“If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.” -Erma Bombeck
When I tell people what I do for a living, it is inevitable that they will ask, “What do you write about?”
My usual reply is, “I write a humor blog. A lot of the posts are about my son who has sub-threshold autism, congenital heart disease, moderate hearing loss, a missing tear duct, and he often chokes and vomits.” Then I’ll follow with, “Isn’t that hilarious?! Just wait until I tell you about all of his surgeries!”
One of the best things about attending the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop this weekend was that no one looked at me like I had two heads when I gave them that answer. They understood that it’s okay to laugh at bad situations.
Sure, humor can come from light, but quite frequently it comes from someplace dark. It is how many a comedian or author has coped with tragedy and pain. It’s how I cope with mine. That, and peanut butter, but that’s another story.
Let me ask you a few questions: Are you going through a tough time? Are you laughing anyway? Why the heck not?
At the closing keynote of the Erma workshop, humorist, Gina Barreca, talked about motivational quotes; specifically, the one that says, “Bloom where you’re planted.” She urged us NOT to follow that advice.
Instead of being forced into the ground where someone else has decided to plant you, she told us to pick up and plant ourselves where WE choose. I agree. If you want to grow, move to an open, sunlit area free of all of the suffocating dirt. And, worms. Unless you like worms, in which case you should move yourself to a compost pile.
For me, laughter is the sun. It is where I go when I need to pull myself away from the weeds and it is what has saved me from going mad because of all the curve-balls life has thrown my way. Don’t worry, I won’t go from gardening metaphors to baseball metaphors. Well, other than that curve-ball thing. And, to be honest, it’s kind of killing me not to say something about line-drives.
My point is that it’s good to laugh. It’s good for for the heart, the soul, the mind and for laundry detergent manufacturers. Don’t tell me you’ve never peed your pants while laughing. No, really. Don’t tell me. *pauses writing to concentrate on kegels*
Listen to Erma, Gina and me (please excuse my lack of modesty while I insert myself into a sentence with those two legends), especially when I tell you that you owe me money. Or, when I tell you to laugh.
Because if you can laugh in the face of adversity your plant will flower through every season.
And that, my friends, feels a lot like hitting one out of the park.