Monday, December 08, 2008

I Laugh at Myself

One of the good ways I’ve found to maintain a joyful attitude is to laugh. I laugh at myself. That way if anyone else laughs at me, I’ll be laughing first and won’t feel bad. Besides, I can’t help it. Sometimes I’m so ridiculous.

My family and friends help the ridiculousness. For example:

Saturday night I was making my own marinara sauce. I don’t eat marinara sauce, but wanted to bring some to serve with the strombolis I was making for a Christmas party. Why make it from scratch? First laugh track inserted here. My culinary skills had recently made me feel inferior, so I was trying to make up. No one knows if you have inherent skill, watch the food network all the time, borrowed your mom’s skill, or googled instructions on mincing garlic and chopping parsley. I did the latter.

While I was mincing garlic per instructions found on Google, my brother found a Youtube video of parsley preparation. Actually while peeling and slicing garlic, I improvised my own technique once, only to discover that garlic sliced the wrong direction can have the same effect as an onion. I cried. Anyway, the parsley video involved a large knife, a bunch of the parsley leaves (no stems required or desired) rolled into a “piece,” and a flat counter. I had a smaller dull knife and a counter that curves up on the edge. So I observed that, while the technique appeared simple on the video, the chef’s parsley stayed where he left it, meaning that the “piece” stayed in form while he chopped at it, which never happens when I slice something soft. (We need to sharpen our knives.) Unbeknownst to me, my siblings were all suppressing laughter at this comment, reason to be revealed later.

Finally I had enough garlic minced, and was ready to try the parsley. But when I looked at the counter to grab the parsley, it wasn’t there. I thought I’d left it on the counter. I didn’t throw it away with the garlic skin? “Where did I put my parsley?” I asked. “It didn’t stay where you put it?” my brothers taunted, the laughter finally bubbling over. And then my mom spotted it, like a child’s “what’s wrong with this picture” where the fish is in the tree: my parsley was on the couch in the other room. Before I even mentioned that parsley does not stay where I put it, my siblings had pilfered my greens.

We laughed so hard. I cried. Again.

Laugh at how hectic your life is, at the silly things you do or say, at a bad hair day or the irony of snow when you are going somewhere and fine weather when you want to go sledding. Laugh at the foolishness of playing a game you know sounds dangerous, Grounders:

On a playground near a friend’s house, we go at night. The game is like tag. It tries to tag non-it. It can be on the ground or the playground platforms. Non-it can become it if, while on the ground or platforms, It calls “grounders.” Oh – and It must have their eyes closed. So just as one of my compadres was commenting that my family was seldom It, I hit my stride, being rather constantly It. We were playing with pros at the game, people more familiar with the park, and Marines. I think I had a disadvantage. At least I wasn’t wearing a skirt this time; last time I played, I was. I believe I would be bad at this game even if my eyes were open. But with my eyes closed, I did something very foolish. Standing under the monkey bars just above my fingertips, I was trying to tag a non-it scooting on top of the monkey bars. I had to jump. So I did, jamming my thumb hard into the side of the monkey bars. It’s still swollen. But it had to be funny.

One of my friends who was there reassured me: This is the sort of game you only play if you don’t mind looking stupid. So maybe to lighten up your life, you should intentionally play games where you look stupid. Just don’t jump if you don’t know what’s over you.

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

Melian said...

oh Lisse. You make me laugh.
Hurray for Grounders! =)