I had a friend say to me today that I should teach a class on how to have fun. I was feeling really good earlier this week but now not so much. I’m having problems with my shoulder and my RA. I saw the Rheumatologist this week and she had nothing good to say. So this unusual compliment took me by surprise. I am not feeling very fun.
So how would I teach a class on having fun? I know that a good laugh feels like it changes my entire body chemistry. I know that fun is all in how you look at things. I know you a choice in how you look at things. It’s been a tough few years for us. Like I showed in the post about Laughing our way thru Lung Cancer, we did manage to have fun thru some incredibly hard times. I took this comment from my friend as a wonderful compliment but how could you ever teach such a thing? Then I thought, who taught me?

I know Dad really didn’t want to go. He told me he had no regrets about his life. Not many people can say that. He said he was just worried about leaving Mom. He said he didn’t want to go because he was having too much fun. Too much fun? He was on 24hr oxygen. He was in pain. He couldn’t walk more that a few steps. He knew what was coming. And he still felt he was having too much fun? Really Dad?

But Daddy really did have a lot of fun. He was always pulling practical jokes. Like the time a fellow elevator guy got a cut on his bald head. He asked Dad to put some iodine on it. Daddy did, but he also made his head into a big smiley face. The poor guy went home on the train and didn’t know why everyone was smiling at him. Or when he sent his helper who had a stuttering problem, to get a part at certain machine shop. Dad warned him to get in and out of that place, he kept warning him…the clerk will talk your ears off! When the helper got there, he saw the poor man had no ears. He was so upset he couldn’t get the words out to ask for the part and eventually came back without it. Dad laughed for days.

When we were kids my parents had a boat in Atlantic City. We called the marina crowd “The Boat People” We all lived together 2-3 days a week for more than 15 years. These were people who knew how to have fun. My parents and their friends made EVERYTHING fun. We played dumb made up games, we played board games, they told stories (Uncle Al’s specialty), they wrote silly long poems (Eddie Bermon) ,they made costumes and put on little shows for one another. Who does that? They drank and laughed, every weekend was nothing but fun. Looking back it”s hard to even explain how much fun these people had. I was so blessed to grow up with the Boat People and their love of life.

Daddy could not say grace at dinner without his classic “Father, Son and Holy Ghost- The guy who eats the fastest gets the most!” He made up a Christmas tradition he called Gifts from Sandy Claws. He would give out joke gifts to make fun of anything bad that happened to you during that year. When my Uncle Jerry lost part of a finger in a factory accident, he got a pair of gloves with the finger cut off. When my sister crashed two cars in one year, she got a set of matchbox cars that had been crushed in a vice. And when my Aunt was hospitalized with an intestinal blockage, her gift was a multi-pack of Fleets Enemas. We all laughed till it hurt.

As Daddy got sick, I had to constantly remind him to give the doctors a straight answer when they examined him. He told everyone his religion was that he was a Devout Coward. He said his only real pain was my Mother. He had a million one liners for the staff that took care him. We laughed our way thru cancer because Dad set the standard.

So how would I teach a class on how to have fun? Grow up with my Dad. Be blessed with the wacky Boat People. Surround yourself with positive and kind friends. Smile a lot. Laugh a lot. Buy lots of wax mustaches. Bring them to work. Put dog treats in sleeping people’s hair. Call the dog. If someone falls asleep at your house, surround them with empty beer bottles and take their picture. If you need to get a coworker to come upstairs so the department can set of for their surprise shower, call and say you need her stat because your current tech is drunk and you have to send her home. Shut off the lights when people are in the shower. Place empty Viagra packs in your parents powder room when they are expecting company. Believe in mischief. Try everything. Laugh at yourself. Consider everything in life as an adventure. Feel loved and safe. Try to remember that everything passes, the hard times and the good times too. Say I love you to everyone you hug. That would be my class on how to have fun.