Macon County Chronicle - Opinion / Blogs

Laugh As If Nobody's Watching . . .

Sometimes I think Peter Pan had it right all along and maybe we should always hold tight to that childlike part of ourselves that seems to diminish with each passing year. That part of us that unintentionally makes our feet tap or our heads bob to the sound of a great song, that inner spirit that urges us to stomp a rain puddle, that tiny voice inside that tells us to dive, head first, into a freshly raked pile of leaves. 

Because if we lose all of that, if we misplace the wide-eyed, adventurous side of ourselves with a purely vanilla flavored view of the world, we are like spectators at a parade, watching from the sidelines as life waves to us from the top of a colorfully decorated float.

And while responsibilities and age increase at the same pace, there are still those moments when life calls for a little immaturity, a smidge of silliness and a teaspoon of spontaneity to keep us from forgetting that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s much too short to be taken so seriously.

My grandmother has always been a shining example of that philosophy in my life, and while her wire-rimmed eyeglasses and short, gray hair illustrate her age, her youthful spirit and breezy attitude about life has always been the thing I admire about her most.

Shopping one day (a sport that we both share a mutual passion for), we stopped in a local thrift store and began perusing the racks.

As I began sifting through a stand of tacky bridesmaid dresses, gaudy sequined sweaters and a library of other 1980’s fashion don’ts, my grandmother looked at me with a glint in her eye that needed no words, and we gathered up the most hideous eyesores we could find and headed straight for the dressing rooms for a mid-afternoon fashion show.    

As we both stepped out to see the full-length versions of ourselves, her decked out in a brightly colored moo-moo and go-go boots and me sporting a bow-infested gold bridesmaid dress and feathered hat, we both burst out in laughter.

Gasping for air and with tears rolling down our faces, it was one of the few times in my life that I can remember laughing until I cried.

And even though the other customers in the store were appalled by our silliness and the cashier glared up at us from her magazine, we didn’t care, because somehow, we both knew this was one of those moments that neither one of us would ever forget.

And while all of our lives, young or seasoned, are sprinkled with responsibilities and tough decisions, there are those times when we all need to try something new on for size and laugh as if no one is watching.  

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