Unexpected Joy

So many things make me happy. Little things like finding $5 in my coat pocket, and big things like finding $20 in my dad’s wallet.

I realized this week that a few other things make me abundantly and irrationally happy. I’d like to share my joy with you now.

1. My Mom’s Unintentional Hilarity:
Here is the deal. My mom Cracks. Me. Up. Most of the time, it’s just these very inadvertent one liners that make me hit the floor. Let me reiterate—she’s not trying to be funny, she just is—so it usually comes out of nowhere and knocks me out.

Me: I was surprised how much I enjoyed the judges on American Idol this year. I mean, Mariah was a bit long-winded, but …
My Mom: Oh, Mariah didn’t offer a flippin’ thing other than her big dumb boobs and a dress so tight she couldn’t give a standing ovation when she knew dang good and well they deserved one.

"Dahhhlings, please enjoy this mental standing ovation."

“Dahhhlings, please enjoy this mental standing ovation.”

The other night she sent me a text about a big tomato worm who’d taken up residence—and begun to binge—on one of her beloved plants.

Pic #1: A fat freeloader attached to a lush green stem
Her caption: Uninvited blubber gut.

Pic #2: The aforementioned blubber gut, now in pieces on the ground (his remains looked like a crime scene)
Her caption: Dad’s a pretty good bouncer.

We also have this ongoing joke about inflatable holiday yard decor. We find it endlessly funny when various “characters” lose air and end up with deflated parts—unable to fulfill their role as a pumpkin or a turkey or one of the three wise men. When we see them limp and lying on the ground, we like to fashion stories about their wild night of drunken debauchery.

We often call them ne’er-do-wells and somberly characterize them as individuals “struggling with the bottle.” I’ve lost count of the times we’ve had to accept that the Michelin Man or Rudolph needed a 12-step program.

One December night, on my way home, I saw Santa at my neighbor’s house—out cold and belly up. I snapped a pic for my mom, to let her know she wasn’t the only one living in a neighborhood of boozehounds. She called me about ten seconds later.

Moma: Do you have a second?
Me: Yeah, what’s up?
Moma: You’re never going to guess who was face down as I left the house this morning. JOSEPH. Anna, he was OUT. He was face down, but had just enough air in his head that it looked like he was giving it some effort, as if to say, “I got this!”

2. Booty In A Brawl
You know when you see a booty that—if not corralled by sufficient denim—looks like two water balloons fighting each other? I’ll give you a second to visualize.

I feel utter jubilation over the fact that I’ve witnessed this more in the past year than usual. If I see someone in front of me with this particular issue, this dialogue runs through my head as I watch the two cheeks battle it out:

Left cheek: Pow.
Right cheek: Pow-pow.
Left cheek: Pow-pow-pow.
Right cheek: Whatchu lookin’ at?
Left cheek: WhatCHU looking at?!
Right cheek: You lookin’ at me?
Left cheek: You lookin’ at ME?!
Right cheek: Pow.
Left cheek: Pow-pow.
Right cheek: Pow-pow-pow.

I mean, their sparring is rather benign, as they both seem to understand the space they occupy will never change too drastically. I just think in certain clothes—like sundresses and yoga pants—they find it easier to antagonize one another.

3. Disdain That Takes On A Life Of Its Own
Isn’t it an awful place to be in when you simply do not like someone at all and everything becomes amplified to a point where they can do no right—and even the way they walk or breathe darkens your day? For me, that situation is very rare, but it has happened and I do not like it. However, I don’t mind it as much if I’m observing it as a third party and we’re not blood relatives.


Anyway, this phenomenon came into full funny view this week in an unexpected way. Our neighborhood is having a little issue with a developer who bought the plot of land connected to our small, quaint subdivision. What’s problematic is that he’s asking for some variances to the current zoning and tree ordinances (variances that do not set well with our discerning crew, who—thanks to our fearless leader at 2209—has us poised to pounce).

It’s turned into quite a situation, where we’re all uniting in objection and writing opposition letters, going to meetings, signing petitions. For a group of adults beyond school sports or paint ball age, the team work is nothing short of impressive.

tina amy hi5

The other night, I was sitting in a meeting being held by the Planning and Zoning committee. Its purpose was to officially hear the developer’s plans—and our formal, verbal opposition.

It was already quite Parks & Rec’esque and I found myself searching for Amy Poehler’s character. I was awash in merriment at the promise of free and imminent entertainment.

Sitting in the back, I had a really great view of the room and all the players. The developer journeyed to the podium and my normally professional, mature neighbors eyed him with such visible disgust that I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I had to make myself think of Geraldo Rivera’s recent shirtless selfie to quell the giggles.

Side Note: Have you ever rolled on the floor laughing IN YOUR HEAD? It’s a real treat.

As if it wasn’t amusing enough—watching grown-ups abhor a perfectly nice stranger—the fun escalated when the developer started explaining his plans. Not because of any nuances of the proposal, but because he SLIGHTLY mispronounced one of our street names.

People were looking at each other, mouths cockily agape, tisking and nudging their neighbor, as if to say, “Can you believe this joker? He can’t even pronounce McLemma—he calls it McLeeeema! What a joke! Is this a joke? How are we supposed to take this guy seriously?! He’s a millionaire who never learned phonics or the alphabet! We’re supposed to let this imbecile cut our trees down?! Are we on candid camera?!”

So yeah, it’s not fun to dislike someone with a fervor that affects the quality of your life, but it sure is fun to watch from a distance.

4. Witnessing People Getting (Safely) Knocked Off Their High Horse
I’ve written about poor grammar and the seemingly constant misuse of words like there/their, so it’s not news that I’m Judging You. I also admitted that I make mistakes and understand that we all do—of course we do. But I ran across this in my Facebook newsfeed not long ago and feel it’s worth sharing.

Side Note: On the outside chance the culprit is reading today’s post, I’d just like to say, “Hey You! We sure had some fun times growing up and jumping on the trampoline, huh? So … talk to ya later!”

Her Facebook post (verbatim):
“Wanna know one of my biggest pet peaves…..peoples misspelled words on facebook…oooohhh it kills me7!!”
My comment:
“You mean like misspelling “peeve?”

Seriously, I expend an enormous amount of energy not commenting on Facebook when I know it can’t go anywhere good. I’m like an Olympic-level Facebook Walk-Awayer. But I just couldn’t stop my fingers from typing. And then I couldn’t stop them from hitting enter.

I’m counting three solid errors in that one post and four strong potentials. Walking away would have been illegally painful.

Too many things make me happy, so I see a Part 2 in our future. Tune in next time when we’ll discuss the shocking but have-to-laugh phenomenon of when parents start forgetting to tell you important stuff and you get this text:

Don’t forget, your daddy and I have that meeting to finalize our will tomorrow, so we won’t be home until around 3:00. Oh and PS. say a prayer for his eye surgery … you know he doesn’t do well with general anesthesia. Ily.

What brings you unexpected joy?

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.