May Music, Day 16 – Don’t cry out loud…

…or in company.

I’ve cried for any number of reasons. Even at an advert one time. But, I don’t typically cry at sad. Unless it’s real life. And I don’t like crying in front of people. A quiet weep or a rollicking good muscle-jerking flood both have their places in my life. But, preferably, on my own.

In fact, I get quite annoyed with anything that seems contrived to make me want to cry. Like that bloody movie, ‘The Champ’!  I hated that! The whole thing was designed to play on emotions.

Like watching those shows that reunite long lost relatives. Why make a show out of it? Just do it for folk, if you’re gonna do it. No, they have to bring on the violins and tug at people’s mushy bits. That bugs me. Don’t mess with my emotions.

I’m more likely to cry at things that make me happy when it comes to movies and songs.

Not when ET died. But when the flowers blossomed again and I knew he was alive even before I knew he was alive!

Like watching ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Not because of the music played but because anything that makes me feel all squishy inside at the inherent goodness in people makes me weak at the waterworks.

So, a song that I cried at? Which is what Twindaddy is asking as question 16 for day 16 of his 25 days of music challenge. I’m drained with this, btw, just in case you’re interested.

The last one I can think of, I’ve cried at every time I’ve heard it. It’s the last scene and song of ‘Les Mis.’. Fecking sobbed my eyes out. Right enough, I did that for most of the movie but hey ho.

The first time I saw it I was with my two eldest daughters at the cinema. Poor Mary-Kate was inconsolable. Claire was all, Wtf! And I had a raging headache by the end of it from trying to suppress the tears that were blurring my vision most of the way through it and certainly by the end. Streams escaped and I had to stifle sobs, trying not to draw attention to myself. I hate crying in public.

We had to go and drown our sorrows over dinner that night. Laughing soon rectified the headache and any desire to cry. Especially since said eldest daughter ribbed and ridiculed the whole movie. I won’t go into details on Claire’s brand of humour but we all felt much better after a few wines and laughs. Tears then too. Of a different variety. And I love crying with tears of laughter.

The last scene was, well I better not tell you what happens, in case there are still some people who have yet to see it.

!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Do not watch this if you haven’t seen the movie!

I’m greetin’ just watching and listening to it for the umpteenth time. Happy and sad and fabulous to the Fth degree. Sniff…

Shug’s not looking too well in this. But what a marvellous job he and all the other actors did.

So, if I want a wee greet….it happens!…I watch this movie. Because, of course, I bought it to ensure that I could have the viewing pleasure all over again and, locked in splendid isolation with a box of Kleenex, I enjoyed a major wailng session…..guaranteed snotters and puddles. I like that sometimes. It’s a wummin thing. Or maybe just a me and Mary-Kate thing ‘cos she does that too. 🙂

Elysian Fields

I’m rising and falling

and floating thru’ time

like a leaf on a breeze

in the mist

to Elysian Fields,

lush pastures to seize

while a song plays and

drifts from my lips.

 

I open my eyes

to view what’s in store and

gasp with delight

at the scene;

my Mother and Father,

all those long gone,

dancing

as if in a dream.

 

Their laughter like lilacs,

their faces in bloom,

roses red

on each cheek,

my face shines with joy

at each girl and boy

suspended in time

that we seek.

 

Air rushes by,

my heart gives a cry

as I’m torn from this world

full of wonder

clouds scud the night,

spirit in flight, in a whirlpool

 I’m dragged

back down under

 

to life on the earth

where worries await

and trials are the test

of my soul.

But eyes closed, cast within

I see fields again

and the faces of my

Elysian goal.

Muscles And Madness

I don’t think of myself as amusing. Or funny. I’m not a joke teller particularly. On the odd occasion, I do nail one. But there are too many moments when I forget the punchline or have to return to a bit I’ve missed. Then if anyone ends up laughing it’s usually at how awful my telling of the joke was.

Having said that I have been known to reduce people to laughter and I’m always highly amused whenever my anecdotes or musings have this effect.

Most of the time this occurs from my embarrassing moments.

Once I get over the embarrassment I usually find myself sharing the tales with others and I suppose laughing at yourself is at least not laughing at someone else. People, for some reason, like it when you take the piss out of yourself.

So for me trying to be funny doesn’t really work. It just sort of happens. Or not.

