Monday, March 7, 2011
Love With Me, Laugh With Me
Well, you know, life is funny. I mean, you may as well try, as best you can, to perceive it that way.
I know that without a shadow of a doubt the things which have saved my life are not religion or faith or macrobiotics but something more akin to rock-and-roll, yardwork and a sense of humor.
And of course love. But that goes without saying. And oh yeah, maybe beer.
But a sense of humor is the grits and grease of life, if you ask me. And I borrow that phrase from a book by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wherein she was despairing over not being able to make any money either by her books or by the fruits of her grove in Florida and her wise maid told her that as long as she had enough money to buy her grits and grease, she'd be okay.
I think of that often.
I might amend it to grits, grease, a little protein and some collard greens but the only other thing I think you HAVE to have is a sense of humor. If there is anything better for the soul than laughter, I don't even know what it is.
One of my favorite parts of last Saturday was the period between the two performances when we were all so damn tired that we got that hysterical laughter thing going and it's almost like being on drugs, and no matter what anyone says, you just can't stop laughing and before you know it, your stomach hurts. I can't even remember what we were laughing about except for one thing and I can't talk about that here. Trust me- it was funny.
Such a great combination, don't you think?
Anyway, I was just talking to my youngest daughter, Ms. J. Moon, who is on Dog Island with her sweetie who lives far away and is here for a few weeks. They are out there on an island where there is nothing to do but walk the bay and Gulf, eat, drink, play games, do puzzles and nap. Whatever that entails. And we were talking about what her daddy had said which was that he hoped that after a week together on the island they still liked each other.
"Well," I said to him, "You and I always like each other a lot when we go off together alone."
And it's true.
And of course there's that whole romantic thing you can have when it's just the two of you and it's fabulous if you can find that again and remember that divine spark of joyful lust that brought you together but it's even better if that spark is accompanied by a fine sense of humor and you make each other laugh to the point where when you get back to your real life you miss each other being within arm's length because you've shared so many jokes and laughed so much in your time together, lovingly and with delight, that life seems bland and dull without your love-laugh partner right there by your side.
We seem to think that love should somehow be grim sometimes. That if you don't suffer, it can't really be love.
What a crock of shit.
If you're wondering if you're in love with someone, ask yourself this- does (s)he make me laugh? If not, scoot off the seat and board the next train.
That's what I think. We've all heard that kissin' don't last, cookin' do, which is, okay, stupid although there is some truth to the matter but the fact is, food is fine and if I died, I know Mr. Moon would miss my biscuits and the way I cook his deer meat but honestly, I think it's because I make him laugh that he loves me the most. He probably doesn't think this is true but I think it might be.
Or maybe not.
Relationships are incredibly complex and individual things. What makes one couple thrive would bore me to tears and what makes my relationship good would send someone else around the bend. Maybe. And I don't think there's a real recipe for success but I do think that the ability to have fun with the person you love is extremely important. Forget the angst and the tears and the fears- go for the joy and the belly laugh.
And what about sex? you may ask. Isn't that important?
Well of course it is but trust me on this- no matter how earth-shaking the sex is with someone, if after it's over the two of you can't laugh about things together, then the sex ain't gonna be worth a damn before too long. Trust me on this.
I remember once when Mr. Moon and I were having a hard time in our relationship. All relationships go through this, I believe, and boy, we were.
And you know what really brought us back together? Okay. It was a lot of work and breaking down of walls and giving up of pride and ridiculous notions, but the thing, the ONE thing that I remember distinctly as being the moment I could feel the tide returning was when we were watching a Jeff Foxworthy thing on TV. Yes. Jeff Foxworthy. You might be a redneck if....?
And he was talking about marriage and before we knew it, we were recognizing ourselves and we were laughing. Together. And you know what? All these many years later, we still quote a line from that night and no, I'm not going to tell you what it is because it won't mean a damn thing to you. But it did for us. And it still does. It still makes us smile.
And of course, perhaps I have all of this backwards and you learn to laugh with someone after you've learned to love them.
I don't know. I really don't.
But I DO know that laughter and the feeling you get when you can laugh with someone over something, whether a stupid joke by Jeff Foxworthy on TV or the absurdity of life is very, very important. Maybe the most important thing of all.
Because there are going to be hard times in every relationship. Times that make you want to throw the whole thing off the cliff and run away. Times that make you doubt your love or make him or her doubt theirs. But. But, if you can still find something to laugh about together, you can probably find your way back to love.
Life is funny. Sometimes not always obviously ha-ha funny but if you can find the ha-ha in the funny, you'll do okay. And if you can find that with someone, whether a friend or a spouse or a lover or a child, you know you're going to be all right.
I've always said that I believe in love and light. And I think I might just have to add laughter to that list. When we're laughing, we are something rare and beautiful and when we are laughing together, we are making the world a better place. Life is hard and often grim. But as long as can laugh, we'll be all right. Somehow, we will.
And I have no idea why I'm writing about this tonight. Mr. Moon is off to auction and I am here alone but I am thinking about his blown boat engine and how depressed he is about that but how gorgeous he was, laughing with Owen this morning as they ate their breakfast together and how much joy and laughter and light he has brought to me in our life together.
And I am smiling.
Oh yes, I am.
And I am wishing for all of my children, and for you too, to find that person who makes you smile, you makes you laugh, who brings you joy.
Forget suffering and angst. Life has enough of that on its own. You need someone beside you who is the antidote to that. Who can make you laugh so hard your face hurts. Who can make you smile so wide your soul floats up and does a little dance.
And if you already have that person, you know what I'm talking about. And you're as lucky as I am.
Kissin' DOES last, and the more you laugh, the more you feel like kissin'.
Yeah. I wish he was here, that Mr. Moon Man. I'd kiss him and then we'd laugh and then we'd kiss some more.
Well, Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we'll have plenty of opportunity for more of both in the days to come.
And I hope that Jessie and Vergil are laughing and kissing on Dog Island. There ain't much else to do out there and if this is True Love, then they're attending class on Relationships, 101, out there which will serve them well in the messy, hard, grim, sweet and joyful years to come.
And I hope they're enjoying their grits and grease, whatever form that takes, maybe dancing in the kitchen as they cook and kiss and laugh.
And that they'll look back on this week years and years from now and remember it and that memory will carry them through whatever they will experience.
And hell, if they need to watch Jeff Foxworthy, they can look him up on YouTube. It's a brave new world and if it's easier to find something to laugh at, then I'm all for it.