Ever since watching the movie, “Singing in the Rain,” I have great joy when I can make someone laugh. Maybe I should’ve become a standup comic. Is 78 too old to start a new career? The only problem I can foresee is being able to stand up.
I saw that movie, I was about ten years old – a very, impressionable, easily influenced child. I wanted to dance like Donald and do pratfalls until the cows came home. Gene Kelly told a complete story with his dance as he caressed the umbrella, splashed in the puddles and related how he was feeling via some fancy footwork.
Somehow, we’ve forgotten how to laugh lately. Of course I guess we don’t have a lot of reason to chuckle in our current situation. Six months of isolation, having to wear a mask, spacing ourselves six feet apart does that to a person. Watching law and order give way to violence and hatred makes us wonder who we have become. Add to that a political situation that’s made us wonder what continent we live on. There seems to be no end in sight and even the most easy going are now becoming basket cases. Has everything become so bad that we can’t have fun anymore?
The best way to get over that hump is to change something that’s within our power. Let God take care of all that other junk. We need to change our attitude. Compromise doesn’t come easy for many of us, but maybe we need to learn to bend. Anger and frustration about who our leaders are and who’s telling the truth is tough too, because we’ve grown to believe that we can’t trust anyone. Changing a lifetime of bad habits doesn’t come easy.
I’d be a rich woman if I knew he answers. I know that when I’m feeling sad, angry, frightened, lonely and frustrated, a good belly laugh makes me feel better. Even if it’s just temporary, it makes the unbearable bearable.
I’m currently collaborating on a series of short plays that will eventually be produced either on stage or via the internet. The subject matter isn’t funny at all, but the things the things that result from it are hilarious. We’re talking about growing old. We have one woman in her 80’s, one in her 70s (me) and one in her 60’s. The topics of each episode pertains to things we face as we age. They include health issues, planning for death, loneliness, writing a will, living in a world of technology when you still write words in cursive. Sounds like a laugh a minute, right?
What I’m learning – and believe me, we all continue to learn until we die – is that a sense of humor is vital. We’ve seen such a change, because the world has become overly conscious of not wanting to offend anyone. We shouldn’t speak without thinking, but we need to lighten up a bit and be willing to laugh at ourselves. Those negative emotions do nothing to give us a feeling of well being.
So, I’m 78 and I can go through the McDonald’s drive thru with a fake nose and glasses as my mask. I can laugh when I have difficulty getting out of a chair or while reading closed captioning knowing the words are incorrect. I can laugh when a man’s toupee’ falls into his soup or a woman has trouble keeping her knee brace in place and opts for suspenders. Life is what we make it. So laugh, darn you, laugh.