I don’t go around deliberately sharing embarrassing moments or anything like that but if I find myself in company and the mood is light-hearted I kind of can’t help myself. There’s usually a certain amount of drink involved. Though not always. Like now.

It’s never malicious. Well, how can it be if you’re laughing at yourself? I just think that some things deserve to be shared and then people share all sorts of wonderful things about their embarrassing moments and I get to piss myself laughing at them. At their behest.

I was trying to think back to some recent moments of embarrassment and I suppose the worst would be when I accidentally twooted my leg, in the bath, to WordPress and Twitter. I deleted it, of course, so don’t go looking. But I was mortified. Then I shared it with my sister who has a knack for making me laugh at everything and anything. By the time I had told her and had a marvellous Facebook chat with her I was doubled at my own stupidity and, I admit, I maybe did leak a bit from the nether regions.

The reason for this I think is because genuine laughter makes you lose muscular control. Why else would my face crease into contortions I have no ability to control? Why else would tears run down my cheeks? Why else would I fall from chairs? Or pee my pants? It can’t just be because I’ve had seven kids. That wouldn’t affect my face or my gravity.

No there is definitely a lack of all muscular control when you are genuinely amused to the point of pissdom.

I think back now to my earliest memories of pissing myself with laughter and no children had been birthed. In fact I was pretty much no more than a child myself. Maybe about 12.

The first I recollect was organising a show in my dad’s garden hut with my best friend at the time. We rigged up a curtain, created some seats for our audience and charged some of our friends 10pence for the privilege of listening to us sing. There was diluted juice and homemade fairy cakes too. We knew how to take care of our guests. Unfortunately, my friend was no singer despite believing she was.

When it was her turn to sing she belted out a rendition of some song that was about a being a conductor on a bus. From behind the makeshift curtain I could see our audience raising their eyebrows and nudging one another as if to say, ‘WTF! We paid for this?’

I couldn’t help it. I began to laugh. You know the shoulder-shaking kind that you can’t get under control? And I felt awful for laughing at my best friend’s attempts to wow her audience. X-factor take note. I couldn’t. I tried all the usual things. Biting my lip. Thinking sad thoughts. I just couldn’t. And the more I tried the worse it got. Until. I pissed myself. There behind the curtain. Then I saw a new look dawn on the faces of our audience!

Dis-fucking-belief! They couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it! With a puddle at my feet I had certainly managed to take the bad look off my friend. Without even trying. Not my best debut.

Another occasion I pissed myself was trying on clothes in a local boutique when I was in my early teens. Why does no one tell you that you should always wear sanitary protection regardless of age? How is anyone meant to know when the giggles will erupt?

This little boutique welcomed my sister and I most weekends because my mum had an account there and whenever we ‘needed’ a new item of clothing we could go in and fend for ourselves and try things on to our hearts’ content. No stalking shop assistant checking to see if we were stuffing clothes down our knickers. If I’d known what was to occur I would have stuffed something down my knickers. Anything. Well, anything absorbent.

Sis accompanied me into a tiny cubicle while I tried on a dress. Now I had taken the correct size but for some reason I appeared to have grown two arses and a second set of boobs. So I struggled to get it on. Quite a bit. But I was determined. We giggled at my efforts and once it was on my sister told me, as only sisters can, ‘Nah. It looks shite on you.’ I laughed and agreed. And then it happened. I couldn’t get the fecker back off. V. started making all sorts of comments about having to wear it forever. Or having to go and pay for it while still wearing it. In fact, I think now that I might have tried it on on top of my clothes. That would account for the tight fit, I suppose.

The more comments she whispered the worse I got until I could feel my facial muscles lose all control. I heard a rip. And then those other muscles lost some measure of control. You know the ones. The ones that pelvic floor exercises help keep strong for just such occasions and for other ones that I won’t go into here.

But who the hell needs pelvic floor exercises at 13 or 14? No. Laughter definitely releases more than just pent up emotions.

Now I have many more such anecdotes but I think I’ll save those for individual posts. Except perhaps to say that if you purchase a little accoutrement from an online sex shop that attaches to the top of an electric toothbrush be sure to remove it before charging said toothbrush. And before a child asks what sort of toothbrush is that? And before you can only think to say, ‘It’s a gum massager.’ I didn’t laugh then. I blushed. Hubby, standing behind 12 year old, might just have peed his pants though. At least going by the tears running down his face. True story. And very good value for money btw. Comes highly recommended.

