The Light Touch

lighten upMany years ago, I was talking to some friends at the coffee break of a 12-Step meeting.   I had been having a difficult several weeks and was probably going on and on about how it was wearing me out.  When I finally paused, a woman by the name of Carole smiled and said, What’s the matter, Bud?  PMS?   I don’t remember if I gasped, blushed or said, What do you mean?   She just smiled again and said, You know … Poor Me Syndrome.  Everyone else laughed loudly while I joined in through clenched teeth.  Over the years, though, it’s become one of my favorite examples of Giving It the Light Touch.   Some months later, I was sharing in the same meeting about another mini-calamity in my life, and I closed by telling about my first encounter with PMS as a way of Giving It the Light Touch.   When I was done, the woman next to me handed me something.  When I opened my palm to see what it was, I found a Mydol tablet.

I bring this up because a long time reader suggested in a comment to my Friday Favorites that I might be taking life too seriously.   Just as when I was first diagnosed with PMS, my first reaction was clenched teeth.   But a day later, it seems possible that she is right … and funny that she caught me at it.  That is not to say that what happened isn’t serious … it is … but it’s what’s going on in my head, thinking about it, that is causing much of my distress.   I grew up sitting in church every Sunday with dour faces staring down at me from statues and stained glass windows.   Life is serious business, they seemed to say.  But I lived the rest of my days in a family that peppered every conversation with jokes, bad puns and teasing.  So, most times I am known as a funny guy, someone who punctuates conversation and the most serious of meetings with humorous observations about life.   Some people find it annoying but most laugh along with me … one even says I’m like Robin Williams.   But when Something Serious happens, I tend to join those saints in the stained glass window, staring glumly down at life in a search for meaning.  My humor becomes snide and sarcastic.   Starting right now, I’m going to try harder to Give It the Light Touch.  So, would somebody pass the Mydol?  Then, together, we’ll Take It Easy.



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3 Comments on “The Light Touch”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I would never minimize the times you are serious and would thoroughly enjoy the times you are humorous. I think analytical minds tend to dissect events and weigh out the good and bad. Giving voice to the more serious things on your mind isn’t a bad thing. I tend to be pretty jovial most of the time but there are times I don’t need to lighten up. There are times I need to come to terms, or make piece with something. AND while I never have had a person hand me a Midol, I think I would be less than thrilled about it. Sometimes having a sounding board is the answer in-it-self to see a resolution to a problem. Life isn’t 100 percent light hearted. I support the right for you to have some days that you aren’t jovial.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I think I was at a place where I needed to hear it, and truthfully, I laugh every time I think of opening my hand and finding that Midol tablet. But thanks for your support.

  2. territerri Says:

    I think there’s a place, both for voicing happy thoughts and for sharing that things aren’t so great. Knowing how much your writing fuels you, it makes sense that you’re able to go in both directions. I tend to shut down when I’m unhappy. Somewhere along the way, I got the impression that it’s not okay admit to being down. Of course, I always realize that giving into that tendency to shut myself off makes it so much harder to get back to normal… and get back into a writing habit. I admire your ability to share all sides of yourself.

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