Are you sitting down, Dear Reader?
I’ve found the secret to having a happy life, Dear Reader, and I’m about to share it with you.
Really. Today is your lucky day.
The secret to having a happy life is being able to find joy in the ridiculous minutia of your day.
You can write that down if you want. I’ll wait til you find a pen and a piece of paper.
Have you written it down now? Good. I’m going to tell you how I came to this profound realization last Friday evening, in the back of the dining room of a Chinese buffet restaurant.
We often go out to dinner on Friday nights. Joe doesn’t feel like cooking; I don’t feel like cooking. It’s always nice to unwind and talk over dinner.
Joe suggested going to the local Chinese buffet restaurant to eat, and we invited my parents and my sister to come along. The whole meal was really familiar and comfortable, something we’ve done many times before.
I mean, it was familiar and comfortable, right up to the point when my child ate my bowl of sweet and sour chicken with her fingers and then smeared herself up with the sauce as if it were war paint and she was a native headed to battle. That part was new and unique.
She dipped her fingers in the sauce and rubbed them together, feeling the slipperiness. She sucked all of the sauce off her fingers, enjoying the sugary sweetness, and then she stuck them together with the gooey residue. She rubbed her nose and wiped her face and suddenly, red sauce was everywhere.
I didn’t at first notice the sauce running down her belly onto her pants, but apparently it did that, too.
Sweet n sour sauce stains, Dear Reader. It stains clothes, and it stains skin.
I had a choice to make. I could get mad, throw a fit, and let the mess ruin my day, or I could laugh and enjoy my daughter’s curiosity and experimentation. Either way, I had a big mess to clean her up.
I laughed. I laughed about the mess and my misfortune in having to clean it. I laughed because I hadn’t noticed that Grace was eating my chicken until it was too late. I laughed because my parents and my sister and my husband thought it was cute.
I laughed. Grace laughed. Everyone
at the table in the restaurant laughed. Some like lunatics.
You should try it, the laughing. (Don’t try the smearing sauce part. That’s a hassle to clean up. Trust me.)
© 2008, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.