More and more lately, I find it’s the little things that make the biggest impact.
As I careen toward the Vanech Family Christmas Spectacular, trying to unclench my teeth and BREATHE, I’ve been fortunate this week to have a little unexpected levity come my way.
The first time was during my Thursday night Jazzercise class. Hoping I’d be doing the routine to Maroon 5‘s “Moves Like Jagger,” one of the women passed around wax lips to the whole class while I wasn’t looking. These are generally quiet women — kind and pleasant, but pretty stressed at the end of a workday and rarely over-the-top silly. But they all played along, surprising me in the process. Looking out from stage and seeing all the bright-red “smiles” made my whole day, and I thought, would be the high point of my week.
Boy was I wrong.
On Friday, Kristen, who runs the Jazzercise Center of Southwestern Connecticut, where I teach a couple times a week, hosted a holiday party for all her instructors. Avid readers of this blog will remember that while this group was enjoying an end-of-summer celebration, I was driving all over Fairfield County trying to find them (that post is here in case you missed it).
I was just glad I made it to the party this time (and it was nice of the other instructors to wait til the end of this party to mention my unfortunate directional skills.) It was great to catch up with everyone — we’re usually passing each other on stage, one running off as the other hooks up her mic and iPod. Plus, it was great to see everyone looking so nice (and smelling so nice). We’re almost unrecognizable out of workout togs.
In addition to the great company, terrific food and chance to exhale, the gathering brought some of the biggest fun I’ve had in years.
There was a little grab-bag game that required us to pick numbers and choose from the pile of gifts we’d each brought. There were rules about getting dibs on a particular gift, etc., but leave it to Peg to make it extra interesting with a gag gift that had us howling with laughter.
In addition to beautiful jewelry, the gift bag she assembled included Go Girl — a discreetly packaged funnel-like device that helps women to stand up to nasty, germy public bathrooms.
It’s made of medical-grade silicon, is reusable, and comes with its own carrying case and toilet tissue (which the company suggests you may wish to replace after use.).
Peg had found it in a luggage store, on the counter near the cash register. The proprietor assured her that he sells hundreds of them each year. The company website tells me it’s great for campers and skiers as well as for women who are traveling. The copy on the packaging urges users to “stop taking life sitting down.”
You can imagine the gales of laughter this device ignited as we tried to imagine the mechanics involved with using Go Girl. Or tried to figure out what we’d do with the darn thing after using it. Tuck it in a pocket? Put it back in our purse? This thing had to be developed by a man who wouldn’t think about such details.
Meanwhile, we have a new inside joke and I’ll never hear the phrase, “You go, girl!” in quite the same way again. We laughed til we cried.
My sides were still aching as I drove home, and I thought, I just have to pay this mirth forward somehow.
First, though, I’ve got to stop by that luggage store.