Somewhere buried in my photo box, there is this photo taken, way back when. Back when Santa actually visited the schools and you could get your photo taken with him, and your parents could buy some of the photos (I don't know if they still do this, I think I may have been about ten at the time.) I'm sitting on his lap, and I have this smirk on my face. We'd just got done making paper collars like the Pilgrims used to wear, and I was still wearing mine. Santa had asked me if I was a good little girl, and what did I want for Christmas? Those of you who know me have probably figured out by now my answer would've probably been "raccoons!", and since I was of a certain age, I probably said something like "stuffed raccoons" or "stuffed animals". You'd have been right--and Santa, smart aleck he was, answered something to the effect of "you want me to feed them first before I bring them to you? What? Stuffed?". Which is why I'm smirking.
No doubt, you're wondering the point here, don't worry. It's coming.
So here you are, and it's Christmastime. You're running around Walmart or some other store, trying to get that last minute thing so-and-so HAS to have. Or maybe you're braving the mall. You're walking through the food-court, and then you see it. Someone wearing a goofy hat, or they're singing Christmas carols really LOUD, or showing off those red-and-yellow-and-plaid socks to the world at large. Maybe you smile, or maybe like a lot of people, you merely think, "what an idiot."
Of course, I'm not thinking this. Because I'm the one in the goofy hat.
On December the 20th, I went to pick up the kid. This involves a 3 1/2-4 hour drive (depending on traffic) up a mountain, through the wilderness that is Asheville, and on to Knoxville, Tennessee. I'm dressed completely normal--except for the hat. It's one a coworker bought me, and has over sized elf-ears and a jingly bell on it. I also have my daughter's stuffed rabbit (the one I took out on Halloween) seat belted in the back seat like he's along for the ride. I wave at people who pass me on the highway, and get both waves (mostly from small children) and funny looks (mostly from adults) in return. I'm willing to accept either.
Why do I call attention to myself in this way, when I neither like people, nor do I like much attention paid to me normally?
The look on the child's father's face, as he and the wife pulled into the Cracker Barrel parking lot, said it all. It was a combination of "what the hell is that woman wearing on her head?" and "am I sure I want to be seen in public with this person?" mixed with "Am I even sure I want to leave the child with this crazy woman?"
In other words, had I set out to thoroughly irritate my ex husband, mission succeeded.
I used to take myself SO seriously. And it used to annoy me immensely that no one TOOK me seriously. All most folks see is the little girl with the long hair. Then I woke up one morning and said, "Stop. I can't do this anymore. I can't be serious ALL the time any more." and I took it and ran with it and haven't looked back.
Because after you've been an adult for a while, you come to realize some days you just have to LAUGH. At YOURSELF. Because there is NOTHING else you can really do.
There's people out there who can't do this (like my ex). They try to steal a person's joy simply because they no longer have any of their own. They worry overmuch about what other people expect them to be, and their idea of "fun" consists of what other people may think of them, so they tailor their hobbies accordingly.
I feel very sorry for them.
Sure, it looks stupid. I admit it. But the world has enough "pretty" already, maybe we need a little stupid now and again. Fortunately, I don't give a rat's ass what *you* may think of me. And if I have managed to at least make you smile, that hat has done its job.
Because you can't be serious. Not ALL the time.
Here's hoping your holidays were happy, with plenty of laughs to get you through these long dark winter days.