Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ladies’ Night

Here’s an opening question for you all to think about while we wait for our tea to cool and for Jeanine to take the coconut squares out of the oven: what do you do to make yourself feel better on glum days? No wrong answers, now, no wrong answers.

I’ll share something, I say.

As you know, I live in Guangzhou, China. Recently, I’ve been having some glum days. For one thing, I have a cold. I am sneezing like an sneezlepuss, which as should be clear from its name is an animal that sneezes a lot, more often, even, than pandas, meercats, dogs, or monkeys: the first four animals in this 41-video youtube playlist of sneezing animals which I just found and which you ladies are welcome to look at on my iPad after the meeting. Because the animals on display there are cute and frankly terrific. I sneezed while writing that sentence.

Not only do I have a cold, I am cold, because it is cold outside and my apartment is not significantly warmer than the outside. I do not have a space heater. Last year I had a space heater, but I gave it to Andy and am subsisting on my wall-mounted air blower. The air blower claims to have a heater setting. Based on the fact that I am sitting at my desk in a coat, wearing long underwear, I trust my wall-mounted air blower about as far as I can throw it. For reference, in sixth grade I was the only person who could long jump farther than he could shot put. I could not throw my wall-mounted air blower very far.

The truth is things can sometimes get glum around here. But what to do when you’re feeling blue?

Yes, yes, says Lynette, please, get to the point.

The truth is, all of us can sometimes be glum. And all of us try the same things to feel better. For instance, while I was in Hong Kong last week, I bought a pair of jeans with a button fly. A button fly! No longer will I find myself needing to “Examine [My] Zipper, Pretty Darn Quick”, because it will be not be possible for me to leave the restroom without having joined the two sides of my pants together, since the joining-and-unjoining operation one must perform when one needs to go see a man about a horse (which involves four very tight buttons), is approximately as difficult and time consuming as bridling a horse, or securing it safely to its post in your horse trailer, or hitching that trailer to your SUV so you can drive your horse to its pasture.

(The pasture is a penis, in this metaphor.)

So that’s something worth feeling not glum about.

Sometimes even that’s not enough, though. This week, I thought I had exhausted all my glum-weather, I’ve-got-a-cold tips. I washed my hair with natural shampoo, I doodled a mouse with a mohawk on a note from a student, my roommate and I watched Home Alone, and I even rubbed my face to encourage hair growth so I might someday be able to grow a respectable beard.

Long story short, I thought everything was topsy-turvy and glum city until I was looking through the very old bookshelves in my apartment and found a photograph in one of the books, which I was kind enough to scan at the local print shop so you all could see it tonight. It looks like this:

Funny face

And when I looked at that photo, I said to myself, wow. You think you’re glum? You are not glum. Until you are sitting in that car, holding that black object, with that expression on your face, with purple blemishes on your arm and forehead (likely from poor photo storage, I suppose), but with what looks like a real-life burn on your arm and a real-life rash around your mouth, I say to you: you are not glum.

And then I look at the picture again and I laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

(TL;DR: It’s cold here. I found a funny picture in my apartment. My new jeans have a button fly.)