Now the purpose of this post is that Ali has created a new award called The Damp Laundry Award. And she nominated me and two others. The proviso was that I wrote a humorous post and nominated three others to do the same. Now Ali has something of the bawdy in her humour. Which I so get. Not my fault. Three brothers you see. And two sisters who share the same delicious humour.

So. Did you at least dampen the crotch area slightly? Or have my efforts been in vain?

And now to my nominees.

Being The Memoirs Of Helena Hann-Basquiat

Peace, Love and Patchouli

Gingerfightback

And now I get to post this.

damp laundry award Thank you, Ali!

 

Optimism

More than enough occasions of failure to whistle a tune when it calls, but

Enough understanding that when it rolls round again,

I know I’ll rise up after the fall.

 

Too much experience with sadness and grief when it comes to pass

But enough to know that time heals like the cliché.

Unending grief does not last.

 

Too many times of depression to wish it on anyone, even a foe,

The dearth of hope and gladness of feelings

Leaves you with nowhere to go

 

But spiralling down to a sunken abyss where creatures of night fill the dark

And reason and joy depart for some time

While you wait for the song of the lark.

 

Nothing in life is unchanging and that’s the way it should be.

No stagnating pond where fish circle endlessly round,

That’s never a life for me

 

Or others that feel the persuasion, the prompting of spiritual fire,

There’s only one way, the direction is up

Soaring ever higher and higher.

 

That’s just the way it is with some, optimists I believe they are termed.

Nothing in life completely fazes us,

No matter how many times we are warned.

 

It’s a testament to either stupidity or an eternal longing for hope,

It’s viewed by some as unreality

And by others as somewhat of a joke.

 

But it’s a damn sight better than moaning and groaning for what lies way behind.

I’d rather be looking to stars and bright linings

Than staring blankly around.

 

It may be that others are doubtful at intelligence married with mirth

But there’s nothing to be done with nature’s benevolence,

That’s the way I’ve been since my birth.

 

If all of the world was a reality or pessimistic fuelled by the dire

And nothing of hope filled visions ahead

I’d jump straight down to the fire

 

Of hellish depression with no end in sight, just a yawning cavern of dark,

Nothing would make a semblance of sense.

No, I’ll hang right onto my spark.

My Weans

When my 20 year old daughter said she wanted a ‘family tree’ picture I thought she meant gathered around the Christmas tree. Nope. IN the apple tree! So we did. Down the garden, through the wet grass, up the tree. Not the adults. We’re not stupid! We loitered around the trunk.  My 24 year old daughter and 23 year old son started on their patter and my jaws ached from laughing. All my kids about me for Christmas. Sister and her three, brother, future son-in-law. Magical times. Fifteen gathered to eat, drink, chat, laugh and celebrate. And all to do again for New Year. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I’ll be needing a holiday at the end of this.

To chat a while –

an hour

or ten –

and know you understand.

And in the understanding, know

that you are understood.

An implicit sort of knowing,

born of love’s connection.

Blessed,

Acceptance,

Joy,

Amazement,

Proud,

Privileged.

In awe.

These,

my own.

I am unworthy,

but not.

I must have had

something to do with

who they are,

how they are,

the wonder they are;

their personalities,

characters,

humour.

Thanksgiving,

we don’t have,

as some do.

But I have,

in measure fullest.

Blessed,

Acceptance,

Joy,

Amazement,

Proud,

Privileged.

In awe.

All twice.

And again

tomorrow

and every day hence.

Are You Dancing? Are You Asking?

Today I was reinitiated into the joys of ‘social dancing’.

For the unenlightened, this is the kind of dancing your mammy and daddy might have done. Well, actually, my mammy and daddy didn’t do these dances. They were more your tango and fox trots and waltzes. But you get my drift.

You know the kind of dances. ‘The Gay Gordons’, ‘The Saint Bernard’s Waltz’, ‘The Canadian Barn Dance’ and ‘Strip the Willow’, among others. These are the dances that teachers like to encourage the ten to twelve year olds to learn for the day when, ‘You might be at a wedding or a ceilidh.’

In fact, the children involved today will do these dances at their school Christmas party.

