1/30/20

And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

This morning, I walloped my alarm clock, staggered out of bed, got dressed, and went downstairs. I poured a bowl of Wheaties, then reached for my pot of piping hot and fresh coffee – thank you, whoever invented the timer for coffeemakers so that your coffee is ready before you are! I pulled the pot from its cradle, held it aloft over my cereal bowl, and poured.

And then I stood there for a moment, knowing something was wrong with this picture, but not able to say exactly what. As I watched the steam rise from my cold cereal, the realization hit. And I stood back and laughed.

We’ve all done this, right? It wasn’t a senior moment (I hope). It wasn’t even about still being half in the world of sleep, dragging myself reluctantly into the world of awake. My mind was just off playing somewhere. In a world where coffee over cereal made perfect sense.

I laughed as I poured the coffee-cereal down the garbage disposal. I laughed as I poured a new bowl. “No, no, no,” I said, wagging my finger at my coffeemaker. “You stay in your place. You’re not milk.” Then I laughed over my ridiculousness as I got the milk out and finished making my breakfast. I brought it upstairs, along with a big mug of appropriately placed coffee, to the computer,  read my email and posted on Facebook.

“So it’s going to be a poured-my-coffee-over-my-cereal kind of day…”

As I ate and had to stop several times to keep a fit of giggles from spitting Wheaties all over my computer screen, I thought back to the day Michael and I moved in together. He and his brother loaded up a moving truck in Omaha that morning, then drove the eight hours to me, at that point living in a townhouse in Menomonee Falls that Michael and I rented together. I spent the day nervously cleaning and re-cleaning the townhouse, wanting to make it look good for Michael so he would think moving away from his home to be with me was a good idea. And then he showed up and by the time all his stuff was unloaded, all he could see was boxes and boxes and disarrayed furniture. Then we still had to take the truck to my old home and get some of my furniture which I hadn’t moved because I didn’t have a truck, but instead drove a Dodge Neon.

By the time we fell into bed that night, into a bed that for the first time was both of ours, in a room that was both of ours, in a rented home that, even though it was rented, still felt like ours, we were exhausted. Right before that, I went into the unfamiliar bathroom filled with unfamiliar things, grabbed my toothbrush, which at least was something I recognized, found a tube and loaded those bristles and stuck it in my mouth and began brushing.

Only to coat my entire mouth with Ben Gay.

Oh, hurt! Oh, burn! The emanating smell went up into my sinuses and I thought my nose was going to fall off. Much like this morning, I began to laugh and laugh, while trying to spit the offending stuff out, rinsing my mouth, which, just as my cheeks pooched out, was a disaster because I began to laugh again and so coated our bathroom mirror with watered-down Ben Gay. In the background, Michael kept calling from the bedroom, “What? What?”

Sure. You make a huge step in commitment toward someone, and the first thing you do on your first night in your shared bed is to kiss the man you love with a burning mouth of Ben Gay.

I laughed myself into a full coughing, barking asthma fit, which may have been because of all the Ben Gay fumes too. What a romantic night. What a way to make an impression on my new roommate.

Well, he married me, so I guess it wasn’t too bad.

But the laughter. And then, when I checked back on my Facebook page, I found a pile of “likes”. And comments about coffee poured over a breakfast burrito, and oregano sprinkled into coffee instead of cinnamon. Sometime last week, someone posted about hairspray that went in all the wrong places. And boy, could I ever tell you a story about a jalapeno pepper that ended up in a spot it was never intended.

Peppered (yes, that was deliberate) in between these comments were Been There, Done Thats.

And that’s when I felt it. The community formed by simple human acts. In this case, doing something so totally brainless that you can’t help but laugh. We’re all connected by simple human error.

I spent the morning laughing, and knowing others were laughing too. It doesn’t get much better than that.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.

The breakfast of champions. At least Serena is laughing too.

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