The Wise Novelist

Embrace Your Silliness

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I have always embraced my silliness. Indeed, my now, transplanted, Australian granddaughters’ go-to refrain from watching me on a daily basis was “Dude (grandpa was forbidden), you’re silly!”

I don’t get along with those who take themselves too seriously. Never have. That explains a lifetime of being kicked out of things. Schools, clubs, social events, jobs. Some subsets of society.

Even when the shit hits the fan in life, you better be ready to laugh with me, or I’m tossing you out of my fox-hole, if you don’t toss me out first.

You see, life is way too short to spend it being serious. And I would rather go out with a laugh than a frown.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are real matters and responsibilities to deal with on a daily basis. And I have met most of those obligations for most of my adult life.

But even when I am fully focused on taking care of business, any kind, at any time, I will find those silly moments to sustain me.

Sometimes, its just a gance at my kitty-mousepad.

And gnomes – my keepers of secrets – of any kind or color, always brings out my silliness.

Indeed, one of my silliest stretches back in the Bronx, was the gnome war that I engaged in with my sister-in-law, Tara (né Sullivan), who happened to live next door. Tara is a wonderful writer. A true Celt. Our unbreakable bond is our love for Halloween. We would compete with each other on who would put out the coolest decorations each October 31st. Then we threw in together and made the event mythic.

For a long stretch back in the day, we went back and forth kidnapping each other’s gnomes from the other’s property and leaving ransom notes for the other, always escalating the backstories and threats.

Indeed, I went on a gnome spree, buying new gnomes just so I could expand the war and increase the narratives. I still have some of the notes stashed away some where. There maybe a children’s book in that batch.

When Lisa and I traveled to Paris in 2008, I took my traveling gnome, whose name is Paris, with me.

I then placed him among all of the art instalations in the various museums – Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame – to snap his photo. Before I had an iPhone. I’ll have to dig those photos out. Probably in the same box with the gnomes’ ransom notes.

I got the greatest looks from all of the other tourists, especially if it took a moment to set up those shots. And some not so great looks from the agents de sécurité. Well worth the effort.

I was just being silly. And that made my trip so much more enjoyable.

Silliness has provided me with the emergency pressure valve. Keeps me from becoming overwhelmed by the serious shit in life. And given how many of my contemporaries and colleagues that have suffered the full negative physical and mental impact of their very stressful lives, I may have saved myself some trips to the hospital or the therapist’s office.

Can’t argue with Monty Python:

Or Patch Adams:

And maybe, just maybe, my silliness has influenced my writing just enough to explain this streak.

So, the next time you see someone being silly, don’t scoff, join in.

Loved this scene from Mary Poppins. So wanted to hang there, forever.

If you feel the silliness urge bubbling up from inside you, embrace it. Let it out for the world to share. Make someone else’s day.

Now, it’s Friday, which always makes me feel just a little more silly.

So, I’ll carry some of that silliness around with me for when I cuddle my kitty, talk to the horses and dogs along the route, and finally enjoy how silly I look while I’m killing myself on the treadmill.

And maybe I’ll think silly thoughts about the targets of the deposition outline I’m finishing up.

I always have the other members of the OFC to inject their own silliness into my day. Their outrageously humorous texts keep me in the zone.

So, you fine, five readers get out there and embrace the promise that Friday always presents us all.

Be silly. Full stop.

And make today a great one.

2 Responses

  1. You must be telepathic. Are you sending out topics of the day that we should think about? That’s scary, isn’t it? Before I arose this morning, I was thinking of my life versus that of a friend of mine who lives 4 states away. Via e-mails, he gets on political rants and seems to enjoy not an ounce of life except for over-thinking every tiny issue. I think I agree with a lot of what he says but I still can go about my day with a smile on my face.
    I had also thought about the nature of my various jobs where I had to maintain a certain reserve, yet at other times I was a bit crazy. Even today, I try to get people see the humor in their day to day lives. I sometimes get odd looks but usually I am successful.
    I was pleased to hear about your gnome-knapping days as it brought back this memory:
    When I was a little kid, my dad and one of his friends would give each other a gift for their birthday or some other occasion. Inside of a nicely wrapped gift box would be an old wristwatch, battered and non-functional. It was always the same watch, no matter who the recipient was. This went on for years and I thought it was hilarious.

  2. Stu: That watch gift idea is brilliant. The thought of it circulating amongst a bunch of friends made my day. And yes, I am a tiny bit intuitive. I think it comes from hanging around my truly psychic friends, lol. Have a great day.

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