Monday, July 18, 2011

Make 'Em Laugh

In the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, "With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die." 

Most mothers live in the midst of their own civil wars.  The impetus can vary: clothes, choice of television viewing, friend selection, homework, piano practice and even menu options.  Children will continue to rise up and wage battle with their moms over the ridiculous as long as we continue to try to set the parameters.  As a mother, I can wholly appreciate Lincoln's need for the occasional chuckle.  Although I have never thought of Honest Abe as being a particularly blithe fellow, you must figure with that countenance and characteristic ten gallon top hat, he most certainly valued the absurd. 

You got to hand it to a guy with a sense of humor. This quality is perhaps made even more noble when it is built on the alter of self-sacrifice and true to the philosophy of anything for a laugh.

Joe's in-law Steve is just that sort of rare breed. Several years ago, he  asked a dear friend what he wanted for his 40th birthday. The friend had one request: a picture of Steve in a Mt. Carmel high school wrestling unitard (or rather "singlet" as Steve gently corrected me). Steve carefully set up a lovely backdrop for his "gift" and went all-out in delivering on his promise to a friend:  

If I was Steve's mom, this would have been my Christmas card.
Not willing to waste this exercise in abject self-degradation for a mere solo laugh, our philanthropic friend promptly loaded the image into his Facebook account and clicked "insert new profile picture."

I applaud our unitard singlet-wearing Steve. Too many people are quite incapable of laughing at themselves out of fear the world will not respect or admire them. Yet the people whom I respect and admire most in my life have all found their inner funny.

Steve shows us that sometimes, the best laugh out there is right in the mirror. Or perhaps posing seductively across the fireplace next to a Beethoven bust.  Either way, Abe Lincoln would be proud.


  1. Steve is a gem. Need more like him.

  2. YOU are a gem! So glad you found me. And, equally, so glad I found you!

  3. Anonymous - Steve is top 3 as far as funny people I actually know. I think we should find a way to bottle him.

    Underemployed - Thank you! And I love your profile pic.

  4. Love the hairy chest!

  5. Spectacular!


  6. Anonymous - I hadn't noticed the hairy chest! Just adds to the overall mood if you ask me.

    Jeanine - Seriously...the amount of material this neighborhood provides is endless. So glad we live here!