Monthly Archives: April 2010

Why is everybody always laughing at me? Maybe it’s because I want them too.

It has been a very interesting experience for me over the last year or so writing my book, posting irrelevant anecdotes on my Facebook page and writing semi-monthly blogs. I have had some really interesting feedback. Unless, some of you are just trying hard to be kind, it has all been amazingly positive and inspiring. I thank you all for that.

There was a time in my life when I really worried about what others had to say about what I said and or did. I had to have that reassurance and vote of confidence. My first baseball coach had “confidence” written on the back of my jersey instead of my name. I was really little okay, but I was cute and the moms all loved me, and I had game, so eat your hearts out. Even today, I will often find myself prefacing what I am going to say as if it were an intrusion or that it needs the proper “set-up”.

You know I really used to care. I really really did. What if people see me as an idiot? What if they think I am a complete imbecile? What if they take on that I am just plain odd and that they don’t want to have anything to do with me?

I remember my dad saying, “Son, people can always be perceived as being smart until they open their mouths”. I became great at the “nod” and a master of words and phrases like “I understand, tell me more “or “What is the reasoning behind your thoughts?” Or even simply the word “Really?” I didn’t want to face being judged.

Well, I love all of you but get this; I am strange, idiotic and silly stupid at times. I am the tomato of fruit (it is) and the peanut of nuts (it’s not) and I love it. The cold hard truth, and we have all heard it before, is that life is hard and then we die. I am all about finding the nonsense in all of it.

If you have read my book or followed my blog you know that I love Robin Williams and have often recited his quote “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” The truth is, I love his madness. I love his ability to pick on anyone at anytime without trepidation and just live in the moment. His approval and acceptance come from his ability to be completely comfortable with his own sense of insanity.

I honestly don’t believe that we are fundamentally willing to put ourselves at risk enough to live from and inside our own sense of insanity. Now let me be clear here, not going insane and doing something which is illegal, unethical or immoral, but insane only to the point that you are willing to put yourself at risk to take on something new and exciting. Something refreshing and out of character which creates the room for you or others to laugh at or with you.

I love it when I walk up to a stranger and say something completely out of left field and they just start laughing. I love making silly faces when it’s not called for. I love telling a really bad joke at the most inopportune time. It allows me to be human and it allows me to be me.

If I make you smile and brighten your day, mission accomplished for me.

If you hang with me, you’re going to run the risk of being embarrassed, because I don’t take myself seriously and neither should you. I’m not for the weak of heart. The one thing I will guarantee you is a pretty funny ride. I’ll take on doing whatever it takes.

As I have shared with you, my daughters are dancers and if I wanted to be an active part of their life, I needed to take that on as well. For the last 15 years or so you can find me on a couple of warm June nights performing at their annual recital with other dads, who like me, have plenty of room for not really caring what other people think. I’ve dressed up in drag many times; I’ve been Santa Claus’s elf, entertainers Pink, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and even Tina Turner. I’ve even stripped to my boxer shorts, t-shirt and a white top hat parading around to the song “Leave your hat on”.

Believe me there is nothing more thrilling than chasing a makeshift boob made out of styrofoam across a stage.

I might be a lunatic but after years of mental anguish and much therapy my kids now know I am willing to do what it takes to be the cool dad. Embarrassing at times sure, but I know they are proud when their friends tell them how “cool they think their dad is”.

It’s really not just about being crazy for crazy sake; it really is about giving you permission to step outside of your comfort zone and having some crazy silly fun. I want to find the fun in everything. I want to laugh out loud and it doesn’t matter to me if I am laughing at you or myself.

Some people choose to define insanity in the manner in which Einstein’s did. That insanity was doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. I mean absolutely no offense to those who may suffer from any mental illness and respect the challenges that they may face. In good spirit and in the face of challenging you to love life just a little bit more I choose to define insanity as:

1. You write to your mother in Italy every week, even though she sends you mail from California asking why you never write.
2. You wear your boxers on your head because you heard it will ward off evil dandruff spirits.
3. You always have to apologize to your next door neighbor for setting fire to his lawn decorations.
4. Nobody listens to you anymore, because they can’t understand you through that scuba mask.
5. You have meaningful conversations with your toaster.
6. Melba toast excites you.
7. When the waiter asks for your order, you ask to go into another room to tell him because “the napkins have ears.”
8. The person you always talk to is invisible to everyone but you.
9. You keep thinking this is the year for the Lions.
10. You see migrating flocks of ducks in the fall and only your attachment to the toaster keeps you from joining them.

Love life my friends and try taking on just a little more craziness and a little more silly stupidity. You just might find out how far a good hearty belly laugh can take you.