I know it's shallow, but life is already deep enough. I mean, glass half full - we're not in Syria. But glass half empty - life can feel hard sometimes. If I can make someone laugh with me and we can forget our problems for a moment, it's worth everything.

So yes, if I go to the Miss Texas pageant with my neighbor and we giggle hysterically while drinking champagne, I will write about it. If another friend and I are having a hard day, and Twitter serves me up a book cover for -- I'm not making this up -- bigfoot erotica (yes, it's a thing), I will make a bunch of really immature jokes about "Sasquatica" until we giggle like we're twelve. Which, is frankly, about the emotional age of any one of us, at any given time.

If I attempt a hideous new diet and fail, I will write about it (I'm still bitter about the beets, by the way). And if rats eat my car? Please. If you can't see the humor in that, you're not even trying.

Occasionally I slip and post something above my pay grade. Like politics, which I keep swearing I won't ever comment about in public anymore, but to me it's like this giant Kardashian-esque train wreck and it's soooooo tempting sometimes. But I'm working on it.

I might have a few other things to work on, truth be told. Change is hard, and I'm not particularly good at it, though I am trying.

But one thing I will never change is trying to find the funny in the chaos that surrounds me. Because it's not going anywhere. I mean, come on. Rats.Ate.My.Subaru. That should go on my tombstone.

And in my humble, silly, perhaps ridiculous opinion,sometimes all you can do in this life is make the choice to laugh or cry.

And crying? Ruins my mascara.