A lot of schools have moved away from inflicting this punishment on children. I don’t know whether some child or other in the past begged their parents to take the education authorities to the European Court of Human Rights to ensure that their civil liberties were not impinged upon. But social dancing has rather gone the way of the dodo.

One of the schools I go to has, however, decided that it is still a valuable lesson in humility and had a practice today. I wouldn’t normally have been involved but I had a ‘Please Take’ scenario.

Three class loads of kids piled into the gym hall and were then instructed to choose a partner. The same one as the week before. So they had already had some practice at this. Nevertheless, the faces of some of the boys and girls were a study as they struggled with who to ask and then shuffled beside them awkwardly, trying not to make eye contact. There are always the one or two who are quite up for it. Worth a watching those ones.

I smiled to myself remembering this horrible experience from my own days at primary school. It could have been worse, right enough. My secondary school involvement in dances was a hundred times more humiliating considering I went to an all girls’ school.  So that didn’t make for much fun in the dancing stakes. Especially as a teenager.

We were allowed to invite boys from the local co-ed school once we reached our fifth year at secondary. I was about fifteen, I remember. We were all glad- ragged up and the boys were there. So too were the teachers. Old, wizened women who had never smiled since they were babes. Patrolling the assembly hall and ensuring that all partners stayed well apart from each other. No risk of Christmas kisses there. Or even a smoochie dance. No, no, no, it was all very disco from a distance. Status Quo and head banging. Some Slade and Sweet thrown in for good measure. While Macbeth’s witches shook their heads in dismay at the volume of the music and cackled to themselves every time they split up a possible meaningful relationship.

Anyway, back to today.

Heights between and within the year groups varied quite widely so we tried to pair the children so that the boys’ arms could actually reach above their partner’s shoulders. And so they didn’t look too ridiculous. We’re not that cruel.

The girls are really quite mature in their approach to the business of dancing with boys and some even extended their hands expecting to have them taken. At this point, many of the boys pulled the sleeves of their jumpers down over their hands to ensure no possible contamination from members of the opposite sex. An interesting way of dealing with the problem. But one I have observed many times before.

With instructions not to be ridiculous, they began. After demonstrations from two of the other teachers. A young lass reading the instructions from a pile of notes. Step, two, three, stamp, stamp. Step left ……you know how it goes.

The ceilidh music began and off they stepped. I wanted a video! You really would have to have been there. The almighty exertions of these children to follow what to them were convoluted steps while trying to hang onto their sleeves and count out the time to the music was a joy to behold.

So much better than the panto I had to endure the other week!

Not content with watching and encouraging I’m afraid I just had to join in. I’d forgotten how much I liked ‘Strip the Willow’.

It was a good day. And the children definitely improved. So in future years they can join in any wedding or ceilidh with ease! Very worthwhile practice, I think. And so much fun to watch. They were laughing at the end too so it couldn’t have been as horrific as all their protestations would have had us believe. Enjoying school? Teachers and pupils? Ridiculous!

So good, I did it twice.

A big thank you to Suzie81’s Blog for her post http://suzie81.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/fabulous-acts-of-revenge/.

I have already linked this but it was so good I’m doing it twice. (It works for New York).

I follow Suzie. Her above post was timely and a much needed pick-me-up. Her link to ‘Happy Place’ and what I found there had me in my happy place for a good hour or more last night.

Inventive ways to quit your job. Roommates’ notes to one another. I was buckled.

I thanked her for sharing her humour and she didn’t just say, ‘You’re welcome.’

She said,’ If you want a laugh, try out this place.’ She sent me another link, to Fmylife.com. So I checked that out too.

When my kids stuck their heads round the door to ask what I was laughing at ( because, apparently, it is so unusual to hear me guffawing) I told them and they said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a good site. Pretty funny.’

That was fine. I’m sure they know any number of sites I have never come across.

However, when I came downstairs this morning and found the usual chaos in the kitchen and elsewhere, I decided to take a leaf out of the roomies’ notebooks.

I armed myself with paper and pen.

As each child descended this morning I could hear them pause at each piece of paper they found, outlining what was wrong at each place.

I won’t bore you with the details but I had four fabulous helpers today and we achieved so much together without me having to nag or whine. It would seem the written word is more effective than my voice.

So, Suzie, thanks on so many levels. A belting belly-laugh and willing workers.

I don’t know how the awards work on WordPress but if I did I’d nominate you for being a gem!

Many thanks again.x