Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giggle It, Just a Little Bit

This morning I forwarded Ryan an email from What to Expect, which is a website filled with useful tips for parenting during a child's first years. Any time the daily email's topic is relevant, I forward. Today, when I saw the subject line, I laughed, and forwarded. My objective in sending this particular email had nothing to do with improving our parenting skills. 

I hoped a colleague of Ryan's, preferably his boss, would be hovering over Ryan's desk when the email's embarrassing subject line appeared in his Outlook Inbox. Yes, I admit, I was looking for a laugh at my husband's expense. These days, I look for any opportunity to laugh. 

Unfortunately, the prank backfired on me.
While I was on the phone with a representative at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ("LSS"), discussing survivor rates, support group options, mentors, and other resources, Ryan replied to the uncomfortable email. His response was so funny, I couldn't hold back a noise that sounded like a cross between a cry and a snort. And then I couldn't hold it back at all. I burst out laughing. 

When I finally stopped, there was an uncomfortable silence on the phone. I explained that I'd been laughing at an email. She expressed her relief; at first she'd thought I'd started crying, and then she hadn't known what was happening.

Regardless of my embarrassment, it felt really good to giggle. That must be why we've been enjoying the Anthony Weiner controversy so much. Every night, Ryan tells me the jokes he's heard, and the ones he's thought of himself. We are not the only ones laughing. The entire country has been giggling this week. 

It has been a stressful year for many, for reasons ranging from the continued shortage of jobs to the streak of destructive tornadoes. All this laughter at Weiner's downfall has lowered our country's blood pressure, if only temporarily.  Hopefully another politician will give us a new reason to laugh next week.

The timing of Weiner's exposure was particularly fortuitous for me. It coincided with the start of my 10-week arsenic treatment series, and thus gave me cause to giggle during an anxiety-inducing adjustment period. So far, the daily arsenic doses have made me feel nauseated and fatigued, but nothing more serious. 

Laughter is the best medicine. Thank you Weiner.