I was going to write something thoughtful and sensitive and Meaningful after reading Erika’s blog post today. I went to the kitchen to get some water to think about it and when I got back to my desk, I was distracted by something (Oh, look! it’s really, really cloudy outside.”) and meandered over to Go Fug Yourself and immediately forgot about being thoughtful because I was so wildly entertained and la la la la la with the silliness.
So, lucky you! You get both.
– begin thoughtfulness –
Erika wrote today about stomping out stress with a smile. It reminded me that I’ve used that trick on long-distance runs. When my whole body just wanted to give up, I would force myself to smile. Yes, it felt contrived. Yes, it probably looked more like a grimace. Yes, I sometimes got bugs in my teeth.
But it worked. The discomfort eased up – sometimes only for a few seconds, sometimes for the remainder of the run, but it always provided a respite. And sometimes, even a very brief respite can provide significant relief.
All that crap about laughter being the best medicine and smiling ’cause the whole world will smile with you… it’s all kind of true. Annoying, but true.
This morning on the bus, I was reading the last 10 pages of Knockdown by Dick Francis. Our hero Johah had just had his shoulder dislocated (for the umpteenth time) by the get-away car of the book’s big baddie, who had just shot and killed the book’s almost-as-big baddie. Very exciting stuff!
Poor Jonah was lying in the driveway, half mad with pain. His almost-girlfriend Sophie arrived on the scene, and he begged her to manuever his shoulder back into position. She, usually cool-headed and self-contained, blanched at the idea.
When she finally agreed to be brave enough to do it, this is what Jonah told her:
Jonah: First instruction… smile.
Jonah: Six deep breaths and a big smile.
Sophie (despairing): Oh, Jonah…
Jonah: I don’t want you messing about with my precious body unless you go back to being your normal confident relaxed efficient hard-hearted self.
Then Sophie did it. She took six deep breaths, forced out a shaky but passable smile, and they were off to the races.
So there you have it: a smile as a weapon against fear, stress, frustration, and undefined discomfort. This is by no means a Pollyanna approach to avoiding real emotion. Let those emotions flow! But this trick helps me recognize that I am still here, inside all this emotion, and a smile can help remind me – and everyone else – that I might be a bit knocked around just now, but I’m still upright.
– end thoughtfulness –
– begin silliness –
The Fug Girls post “Hilariously Played, Cannes” is itself hilarious. You really should go read it immediately. Here’s a hint of what you’ll find, without giving too much away: Courtney Love impersonation, naughtily-sheer fabric, true inspiration, feathers, and a cane.
Don’t even pretend you can resist that combination. Go! GO!
– end silliness –
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