I hadn’t realized what a ridiculously long time it had been since I had laughed my ass off. I’ve chuckled plenty, but I have fallen short on engaging in the hysterical laughter that causes tears to run down my cheeks, has me gasping for breath and renders me unable to pull myself together. You know what I’m talking about – the sort of laughter that has an almost orgasmic quality to it. The kind that teeters dangerously close to morphing into tears but when it is over (and it can take a little time to recover) you just feel, well, good. Better than good. I hereby decree that laughing one’s ass off should be, at minimum, a weekly requirement of all adults as it might just have medicinal qualities.
Over the past few days, I repeatedly laughed like crazy and, despite the fact that others were laughing with me (at least I think they were laughing with me. Crap…could it be that they were laughing at me?) I am not sure if that which struck me as so funny was indeed funny or if it was simply attributable to the fact that I was in a different setting with a different cast of characters. I had escaped to New York for college visits with Rich, Harrison and Harrison’s girlfriend, Bianca, as well as her mother and step-father, Ines and Ekk who, on a regular basis, crack me up. We logged many miles both by car and by foot, indulged in street food on several corners, went to the theater, ate dinner at eleven p.m. (it is their European influence rearing its head) and allowed Ekk to order the booze. (One will note the absence of a certain ten-year old that was, instead, home with Nanny for the weekend. A million thanks, Mom). Being away from the responsibilities, rules and complications inherent in being home (more notably, my home!) begs the question: what was it that enabled me to have true, unadulterated fun for the first time in a really, really long time?
A few possibilities:
- I desperately needed a vacation. In celebration of our twentieth wedding anniversary Rich and I went to New York, sans children, for two days. It was great. We had a blast. That was in October, 2010. We haven’t been away, with or without children, since. Lesson learned: that is too long for us to go between vacations – no matter how mini.
- I needed a change of scenery. My limited weekly excursions, which, at best (or is it worst?) take me to three different towns, apparently are not satisfying my need to see new things. Lesson learned: my town repertoire needs to be expanded.
- I’m so wrapped up in all things Jessie that I have done the one thing my father always reminded me not to do: lose my sense of humor. When your shoulders are hiked up to your ears and you’re constantly swatting away the “what ifs” it is easy to get weighed down and forget to laugh. Lesson learned: Dad was right. Life is easier when you keep a sense of humor.
- I need to hang out with people who make me laugh. I have many friends that do, but have been so overwhelmed and scared and anxious and distraught and exhausted and other various and sundry negative things that I have chosen to isolate and shutdown, thereby limiting the sheer number of opportunities I have to laugh. Lesson learned: Try to go out more. Imbibing really good champagne that was” like ginger ale only better” helps, too.
- New York is more fun than Boston. Okay, that is a new thought and merely fodder for the long-standing city rivalry, but it is also kinda true. Case in point: after a crazy, long day which included two college tours, hours of driving and pouring rain (resulting in some seriously bad hair) all of the adults shared the sentiment that, despite our exhaustion we were going to persevere and go out on the town. And we did. And had a blast. Lesson learned: Even with bad hair, tired legs and sore feet it can be fun to pull ones’ self together and go out to dinner at eleven p.m. And,yeah, imbibing in that really good champagne helps.
So, on the heels of all this laughter, I arrived home feeling refreshed and looking forward to seeing Jessie so I could smother her with a hug, a kiss and some New York goodies despite her having called me at 12:20 a.m. on our first night in New York imploring me to come home immediately. Nope, wasn’t going there this time. I’d gotten the recharge and release that I so desperately needed. I figure I am good for a bit. At least a day or so…