“Trouble hates nothing as much as a smile.”
An Irish Proverb
When is the last time you laughed?
I don’t mean just a polite snicker or a giggle or even a fairly hearty guffaw? I mean a real, honest to goodness laugh? The kind that makes tears run down your cheeks and your belly ache? Hopefully, it wasn’t in church. And if it was, I hope you were sitting with people like the ones I’m related to. Get more than three of us in a church pew, and you can bet someone is going to start.
The last time I had a really good laugh was with the nurse who was inserting an IV in my arm. I was telling her about the bout of food poisoning of Biblical proportions that had made my visit necessary. Now, most normal people would not be able to find the situation I had endured funny, and for several days afterward, neither did I. But as I started to explain my sad predicament and the fact that it happened during a three hour-long flight to Las Vegas she looked at me completely horrified and then she began to laugh. And then (because I’m sure that this sort of reaction is highly frowned upon in the nursing world), she became even more horrified by her reaction and apologized. And that, my friends, is when I started to laugh. Over the complete and total ick factor of having repeatedly barfed into an airplane toilet. Over the irony of suspicious, tepid 24 hour buffets in Las Vegas and the fact that I got sick before my plane ever left the ground in Minneapolis. And mostly, because of the completely ludicrous turn of events my already pretty ridiculous life had taken. What else can you do but laugh, really?
When I tell you that there are no Atheists in airplane johns at 35,000 feet, you can take it to the bank. I’m pretty sure I saw St. Peter somewhere over Salt Lake City.
It’s good to laugh. In fact, sometimes it’s the only logical reaction to the challenges Life throws us. No matter how cruddy something is, eventually I find some humor in the situation. I am sure it’s due to the Irish blood that runs through my veins. When my grandfather passed away, his elderly sisters came for the wake. I remember seeing them huddled near the casket like squat, pink-scalped hamsters in polyester pantsuits having a good laugh over something. Lord knows what. I’m pretty sure they were, as my very non-Irish grandmother used to say, “three sheets to the wind” before they showed up. I learned that day that when you’re Irish, grief works as well as anything else does as an excuse to lighten up.
So, please. The next time you think you’re having a bad day…..try to find some humor in it. It won’t make the bad thing go away (sometimes only an IV will do that), but at least whatever it is won’t seem quite so dreadful. And if that doesn’t work, you can always think of the queasy middle-aged Irishwoman on a plane bound for Vegas last Sunday evening. The one on her knees in the throes of a turbulent penance. A Come to Jesus meeting in the season of Lent.
I’m pretty sure there’s an old Irishman in Heaven with his head thrown back having a good howl at my expense about now.
Ah, ’tis true. The Irish’ll save us all in the end.