Wenis Waggler

March 27, 2008

This morning I received the sweetest, most ego inflating email from a reader named Julia B. I usually don't share these emails or reply to them in a public forum, but this letter was so uplifting and so complimentary that I really couldn't help it. Here's a snippet for your reading pleasure:

...I love the way you look at life. Nothing seems stressful to you and you manage to make life's little annoyances seem kind of fun. I think I'd be better off if I could be that like. How do you do it?..

Well Julia, your email leads me to believe that I don't spend enough time writing about the regular dose of crrrAZY I dole out to my husband--because honey, he thoroughly disagrees with your sentiments. In all actuality, life's little stressors make me want to pack up the Blazer, drive to Belize, and take up with the orangutans. Trust me when I tell you: It's a rare moment when I kick up my feet and have a genuine har-dee-har-har at my past due electric bill.

That said, I will readily admit that I am the self proclaimed queen of journalistic spin. In other words, I use this blog to transform my day-to-day humiliation into lighthearted humor. And usually, by the time I press the PUBLISH button, I've actually convinced myself that farting or falling (or whatever else happened that day) actually was a bit funny. How simple minded is that?

Emily Sailers, my all time favorite singer/songwriter, says, "You have to laugh at yourself, because you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't." Let me tell you, I'd give Emily a good old fashioned belly bop if I could, because she's hit the nail right on the head. I don't count my blessings and I don't look on the bright side to cope with the vicissitudes of life--instead, I laugh.

Yesterday for example, an extraordinarily enflamed townsperson walked into my office. Before I even had a chance to shake his hand, he approached my desk and started screaming like some sort of an ape on steroids. I work in the highly controversial field of affordable housing, so outraged citizens are not a rarity, but this gentleman--to put it lightly--was in a league of his own.

I understand people's frustrations with affordable housing, and usually I process the criticism well, but when this man strategically backed me into a corner and topped it off by calling "stupid," I was almost reduced to tears. I'm embarrassed to admit, that for a moment or two, he reigned me in with his slick words and I actually believed him. I believed that I was stupid.

When I felt the tears begin to swell in the back of my eyes, I knew the situation had gone too far. I couldn't allow a disrespectful schmuck to capture my control, I wouldn't let him steal my peace. And that's when I realized that I was certainly not the stupid person in the room.

In order to keep myself from crying, I immediately began to look for a touch of humor in a nasty situation, and thanks be to heaven, it wasn't very hard to find. This jack hole's fly was half way unzipped, and with every wave of his arm and pound of his fist, it opened up a teensy bit more. Tooth by tooth, his zipper was letting go, and if he screamed for long enough his wenis would be waggling around for the whole damn office to see.

He'd say, "STUPID!" And I'd think "What's up wenis waggler?"

He'd yell, "IDIOTS!" And I'd think "Waggle away Mr. Wenis!"

Him: WASTE. OF. MONEY!

Me: Wenis. Waggler.

I will admit, when I got into my car yesterday afternoon, I put my head on the steering wheel and cried--I am human after all. But before I knew it, my tears had morphed into a snorty sort of laughter, and I was feeling pretty normal. And today, when I look at the situation--thanks to some very intentional spin--I think it's pretty funny.

Typically, the way you react to uncontrollable situations is nobody's choice by your own, so you may as well spin it into whatever you'd like it to be. And that my friends, is my very own, creative definition of freedom.

21 comments:

runningtwig said...

I've been a long time lurker of your blog and it always makes me laugh! Today's was not only humorous, but inspiring...I'm a teacher and I often have to do what you do when dealing with unruly kids or parents. So I just wanted to say thanks!

Laura said...

I must congratulate you on your use of the term, "jack hole" and wonder how your determination to give up the term "ass" is going.

I am howling out loud with laughter and my baby thinks I'M the funny one!!

dcfullest said...

Wenis is one of my favorite words. Can't say it without a smile.

Brianna said...

Thanks for using blogging as your therapy to deal with life . . . it helps your faithful readers on our own paths as we struggle to refrain from strangling the ones we love and resist crumbling under the pressure of the people who like to "waggle" frustration and anger at us.

akshaye said...

I love the post.. I think thats a great way to look at things. Thanks - I really liked your thoughts.

chirunner said...

Life IS all about how you look at things -- and you obviously have the perfect view. Keep spinnin' because you make my day.

Lindsey said...

No really, that IS a talent. The moment in front of me always captures me and I am suddenly out of control. I am only able to process things.... LATER...usually MUCH later. Bless you for your God given abilities, which included making us laugh.

The VerWaynes said...

Some people are just jerks...it helps to remember that their behavior says a lot about the life they're living and the amount of happiness in it...and to pretend their wenis is hanging out of their pants!

Cheryl said...

I love your creative spin! Keep your chin up. You are amazing for not disolving into tears on the spot. I sure would have. Way to go, Amy!

Mindy said...

And not only do you convince yourself that your life is funny, but you help all of us see the "funny" in life! Love your post!

chattypatra said...

What truly impresses me is the fact that you didn't laugh in his face. Now, *that* takes a lot of self-restraint. I think you are amazing.

Michemily said...

I also would have laughed in his face. I've been yelled at for smiling during serious situations because I thought of some random, hilarious thing.

Sarah said...

You seriously rock! That is awful that people like that don't have the presence of mind to realize that yelling and name calling as an adult will generally NOT get you what you want, but it is amazing that at some point you were able to find the humour in it!

You are totally right, and I try to practice the same principles in my life. If I don't laugh at all the ridiculousness life throws at me, I would spend my life in tears! And that is no fun at all.

AMiller said...

Amy - you really should write a book. This was a very inspirational post and funny to boot. Those two things don't go together often.

mommymelb said...

Thanks for this! You've helped make an upcoming event in my life seem more like an "adventure" instead of something I'm going to have to tolerate. You are a wise woman!

Jess said...

Usually, with time, everything humiliating or frustrating can be seen with humor. And I don't envy you your job with people like that! I once worked a summer at Target when I was in college, and I worked the customer service desk -- where people do the returns? Yeah, someone once threw a phone at me. That was the end of that job for me.

Mary said...

Great post, Amy. I had a day at the beginning of February where I was verbally pounded into the ground by my co-worker about 4 or five times over the course of a day. I felt traumatized. I still cannot see anything funny about the situation and am counting the days until the end of the school year. Speaking up is not easy for me, especially when it is a person who is "always right" and is meant to be your mentor. I discreetly asked the administration to move me to another school, but they wouldn't do it. Eighteen days! I wish I had your talent for spin and humor.

katieo said...

great post.

and I really wish I would've read this post before a little angry outburst I had a fast food place a couple of days ago. (When I say "TWO chicken nuggets, I mean two orders of chicken nuggets, not TWO FRIGGIN CHICKEN NUGGETS...")

and ditto to laura. jack hole. very creative.

and ditto to amiller (who is my sis-in-law, btw) when is the book coming out?

littlebee said...

Amy, this post topped 'em all. Wenis Waggler, heh. :)

You've got my number, right? Call me next time there's a wenis waggler yelling at you and we'll laugh at him together!

Nitmos said...

That was funny. When faced with an angry person, I usually think about things I'd like to stick in the person's eye. Your more humorous approach is probably the better way to go. Less jail time. Great blog.

Camille; Ponytail Challenge said...

HILARIOUS. I am just another of your blog lurkers' fan club. Even my husband thinks this is great and he is not a fan of blogs. Thank you, thank you!