Presentations

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Clown Noses, Laughter and Tears

I heard rumors that the speaker at our Business and Professional Women’s meeting, Vickie Weaver, had asked for clown noses for each person in attendance. My first reaction was a mental rolling of eyes and words raced through my brain that I won’t put in writing.

I’ve always enjoyed humor and having fun, but usually avoid acting silly. Clown noses sounded pretty ridiculous.

Vickie presented the first part of her program on “The Art of Laughter” touting the therapeutic benefits of laughter. We’ve all heard about life threatening diseases being cured after a person watched several days of slapstick comedy.

The dreaded moment arrived and clown noses were distributed. We opened plastic wrappers and plunked the red sponge noses over our real noses. Immediately, cell phones were removed from purses to take advantage of this photo op. I seriously hope there are not pictures of me on You Tube wearing a red sponge-Bob nose.

I’m pretty sure our honored guests for the evening—a table of men, the chicken fryers from last fall’s fundraiser—thought we had lost our minds. A couple of them tentatively put on their noses, but they didn’t jump up like the rest of us to learn a variety of laughs.

My favorite was the one that ended with throwing our hands in the air and shouting “Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!” Other favorites were the “hand shake” and the “thumbs up” laugh.

I laughed so hard my sides hurt and the muscles on the back part of my head began to ache. I’m sure the good endorphins helped us through the serious topic that dominated our business meeting. We discussed the imminent demise of the 90 year old BPW organization that we all know and love. Our group is determination to continue with our local’s good work even if it requires a name change. Our BPW local supports community programs year round and annually awards scholarships.

Vickie’s timing was perfect to remind us of the importance of not just a smile or chuckle, but a real full body laugh. It is impossible to take yourself too seriously while you wear a clown nose. Clown noses and laughter put troubles into perspective.

After a blustery, cold Thursday, Friday morning was bright with the slight chill of a Colorado summer day, the kind of morning that always makes me miss Jim. It was my day off and I had time to think about personal pressing issues. My broken dryer topped the list. My sister-in-law, Ginger, had already dried two loads of clothes for me. Now, I needed to figure out how to get the dryer repaired or replaced.

As I poured my first cup of coffee, a moment of utter sadness over life’s losses brought tears to my eyes. As I fixed my coffee, I thought about how much Jim loved a cup of coffee. He drank his coffee black. He wanted it steaming hot so he used a thick cup and drank a half-cup at a time. After his cup of coffee he would have fixed the dryer and it wouldn’t have been my problem.

I’m not usually one to weep over what “should-a-could-a” been so I brushed aside the tears to answer the phone. A friend told me he was on the way over to look at my dryer. My spirits lifted, and while I drank my first cup of coffee, I enjoyed the lovely spring day. I began to hum—life can be fun regardless of those pesky day-to-day problems.

I pulled my clown nose out of my purse. Should I just pop the nose on and practice my “Wheeeee!” laugh? Nah! No sense in being silly.
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