I don’t know if it’s something in me—something coursing through my very core that has made me a bitch this week—or if everyone around me has just been acting particularly stupid, causing me to react. Either way, it’s like I told my best friend, “I just…well, I just hate the world and everyone in it right now. Does that make sense?”
“More than you know,” she replied. She loves it when I get like this. She tells me I’m overwhelmingly positive most of the time and that she just awaits those days or weeks when I’ll “break” and give her a call, complaining passionately about something like this. She seems to get a bit too much pleasure out of those particular phone calls. Once she giggled, telling me, “You don’t hold enough grudges. You should really learn to let some anger fester deep down inside. It’s healthy.”
My mom called me, concerned, after seeing something I wrote on a mutual friend’s Facebook page on Wednesday. “Are you okay?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I said. “Why?”
“You’re normally so funny,” she explained. “Sweet and light-hearted. You’re my only kid that turned out that way—you know, your brothers and sisters can be huge assholes—and having one nice one…well, it’s something I’m kind of proud of.” [I may have ad-libbed much of that part of the conversation, but really, I’m pretty sure that’s what she was trying to say.]
My mom continued, and I promise this is exactly what she said: “You’re the person people go to to find the good in situations, because you always find the good in everything. But this week, it seems like you’ve been dwelling on the bad.” Her voice got a little softer. “Like, did you have to write that on Robin’s Facebook page?”
“Oh, come on, Mom,” I snapped. “Like people don’t understand that I'm joking when I comment ‘dirty whore’ on someone’s status update?”
“But her status update was about how beautiful the snowfall outside her window was…” my mom trailed off.
But then Thursday came. And on Thursday, something happened that changed the direction of the rest of my week. It put the swing right back in my step, you could say.
A friend of mine is a nanny for the children of two attorneys. My friend is lovely and the kids that she watches are lovely. And by “lovely,” I mean the best kind of people—down-to-earth and hilarious. They share a rapport that makes everyone who comes into contact with them immediately smile, and soon that smile turns into full-fledged, crying laughter at some of the things they say.
One of “her kids” is a 6th grade boy, and we all know that is just about my favorite age in the entire world for a person to be because I taught 6th grade for a lot of years. There is just something about the combination of innocence and mischief of that age. I always explain it like this: They’re still young enough to want to give you a hug but old enough to have a touch of smartass in them.
That day, they had stopped by my work, surprising me with some chocolate-covered espresso beans to cheer me up. I started to wonder if I should grump at people more often in order to receive gifts like this to “put that pep back into my step,” as the note that they gave me explained.
As we were standing around talking for a few minutes, my friend’s 6th grade charge looked up at her, a twinkle in his eyes. “Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?” he asked her.
I cringed. Because there’s nothing more awkward than watching a 6th grader practice his pickup lines…on his nanny.
But then he followed it up with this: “Because it looks like you landed on your face pretty hard.”
I know people always exaggerate, writing lines like, “I just totally spit my coffee all over my computer screen!” when complimenting humorous posts—and I appreciate it because I think it’s a really sweet thing to say. But I don’t take it literally. I don’t think that many people have ruined that many computers over comedic blog posts.
But that day, I literally spit out a half-chewed chocolate-covered coffee bean as I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face. My friend joined me. “My GOSH,” she told him, sputtering with laughter, “I’m not even your mother, yet you manage to embarrass me every single day of my life.”
In all the years I rolled my eyes at that cheesy-ass pickup line, HOW had I never thought to add something like that to it to make it hilarious?
Brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you.
And maybe it says something about my personality that an insult would turn my whole week around, but I can’t help it. I just can’t help it, because it did. I could not stop laughing about it for the rest of that day, and it was the first truly wonderful day I’d had all week.
I was due, dammit.