I feel like I’m experiencing a bit of a humor dry spell, which is a bit stressful. Because, looking back over the past three weeks, I see that I’ve had lots of experiences with “funny” potential.
For example, the week after Christmas my whole family and I met my brother’s finance’s family for the first time. In addition to the regular stress associated with such an event, there was also anxiety over the fact that they are from Poland, and we are not. I myself, safe in the knowledge that this event had absolutely nothing to do with me, and that I could just stay in the background and collect fun observations for my blog, did not really understand why that was cause for additional anxiety. But my family became obsessed with the idea that they HAD to learn Polish, or else Very Bad Things would happen. So they spent the 2 hours before the engagement party sitting in my brother’s living room, frantically trying to become conversationally fluent in a language that is not at all similar to English.
They tried very hard to convince me that this obligation also applied to me. But this was one time when being the self-proclaimed “black sheep” in a family of mathematicians, accountants, and scientists actually came in handy. Because I strongly believe that the fact that I hold a Master’s degree in Spanish dispenses me from all other language requirements into perpetuity, as well as from ever having to feel any kind of verbal inferiority.
But, do you see my dilemma? Here I was, in the middle of a situation rife with humorous contrasts, and I came back here with nothing to post.
So I wasn’t able to harvest any humor nuggets from my familial encounters, but then, immediately afterward, I got sick. And not with just a piddly little old cold, either, but with bronchitis-an antibiotic-requiring, double-injection-laden, Sickness With A Name.
And once again, I was surrounded by details that just begged to be laughed at. Like the fact that I had to go to what my husband calls a “doc-in-a-box” on a Sunday afternoon, where all the personnel apparently have been trained to view every single patient as slightly mentally impaired, and as an exact clone of every other patient they’ve ever seen. So when they encounter someone who is intelligent, articulate, and individualistic, they are completely thrown off. Or the fact that when the door closes on your exam room, you apparently become 5 years old again and have to get your injections in an extremely private and delicate portion of your anatomy, so that in addition to not being able to breathe or speak, now you are also not able to walk, sit down or lay on your side.
Then, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to be sick all alone for 4 days, left to the tender (?) mercies of our 3 animal companions. As I’ve mentioned before , their skills at nursing are dubious at best, but they did keep me company, taking turns lying on my side like big, hairy poultices. And while they didn’t possess any of the healing properties of actual poultices, such as drawing out infections or clearing up chest congestion, they did know exactly when it was time for me to, “get up, Get Up, GET UP!”, which they effectively communicated to me by ramming their bony little heads repeatedly into mine.
Or, I could explore the fact that last night our across-the-street neighbors got a load of fresh, and I do mean fresh, horse manure delivered to their front lawn for use as a fertilizer. This happens with some frequency, and I have discovered that I have very strong feelings about how the outdoors should smell. If I had to make a list of all the qualities I’d like there to be in the odor of the outdoors, the very first item on my list would be”Not Like Poo.”
So this is what I’ve been dealing with. I can see the humor potential in the contrast between my family’s unrealistic expectations and my actual language experience. I can inherently sense the laughter potential in words associated with bronchitis, like “phlegm”, and “mucus”. I instinctively know that anything dealing with anyone’s ass is really funny. I can sense the oddity of having one’s fertilizer delivered straight from the horse’s, um, end, rather than buying it in bags at the garden center like everyone else. And don’t even get me started on the rat situation. But so far, none of these carefully planted humor kernels have blossomed for me yet.
I blame the phlegm.