Monday, September 15, 2014

Potty Humor

I'm not a thrill seeker. I never really have been. I love a laugh, but not much of a practical jokester. I can't stand surprises- perhaps because I've had my fair share. I'm a bit of a control freak.

Thursday was not an average day. It was day 4 after chemo. I was feeling shaky and over all blah. The constitution was questionable. My friend Wendy, who just lost her daughter to cancer 2 months ago was on her way over. She's been coming by once a week to cook for us. I am profoundly grateful for so many reasons although she continues to tell me it's good for her.  It gets her out of the house, we get a chance to talk and keeps me from cutting or burning anything. Which seems to be a real problem with me lately. Case and point....

The other night we were putting dinner together. Phil was leaning on the counter by the trash.  I was experiencing the post chemo, nothing tastes right phenomenon and was cutting up a piece of peach to put in my water because lemon or lime just sounded too acidic. Since you technically have to be careful with fresh fruits and veggies during chemo- I skinned the peach. I held the peach piece in one hand with the knife and skin in the other. Now I would also like to point out that skinning a peach when you have tingly shaky hands is probably not the best idea- but is challenging in and of itself as the little buggers are slippery. So I am concentrating on not letting go of the slippery little devil and go to throw the skin away- in essence jabbing my husband with the knife and dropping everything everywhere.

Phil yells ouch. One of the kids says "what the heck" and I experience that horrible sinking feeling you get when your body doesn't do something that you thought you told it to do. It flipping sucks. I stood there holding on to Phil sobbing(me sobbing- not him- he was fine and actually laughing- well despite a small mark on his finger- fine becomes a relative term the week after chemo)- because it's one thing when you burn the cabinets, or your finger or arm or cut yourself- it is entirely another thing when you stab your husband out of the blue. I've always been one to shoo the kids out of the kitchen when I'm cooking- there's less collateral damage that way- but especially now- if I am anywhere near the kitchen they make themselves scarce. It's self preservation really. Kiera wanders around doing Bon qui qui imitations whenever I go near the kitchen- I will cut you.

They quietly slide knives away from me. Or they jump out of the way when I open the knife drawer. It took a few days before I could laugh with them. But I'm back in the game now.  Perhaps it is because the shakies are starting to subside. Perhaps it is because sometimes all you can do is laugh and if you can't laugh at yourself- you shouldn't be laughing at anyone else. 

Recently the world mourned the loss of Robin Williams. It brought to light many issues about depression. Depression is a huge issue across the board. It's a huge issue with those facing cancer. It's a huge issue for those living with any debilitating disease. It's a huge issue for those who are depressed or love someone who is. I've struggled with it on and off my whole life and I know my parents have and I worry my kids will. Like any disease- it can be treated, it needs to be watched and sometimes laughter is the best medicine. But sometimes laughter is a bandaid on gaping wound. Unless you stitch up the underlying problem- it just won't cut it. No pun intended. 

Wendy's husband Pat started doing stand up comedy as a way to deal with their daughter Haley's illness. To me it makes perfect sense- but I am also someone who embraces finding the humor in less than funny situations.  To me, humor is the stitch that closes the gaping wound. In order to fix it- you have to uncover it, see it for what it is and attack it. The process can be painful- but at times laughing about the parts you cannot control is better than crying about it. 

I've never been to one of Pat's shows until the other night. We were just finishing up dinner- the whole family- in laws and cousins and the phone rings. It was Wendy. Bella was bopping around and tries to answer it- to no avail. She calls Wendy back, it goes to voicemail. I figure Wendy has had something pop up and needs to cancel our upcoming visit this week- so I was not prepared to hear her ask me if I want to come see her husband's routine- they are right down the road at the new lounge and they could use a few more audience members. Now. Or soon. But it's right down the road. 

Spontaneity has become a way of life. But Phil took one look at me and knew I was torn. Here we were finishing dinner with family, with my sister in law- who also is kind enough to cook for us weekly and then some and has been there to help with all kinds of less than desirable tasks. But also I know that there's probably a grand total of 2 people at the local lounge and I really would like to support my friend. Of course there is the dilemma of my constitution- but surely there is a restroom there. Phil has had an epically long week and decides what the heck- lets go- He finishes his last bites of dinner- delegates the after dinner chores and we go. 

Of course 5 minutes in- I know I need to use the restroom. Of course the restroom is right next to to the stage. And I realize why potty humor is so damn funny. Because it's a fact of life- everybody poops. Life is full of shit. Normal- runny- inappropriately raging at inopportune times. You can choose to pretend it's not there and go quietly about your business- yet at some point there will be no fighting it- you will have to walk to the bathroom in front of a room of people and hope that the laughter is perfectly timed. 

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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)