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I Choose to Laugh Instead of Cry

One thing I try to do is laugh at the situations in which I find myself instead of crying about them. My often self-deprecating humor can catch people by surprise or make them think I have a low opinion of myself.

The truth is that I’m quite comfortable with who I am. I struggled with low esteem when I was younger, but age brings wisdom. I turned 50 this year, and I’ve reached the point where I’ve embraced the uniqueness of me. Could I be better? Heck yes! Do I want to improve myself and my skills? Of course! However, I know that if something can wrong with a simple task, it will go wrong while I’m performing that task.

Take my recent Amazon return for instance. I purchased two shirts on Amazon and didn’t like them when they arrived. They looked nice enough in the pictures, but the fabric of one shirt resembled curtains my great-grandmother had in the 1970s, and the other one had weird sleeves.

I wanted to return both shirts to Kohls where a kind employee packages, labels, and ships Amazon returns free of charge. That saves people like me time, money, and aggravation. What happened was I scheduled one return to go to Kohls and accidentally scheduled the other to go to the UPS Store, which was already closed for the weekend when I was doing my computer clicking.

Could I figure out how to fix it? No. I took one shirt to Kohls and the other to UPS Store. I have nothing against the UPS Store, so please don’t think I’m dissing them in any way. They are very nice there and also package, label, and return things to Amazon free of charge. Kohls simply has more convenient hours.

If there is a way for things to become more complicated or salt to be rubbed in the proverbial wound, it will happen to me. Back in 2004, a driver who was running late to work rear-ended me at a stoplight. We both got out, checked on each other, talked to the police, and went our separate ways in our own vehicles.

I don’t know what happened to him, but when I got to work and everyone came outside to look at the damage to my car, a bird pooped on me. Yes, it was perched on the tower of the TV station where I worked and pooped on my shoulder. The aforementioned salt in my wound dripped down the front of my white blouse and refused to be removed by any means within the walls of my workplace. I wanted to cry. I laughed instead.

I bring my lunch to work with me nearly every day. A couple of years ago, I literally set a potato on fire in our brand-new microwave. I had washed and punctured the spud several times before I put in on a saucer and set the microwave for ten minutes. I then put my hot dog on the stove to boil and returned to my desk for a few minutes until lunch was ready. I heard the smoke alarm start beeping a few minutes later. A coworker yelled, “Margarite, you’re on fire!” as he was ripping the smoke alarm from the wall.

I dashed to the appliance, which had only been on for seven minutes. Sure enough, there were flames engulfing my potato. I turned off the microwave, shoved my hand into a potholder, and removed my flaming spud. I took it outside and tossed it into a puddle left by the rain earlier that day. Half my lunch turned to ash. Did I cry? No. I made a joke about burnt offerings. Then my coworkers teased me about it for months. No tears here.

Another example of weird stuff happening to me is from today. I received a letter from my insurance company informing me they are dropping my car insurance next month due to an accident I had three years ago. Three years ago. Think about that. The unfortunate accident in which I scraped my neighbor’s son’s car as I was backing out of the driveway is the only claim I’ve ever submitted to that insurance company.

I was trying to avoid the cars parked on either side of my driveway and swung too wide, scraping the side of the car parked on the street directly behind me instead. My neighbor’s son was calm and magnanimous about the whole thing.

However, he now parks crossways in his parents’ driveway when he visits. It’s become a joke between my husband and me that the young man is afraid I’ll scuff his car again if he parks on the street.

Life is difficult right now. Prices are high, people are tense, and hope is low. Humor is becoming more elusive, but I still seek it in every situation. I choose to laugh.

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