The Importance of Being Silly

cropped Car and Dawn

My two best friends in college. We roamed the halls dressed ridiculously but acting normal, just to see people’s reactions. Worth it? Without a doubt.

I’ve always been pretty silly. I really can’t help it, I don’t know how to be any other way. This has always been encouraged by my friends and family. In fact, I’m amazed at people who are always serious — how is that possible? Maybe my silliness has caused people to take me less seriously, but I really don’t care because I think I have way more fun. No, I know I do.

Me at midnight in front of my sleeping roommate. Was this worth it?  Yes.

Me at midnight in front of my sleeping roommate in college. Was this worth it? Oh yeah!

Just this weekend, I let my equally silly friend, Lee, talk me and several others into getting up and singing in front of a large group of mostly strangers at a memorial for my friend Sue’s wonderful husband Joe. Sue didn’t want it to be sad, although of course we all cried at the stories told. She wanted it to be a celebration of Joe’s life, and it was. It was in a beautiful Spanish-style room in a lovely country club surrounded by green hills and golfers, a place Joe would have wholeheartedly approved of.

Sue in white hat (not sure if she's laughing or crying) being serenaded by us fools. Was it worth it?  Definitely.

Sue in white hat (not sure if she’s laughing or crying) being serenaded by us fools. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The Tunno Family Singers in their only performance singing, "That's Amore." Wedding attendees just sort of looked at us like we were crazed. Was it worth it? YES!

The Tunno Family Singers in their only performance singing, “That’s Amore.” Wedding attendees looked at us like we were crazed. Was it worth it? YES!

Most of us are hams, so it didn’t take much arm-twisting and Sue was totally on board with it. We practiced for about three hours and then hit the boards singing “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” because Joe loved 50’s music. We called ourselves “The Fools” and got up there and belted it out wearing fedoras and sunglasses.

Were we great?  Uh…no. But we had fun, looked ridiculous and had people clapping along, hopefully lifting a few spirits, including Sue’s and her kids.  If that’s not worth it, then I don’t know what is.

Afterwards we kept texting about how mortified we were and yet how much fun that was. And it was.  I have a theory that the amount of fun you have directly correlates to how much you’ve just humiliated yourself.  I’ve chosen many of my best friends based on how silly they are willing to look and I’ve never been wrong.

My sons, yes with underwear on their heads, ready to squash my daughter.

My sons, yes with underwear on their heads, ready to squash my daughter.  You gotta teach kids when they’re young how to be silly.  She’s a goof now too, it was so worth it!

Here’s another example.  Right after my mom passed away, I had to go back to work.  But work was morning radio where I was supposed to be a funny traffic reporter. I honestly thought I’d never laugh again and even worse, the day I had to go back was St. Patrick’s day, one of my mom’s favorite days.  So I went and figured I’d try not to cry.

As soon as we were on, the morning men started with the stupidest sounding Irish accents I’d ever heard, and within a half hour I was doing my worst Irish accent and laughing hysterically, in spite of my broken heart. I realized then that making people laugh is not only fun, it’s a really important job.  It can bring people out of incredible sadness when they really need it. That moment gave me lifelong respect for  morning radio talent, comedians, and every goofball who ever got up and tried to make someone laugh.

My son is with me in this shot, my daughter may have been scarred for life.  Was it worth it?  Definitely.

My son is with me in this shot, my daughter may have been scarred for life. Was it worth it? Definitely. That’s what therapists are for.

Otherwise life is  just being responsible: working hard, taking care of the kids, fixing the house, dealing with setbacks, getting good grades and studying — yuck. You need a little fun or you’ll go nuts and do something you really regret like  remodel your house.

So, go do something completely silly right now. Of course you’ll humiliate yourself, but when you look back at the photos you’ll think, God, that was fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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