After she gets her heart broken in the first Sex and the City movie, Carrie Bradshaw goes to Mexico with her friends on what was supposed to be her honeymoon, and she spends days in bed, hiding, barely waking up long enough to eat or drink anything, with the windows closed and shuttered. Eventually, she goes outside and starts to mope through life. At one point she ways, “Will I ever laugh again?” And Miranda Hobbs says, “Yes, when something is really funny.”
That’s kind of how I’ve felt for the past year or so. OK fine, maybe 2 years. Like the laughter had somehow died. I know the Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength, and I decided maybe that’s what was wrong with me. I lost my joy, and with it, my strength. But this week something changed and caught me completely by surprise.
I was scrolling through Facebook, wasting time, and I found the most hilarious meme. A lady named Sharon burned her Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie to a charcoal crisp, and then left a message on their Facebook page thanking the company for ruining her Thanksgiving. This was followed by hundreds of comments like, “Pretty sure the directions don’t say ‘yeet pie into the sun,’” and “Did you get a free urn with the purchase of your pie?” And I laughed literally until I cried. I have no idea why. It wasn’t like any act of comic genius, but I couldn’t stop laughing, and then I realized tears were streaming down my face, and I thought, “Holy crap. I haven’t laughed this hard since my mom died,” followed closely by, “I didn’t know I could still laugh like this,” followed closely by, “Thank you God.”
It was the strangest thing. It was like a cut off point between before and after, between injury and healing, between what has been and what could be. Now it has been almost a week, and I’ve sat almost every night reading though the memes based on this Marie Callendar’s and Sharon Weiss comedy, and I still laugh just as hard every time. Mary Ann sat next to me and read through all of them with me, laughing just to see me laughing.
And so, in honor of my first tentative step to rejoining the land of people who can function in the world seeing the good and the joy and the possibility, I want to give you a (not comprehensive) list of things that have made me happy this week.
This card from Christina Yang, wishing me a Merry Christmas with a sticker of Dolly Parton inside, flipping me the bird.
A meme (not mine) poking fun at the town where I live.
Seeing Christmas carolers in Asheville in front of Origami Ink, my favorite store in the world, fully dressed for the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol, singing in the 70 degree weather. (Thanks global warming).
The view from The Montford rooftop bar in Asheville.
Sitting in The Grove Park Inn sipping hot chocolate— the best hot chocolate in the world with homemade marshmallows.
Going to TJ Maxx and buying pink and blue Christmas decorations with the perfect table runner.
Chocolate chess pie with ice cream and raspberry syrup.
A pink box for my fountain pens.
Playing a little game with Christina Yang called, “Caption this photo.”
And time with family.
I think it’s maybe safe to say that wounds have started to heal over now, and I want you to know that it’s possible for you too. Find something to laugh about if you can. If you need somewhere to start, google “Thanks Marie Callendar.” You are welcome.