I just spent the weekend in Tahoe. It was a much needed girls' weekend away. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get away in spite of the fact that I barely have a job to get away from. In just 48 short hours, I stopped laughing long enough to make a few personal discoveries. I'll share one.
I am a mean girl. Ironically, this morning I stumbled across an online article about mean girls, and moms trying to raise daughters that are not mean girls. I'm thinking the parallels will be minimal; because I'm a grown up. At least in calendar years.
Here's the story. My friend and I set ourselves up on a beach on Lake Tahoe. I packed several books along, but found all I could do was people watch. I'd pick up a book, read two lines, and then a large mustache walks by and I have to make a comment. I didn't think it was a mean comment, I just observed out loud that he missed the stash bash here in town a few weeks ago. For some reason my friend interpreted it as a mean comment...perhaps that was because I had just been rolling around on the blanket having the best belly laugh over a woman's pants that left nothing to the imagination. I kept waiting for the skin tight pants to maybe release...but no, they had a grip on her in a most indelicate way. And lest you think I am super catty, (which only somewhat regretfully I admit; I am), you ought to know this about me: my most favorite person to laugh at is myself.
I had just spent a couple nights previous laughing at my complete inability to follow the dance moves in a dance class I had attended. When everyone faced left, I faced right. When everyone's hands were in the air, mine were down. And on it went. And I laughed; the whole time. I looked like a big goofy buffoon, but I could either get frustrated or laugh. I chose to laugh.
Moreover, if I have a wardrobe malfunction, I want you to tell me; and then I want to laugh about it. If I was friends with the guy who picked his nostril first with one thumb, and then the other for a good long time, I would point it out to him with a giggle and tease him; but since we weren't friends, I could only laugh from afar. The humanity. We are funny, that's all there is to it.
Maybe I also laugh because I love the underdog. I may laugh at your pants, but as I told my friend who informed me this is no excuse, I would jump in front of a train for any of the people I laugh(ed) at. It isn't an excuse, I realize. But I am a big fan of self awareness. And, I am a big fan of laughing at myself, and I am a big fan of laughing at life. What I won't laugh at is someone in pain. I won't laugh at someone who walks down the street in soiled clothes because they cannot afford to clean them. I won't laugh at someone who talks too much because they're nervous, but I will if they are arrogant. I could probably find something interesting to talk about with the lady in the tight pants, or the man with the mustache. Maybe they would find me vapid and boring. The thing is, I wouldn't rule them out as worth while people because I found something about them peculiarly funny. We may not be best friends, but we could still be the better for meeting. Everyone has a spark of life in them. Everyone. It may be buried behind insecurities or bad taste, (in my book), but it's still there. It's still worth finding.
And, if I could, and if it wouldn't horrify her, I would thank the woman in the tight pants. I still laugh at her pants winking at me. If she could swallow her pride and laugh with me, I think we could have a moment. And if it hurt her feelings that I laughed at her, I would humbly and sincerely apologize and cry with her. But laughing seems so much healthier.