Saturday, August 14, 2010

Laughter is the only medicine

What cheers you up the most when life gets you down?

Any number of things. I have great friends who know me well enough to say just the right thing to make me smile and laugh out loud. I have a brother who never fails to make me laugh because he's such an idiot. That's the Mushroom. Passages in books cheer me up and certain movies bring me right out of the horse latitudes in no time flat, especially if there dancing and singing are involved. And then there are times like last night that something that was meant to be serious makes me laugh.

Last night someone told me that he was sorry things didn't work out and that what we hoped didn't happen, but it was because we couldn't seem to communicate. I couldn't help myself. I had to laugh, really laugh, laugh so hard I nearly wet myself. Couldn't seem to communicate. When I shared it with a really good friend, she made me laugh even harder.

"Communicate? When did he TRY to communicate with you? Was he attempting telepathy? Because he wasn't writing and he wasn't calling and he wasn't visiting."

I guess that was the couldn't seem part of the communication. I didn't have my receiver turned on when he was transmitting Morse code or telepathy. I was too busy getting on with my life. Working, reading, eating, sleeping, you know, the usual things that take up the hours I wasn't sitting by the phone or the computer or the door in case he popped up. Definitely laughable.

That's the thing about communication. When someone wants an excuse why things don't work out or how you could be angry with them, they use lack of communication. That is the second time this week someone has pulled the communication card on me, and Mercury doesn't go retrograde until next Friday, on August 20th. She asked why I was angry with her and had cut her out of my life like a malignant cancer, so I told her. Not all of it, just enough to let her know there were reasons I wanted nothing more to do with her. I hit the big points, the highlights, and she came back with, "But what did I do?"

Uh, weren't you paying attention? I listed a few more and she came back with, "That doesn't have anything to do with me. What did I do?" I realized at that moment, that even though I was communicating she wasn't paying attention. She was trying to suck me back in. I ended the conversation at that point. I was done. And when I'm done, that's it. There's no going back.

Communication isn't difficult. You open your mouth and speak, clearly and plainly. You carefully type out an email using simple words and ideas. You pick up a phone and speak without shouting or letting the emotions take over, keeping to the subject and stating the case simply.

I'm a writer. I communicate for a living and yet there are some people who cannot seem to tune in and pay attention, like one of my supervisors. I flagged an operative report and used the work number, job number, doctor's name and date of dictation. She emailed back and asked me which dictation it was. I responded with the same information again and added the patient's name. She emailed again. "Oh, that one has already gone back to the hospital. If you had just let me know a few minutes earlier." Now that was laughable. We'd been emailing for over 30 minutes. Well, it took her 30 minutes to figure out which report I had flagged, even though I had added flagged the report electronically as well as manually.

There are times when nothing seems to go right and the anger boils up like lava, and then something completely incongruous will happen and make me laugh and I can't hold onto the anger. Usually, it's someone farting in a serious situation, like while they're saying their wedding vows or tooting while walking down the aisle or shaking hands with the mayor. Let's face it. Farts during any occasion are funny and everyone laughs no matter how hard they try to hold it in, except if the farter is female and mortified beyond words. The red face is a dead giveaway.

That is all. Disperse.

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